Letters to the Editor: 08.27.98

Our readers' comments

A Hero
East Hampton
August 20, 1998

To The East Hampton Star:

I thought the small article in the Lafayette alumni news of interest when I read it - and knowing what appears to be the record of our present President.

I graduated from Lafayette in 1928 - It was not a co-ed college at that time.

I always liked President Bush. He was - to me - a hero.

ED OSBORNE


Mr. Osborne enclosed a copy of the alumni news item and the three-dollar bill reproduced here. Ed.

Show Commitment
East Hampton
August 18, 1998

Dear Editor,

We, the Civil Service Employees Association employees for the Town of East Hampton Department of Human Services, were quite disappointed by the July 3 Town Board response to the ongoing stalemate in contract negotiations. The town's position showed no inclination to narrow the gulf which exists between East Hampton Town and other Suffolk County municipalities.

On the contrary, in response to the above and as its guideline for potential agreement, the board cited recent settlements with other East End bargaining units averaging 3 to 3.5 percent per year, without citing the fact that East Hampton C.S.E.A. employees are currently paid 35 to 50 percent below neighboring towns.

In fact, East Hampton wages are some of the lowest in Suffolk County. If the board wishes to compare us in terms of future wage increases, then make us comparable in terms of wages. A 3-percent increase for a Southampton employee may be satisfying in that they are already making 50 percent more than we.

The board continued by stating that this possible 3 to 5 percent concession on their part is "well above the New York Area Consumer Price Index," while turning a blind eye to the fact that East Hampton consumer prices are some of the highest in the Northeast, i.e., food, fuel, housing, etc. This leaves C.S.E.A. employees in the position of having the lowest wages and the highest cost of living.

The town's proposal of giving an insignificant wage concession, coupled with givebacks in medical benefits, is likewise indefensible as it would negate any pay increase. For those who are unaware of the situation, we must add that East Hampton C.S.E.A. employees have not recently fallen behind on the wage scale, but have been historically behind the rest of the country. In fact, many of us raising families are only a few percentage points from public assistance levels.

Fred Thiele made a compelling argument for the formation of Peconic County, based on the fact the East End towns collect enough revenue from their tourist industries and the taxes levied on lavish homes to support the infrastructure of an entire county. If this is the case, where are the few dollars necessary to pay our own people respectable wages?

The character of a town is not only based on its physical beauty, but on the way its people take care of one another. It seems time that East Hampton rewards the people who make this town a great place to visit and live in, and who are in no small part responsible for the popularity of our area, by beginning the process of moving the union employees, in many cases, out of its shadows of poverty and within reach of competitive wages.

East Hampton Town government deserves a great deal of credit for its commitment to the development of so many meaningful and successful programs serving its residents, and it must now show a commitment to the people who are directly responsible for these successes.

Very truly yours,

AUDREY GAINES
CRAIG KARLEBACH
LISA CHARDE
C.S.E.A. Members in the
Human Services Department

Outrageous Fee
East Hampton
August 20, 1998

To The Editor,

It is outrageous! The village beach parking sticker went from $110 to $150 not long ago and to $200 just last week. Not many people are aware . . . it was done quietly.

The beach season is really only three months - June, July, August. And for what? Lot number one has had broken glass, empty cans, and debris all over for two weeks now. The water from the spigot on the east side of the pavilion runs down the sidewalk onto the pavement, creating puddles every day.

If we can't stop the rise in the sticker price, at least give us services.

JANE ADELMAN

Ugly Garbage Cans
East Hampton
August 20, 1998

To The Editor:

The village should replace the ugly industrial green metal garbage cans placed randomly on the sidewalks with prettier containers. Many towns and villages have lovely gray or beige wooden structures, some with pebbled sides, to contain the containers. Why doesn't the village take these relatively inexpensive and easy steps to beautify?

MARIE R. DAVIS