Letters to the Editor: Turf field in Mattituck is waste of taxpayers’ dollars

04/14/2019 6:00 AM |

I would like to make some comments and corrections of your front-page story last week about the plastic turf field proposed at the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district (“Residents to decide turf field proposal,” April 4). First of all, the debate over its merits is far from over. It will go on until election day in May. Second, the school board did not unanimously approve its construction. We, the school board, all agreed to let the voters decide if they want to spend $1.6 million for a plastic soccer/lacrosse field. Although I very strongly oppose wasting money on the project, I feel the voter has the right to decide if they want to spend their money on it.

Comments that the $1.6 million cost will not increase the taxpayers taxes may be technically correct because we have the money saved in a reserve fund. However, it should be understood that this revenue has been funded by unused budget surpluses over several years, which were saved rather than returned to the taxpayer in the form of lower taxes. So, yes, it won’t cost the taxpayer additional new taxes because it already has! In addition, spending this $1.6 million will severely deplete our capital reserve fund which we should restore for when we need a major repair in the future. And, yes, rebuilding this reserve will come from taxpayer money in the form of higher taxes.

We on the school board have been told that we need this plastic artificial field because our grass field is in poor condition due to overuse, especially by non-school groups and travel teams that use our fields, for free, from spring to fall every day. This practice should end immediately.

There is one more point to make. Our school enrollment has dropped by one third in the past 15 years and may drop to half the number of kids that we had at our peak. We may build an expensive new field, but how many school kids will we have to use it?

In summation, it is simple. We need to professionally care for and manage our grass fields. This we are starting to do with help from the Cornell Cooperative Extension. We do not need a $1.6 million plastic turf field in an age of going green. We should save the money for truly needed repairs.

Douglas Cooper, Mattituck

Mr. Cooper is a member of the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s Board of Education.

Fight against Alzheimer’s

There are 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s (400,000 in New York) and more than 16 million unpaid caregivers (one million in New York).

My mother’s battle with dementia came to an end in 2017, after she lost her ability to speak, walk, feed and care for herself. It also destroyed family relationships and caused significant financial hardship. Because of my family’s experience, I’ve committed to fighting this devastating disease.

I just returned from Washington, D.C., and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum, where more than 1,000 advocates from across the nation convened on Capitol Hill. I met with Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) to explain why Congress must continue prioritizing legislative action against Alzheimer’s. I urged him to support funding for increased Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health, and to implement the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (P.L. 115-406), which Congress passed into law late last year.

Mr. Zeldin has supported the fight against Alzheimer’s. He was a co-sponsor of BOLD and recently joined the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. I thank him for taking time from his busy schedule to speak with us.

Alzheimer’s is a national health crisis. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the country and America’s most expensive disease. Nationwide, total costs will surpass $290 billion in 2019, an increase of nearly $13 billion from 2018.

Please join me in urging Mr. Zeldin to continue investing in policies that address Alzheimer’s disease so we can help others avoid the heartbreak and financial pain so many of us have suffered.

Nancy Chandler, Southold

More greenery, fewer dumpsters

At the last meeting of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association, town engineer Jamie Richter presented an explanation about the work being done at the Dean parking lot on the west side of Love Lane. Mr. Richter explained that the drainage work is substantially complete and that the new layout will add 23 more parking spaces to the lot’s capacity.

All good news.

However, Mr. Richter’s presentation made no mention of accommodating the dumpsters which currently exist in the lot, or of the potential for adding trees and greenery to the layout.

Trees — If the parking area is repaved without accommodation for trees along the perimeter and through the center island, it would be a tragic mistake to lose this opportunity to enhance the look and feel of the area. We know that other layouts exist, which show that adding 10 to 15 trees would not reduce the number of parking spaces. Trees, once established, require very little maintenance. We believe this to be an essential element to the refurbished parking lot.

Dumpsters — Several store owners now have dumpsters sitting in various locations around the parking lot. It has been suggested that these could be replaced by one compaction dumpster which could be shared by all of them. All it would take is for the storeowners to agree to share the cost, which you would think will be less than paying for the emptying of your own dumpster each month, and for them to agree on a location for the dumpster which will not interfere with the parking.

The community is looking forward to the updating of the parking lot and hope the town will continue to consider the MLCA’s call for a greener plan with fewer dumpsters.

Charles Gueli, Mattituck

president, Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association

Their compensation is too much

Why do some people become politicians? Most will tell you it’s about public service or a desire to make a difference. Or maybe a sense of duty. But to a casual observer it would often seem elected office fulfills some less altruistic needs. Maybe one likes to be the center of attention, a big fish in a small town, or perhaps it’s the allure of having one’s hands on the wheels of power. It might even boil down to the simple need for a job.

No crime in any of that. But those who have been elected to our state legislature over the years have shown themselves to be of another ilk entirely.

Bruno-Silver-Estrada-Skelos, to name but a few, have left a stench over Albany that should shame all New Yorkers. This year the New York State compensation committee approved a base pay raise for New York legislators from $79,500 per annum to $130,000, to be phased in over three years. This in addition to a pension and health benefits that after 10 years cover the recipient for life. The one stipulation is a ban on outside income. Outside income includes fees for services and consultations either real or not, rendered to clients, many of which are in direct conflict with the lawmakers’ duties and loyalties to his constituents and are a natural breeding ground for corruption. When a person of authority takes money for a favor rendered it is often identified as a bribe. When a lawyer does so it is known as a fee. Most of our legislators are also attorneys. Dangerous ground.

The governor has approved the ban. Eleven Republican assemblymen, including our own Anthony Palumbo, have filed suit to challenge it.

Jack Gismondi, Peconic

This is just wrong

Texas proposed legislation demanding that abortion clinics maintain sanitary conditions consistent with a health facility, be subject to regular inspections and have trained personnel on-site or at a nearby hospital to render emergency care when necessary. The abortion industry fought this legislation with every bit of energy they could muster. Why? Doesn’t the abortion industry claim it is providing “health care” for women?

Some of you may be familiar with Dr. Kermit Gosnell. He is currently serving a life sentence for involuntary manslaughter of a female patient and the murder of three born alive infants. Dr. Gosnell’s abortion clinic was filthy. In the operating room, he used unsterilized instruments. Single-use instruments were used multiple times. Workers were told to administer anesthesia and medication so that he could stay home, rather than return to the clinic. Under the legislation proposed in Virginia, an abortionist could not be prosecuted for the death of a born alive child either by denying it food or severing it’s spinal cord PROVIDED the abortionist had a “chat” with the mother and received permission to do so.

Nearly identical legislation passed in New York and was narrowly defeated in Virginia. This does not benefit women. It is, however, a dream come true for the abortion lobby. Basically, it makes it very difficult for abortionists to be charged with crimes or sued. It also lowers the cost of doing business thereby improving profit margin in the annual report.

There is an unholy alliance between the abortion industry and fundraising politicians of both parties. It’s all about money. The abortion lobby makes huge campaign donations to salivating politicians. It would be interesting to see if politicians would continue to staunchly support abortion if the donations stopped pouring in. A good place to start would be to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood to the tune of $500 million per year.

Richard Morabito, Orient

Where is our decency

I wonder how future historians will analyze this period of our history. Children being held in cages on our southern border by OUR government, which acknowledges that it may take two years or more to reunite them with their families. Mass shootings that have NO effect on gun control, misogyny and hate tolerated with indifference. Will they come to the conclusion that low unemployment, a robust economy and the positive stock market kept our moral outrage on the back burner? These are some of the thoughts that keep me awake.

Rosellen Storm, Southold

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