It’s time for a utility cap
To the Editor:
I recently wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and other elected officials on behalf of the 20,000 hardworking residents of Lynbrook, asking them to seek legislation to protect us against skyrocketing utility bills. Specifically, I asked that they impose a 2 percent cap on utility rates, similar to what the state has placed on property taxes.
Passage of this legislation is necessary, as it is the only sure way to regulate a utility industry that has burdened residents in this district on an annual basis, sometimes with double-digit increases. Operating as quasi-public utilities, they also enjoy a virtual monopoly, thereby justifying the rate cap.
Despite the state’s rate regulation through the Public Service Commission, annual increases that are more than double the consumer price index are commonplace. The big three utilities — National Grid, PSEG Long Island and New York American Water — are investor-owned companies whose mission is to generate a profit for their shareholders. The stock price of American Water, the parent company of New York American Water, for example, has increased 38 percent over the last year because of consecutive annual rate increases approved by the PSC.
While it is the mission of these utilities to generate the highest profit, it is our duty as public servants to protect the interests of our constituents. Ironically, the 2 percent cap on property taxes serves to reduce the expenses of utilities to enable them to increase their profits. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the 2 percent cap into law during a visit to Lynbrook in 2011. It is only appropriate that Kaminsky endorses this concept so that the governor can return to the village to sign another bill into law.
Alan Beach, Village of Lynbrook mayor
Stick to the truth this election season
To the Editor:
It is time once again for the season of lies as politicians show their ugly sides while claiming to serve the people of Nassau County. Yes, it is election season.
As a former president of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce and a hopefully respected resident of Lynbrook, I am appalled at the recent literature being spewed on our lawns and in our mailboxes trying to destroy the good names of those individuals who are trying to make a difference in this community.
A recent flier depicted County Legislator Bill Gaylor as a self-serving man who thinks only of himself. I have known him for 10 years, and he is a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army who served his country for 23 years. He is a fine attorney who has helped many people seeking legal advice. To say that he has profited by acting as an attorney in seeking to get a variance in a case involving the opening of a gun shop is an outright lie. One only has to look around and see the goodness in this man to know that he only has the best interests of his constituents at heart.
I am all for good, clean competition in business and politics, but let’s start by being honest in our claims. Stop trashing people on both sides and bring out the good in people. Gaylor is a good, honest man, and I want people to know that side of him and ignore the falsehoods from those seeking only to win an election.
Carol A. Burak, Lynbrook