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Sunday
Jan172016

Letter To The Editor - Smithtown Veterans Are Not Second Class To Other Districts

NOTE ON THE SCHOOL TAX EXEMPTION 

 

As veteran homeowners across Kings Park, Hauppauge and Commack open their 2016 real property tax bills this year they were greeted with a welcome surprise in the form of a veterans real property tax exemption extended to them by grateful school boards.  The amount of relief range from 15% to 25% depending on their service status.

On the other hand, veterans of the Smithtown School District, (Smithtown, Nesconset and St. James) were not so lucky, since the Smithtown School Board voted DOWN extending the exemption to the town’s veteran homeowners.  Personally I feel that Smithtown’s School Board could care less about my 34 years and 10 months of military service, along with each and every other Smithtown veteran.  Shame on them!
 
Our Smithtown, Nesconset and St. James veterans should urge their neighbors to attend  the school board meetings to show support for the veterans of the community.  They should also write letters to the Smithtown News and Messenger urging community support for the Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption.

 Let’s not give up so easily and let the school board win, Smithtown veterans should not be considered second class citizens compared to all the other school districts that voted to support their veterans by passing the exemption.


Kenneth G. Dolan, Cdr. Donald C. Munro Post 944

Monday
Dec282015

Letter To Editor -Thank You Councilman McCarthy And Robert Murphy

Here is the latest update on the situation on my driveway. After the last time when Councilman McCarthy stepped in and put me in touch with Robert Murphy from the highway department I am proud to say that I have a new apron, sidewalk, and part on my driveway.

Mr. Murphy actually stopped by my house today and stated that they were going to redo the strip in front of the driveway because he wants to have a little bit more of a lip to make sure no water gets in. He stated this will be done either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

I can tell you that I have nothing but respect for Mr. Murphy and Mr. McCarthy for the way that they handled this situation. Speaking with the previous leadership at the highway department was nothing but useless but these gentleman have got the job done. I thank them very much. 

Peter Connerton

Wednesday
Dec162015

Letter To Editor - Assemblyman Fitzpatrick Joins NY Farm Bureau's "Circle Of Friends"

Dear Editor:

I am pleased to announce that New York Farm Bureau has named Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick to our annual “Circle of Friends” list. This legislative award is based upon his record of legislative support for New York agriculture and Farm Bureau’s public policies. New York Farm Bureau is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse elected officials or political candidates.

Assemblyman Fitzpatrick joins legislators from both sides of the aisle in the Senate and Assembly who have a superior voting record on issues of concern to New York farmers during the 2015 state legislative session.

New York Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm advocacy organization, works closely with the legislature to strengthen agriculture in New York and build on its economic importance in every region of the state. Over the past year, we have worked to reduce regulatory fees for farms, improve law enforcement training for animal cruelty laws, and increase funding for education, conservation and agricultural research.  These and many other accomplishments this year would not have been possible without the support from lawmakers like Assemblyman Fitzpatrick. 

Sincerely, 

Dean Norton, President

New York Farm Bureau

Sunday
Dec132015

Letter To Editor - When Doing The Right Thing Is Not Enough

Dear Editor,

In keeping with our efforts to do our part in reducing global warming and eliminating air and ground water pollution, we decided to abandon our oil heating system and buried tank and install a natural gas system. That is until we were informed of the cost. 

The summer we had moved into a 30 year old home in Head of The Harbor, a community with 2 acre zoning. After 6 weeks of repairs, we were still faced with the old oil burner and buried tank as are most of the neighbors.  Oil heating is environmentally dirty and expensive to operate and leaking oil tanks, polluting ground water, are a reality, especially buried more than 30 years. The gas line we need is available at the corner of our property and conversion would reduce our heating cost too.

After some research, we were informed by the National Grid that the gas line was approximately 300 ft from our home and that they would pay for 100 ft. of the line. We then, would have to pay for the remaining 200ft at $101.00 per ft., install a new heating system at a cost of $8,500 to $18,000 and have the buried oil tank abandoned for an additional $2,500.00, making the conversion an impossible task. National Grid did say however that if I was able to get a sufficient number of neighbors to switch to gas, they might cover the entire gas line cost. 

I researched every home on our street, Bacon Rd, and several side streets, Googled the addresses, sent out letters of explanation along with sample cost calculation cards, and postage paid self-addressed return mail cards. Over the next 6 weeks and after a tax record search to correct some names and addresses, I added even more homes until there were 44 in all and 20 responses….90% desperately wanting to get natural gas.  

Armed with the data, I went back to the National Grid again and again until they responded with a phone call. I was informed that due to the 2 acre zoning and long distances to homes, there was still a quarter of a million dollars we would have to pay IF ALL 44 homes were willing to convert to natural gas……The environment will have to pay. We can’t. 

This letter is a plea and wakeup call  to our neighbors and political leaders alerting them to the predicament we are in to ever save our planet, house by house, town by town, city by city.  Business must profit to continue to operate and flourish so only our government can help. Our government will only help if we all ask.  I and 20 neighbors are asking.  

Sincerely 

Robert F. Bayer 

Monday
Dec072015

Letter To the Editor - Vote In Fire District Election 

Padraig P. O’BrienLetter To Editor

When I initially requested support in my bid to become your Fire Commissioner, I highlighted my proven leadership and management skills, as well as the strong commitment I feel towards our community. Valuing the importance in those traits, you have allowed me the privilege of continually serving the Smithtown residents. The attributes I possessed when I first entered into the office burn as strongly in me today as when I first began this journey and it has allowed our district team to move our organization into the future. During my tenure the calls for assistance from Smithtown residents have increased 42% to nearly 3700 alarms and yet I am proud to report we are better equipped and further ready to handle these requests than ever before in our 107 year history. 

As you know, the Board of Fire Commissioners manages the overall dealings of the Fire District which encompasses the preparation of a fiscally responsible budget, the purchasing of supplies and equipment as well as the maintenance of all district buildings and grounds. As a successful Smithtown businessman for over 30 years I have utilized my strong planning, organizational, forecasting and budgeting skills to maintain a fiscally sound approach to district operations, while developing a modernized fire service to meet our ever increasing challenges. 

One of the requirements of a Fire Commissioner is the necessity to remain current on both fire service activities and government regulations, and balance those with the financial needs of the taxpayers. Over the course of my service I have adapted to the changing demands to the Fire & Emergency Medical Service, and remained on the cutting edge of new technology, while expanding my knowledge of the social issues that affect our future. I have developed a proficiency in federal regulation compliance and began enacting programs to meet these mandates, while always ensuring our personnel are provided with training that is at the forefront of our industry. If re-elected, I will use this valuable experience to further advance the goals we have set out to achieve and continue to strive for our paramount goal of providing exceptional service to those we protect. 

I have served with enthusiasm and vigor and with your assistance intend to continue leading the fire district towards new heights, while building upon those achievements we have proudly attained. I urge you to exercise your right to vote and ask for you and your families renewed support in my re-election as a Smithtown Fire Commissioner. Join us on December 8, 2015 at the Smithtown Fire Department Main House at 100 Elm Avenue between 4pm and 9pm to support our efforts. 

Sincerely, 

Padraig P. O’Brien
Chairman, Board of Fire Commissioners