Put NJ Municipal ‘Boat Check’ Facilitators Behind Bars | Letters

Much more than a one-day front-page headline (“Cities still awash with ‘boat checks’, study finds”, July 8) must come from the revelation that local governments are flouting the laws of the State prohibiting massive payments to departing employees on sick leave and unused leave. These laws have been in place for over a decade.

Citizens are bound by absolute respect for the laws, but local civil servants acting in cahoots with civil service unions feel free to flout the clearly stated cap of $15,000. Reiteration of the law is not enough in the face of such arrogance and irresponsibility. What is needed is a forceful and multi-pronged response.

Overburdened residents can start by removing officials who break the law from their jobs. Legislators can reduce state aid to offending municipalities by an amount equal to the illegal payments. The Attorney General may prosecute local officials who approved overpayments for misuse of taxpayers’ money and consider recovering recipients’ money under the concept of unjust enrichment,

Finally, concerned citizens can sue the corrupt bums who presided over this outrage for breaching the fiduciary duty owed to them as taxpayers. Between these measures, even the dumbest and most arrogant corrupt pigs will get the message and clean up their act – and maybe the overburdened taxpayers can get a break for once.

John Woodmaska, Kearny

Pair of hit jobs biased against the NJEA

I am writing to express my disappointment in the Star-Ledger for publishing Mike Lilley’s recent op-ed on teacher retention and recruitment, “New Jersey’s public school system discriminates against new and younger teachers.”

I’m also disappointed that the editorial board echoed Lilley’s union-busting views in the recent op-ed, “Money Still Piling Up for NJEA Brass” (regarding the $7.7 million in compensation received in 2019 by the New Jersey Education Association’s 10 Highest Paid Executives).

Lilley founded the Sunlight Policy Center, and an online search shows that one of its main goals is to discredit the NJEA. Its website is littered with anti-NJEA rhetoric. It’s hard to believe this organization is classified as nonpartisan, but the Star-Ledger and its editorial board seem to take their work as gospel.

As a teacher in New Jersey and a member of the NJEA, I’m more than willing to admit there are issues with the organization; however, I strongly disagree with Lilley that the NJEA is the root of all of New Jersey’s political problems. I hope the editorial board will at least acknowledge the obvious bias of Lilley and his organization.

Chris Broadfoot, Franklin Park

The letter writer was wrong about Ukraine

I disagree with Joe Melillo’s recent letter, “Biden should negotiate with Russia, not prolong the war.”

The Ukrainian people are not “sacrificed in a proxy war”. They fight and die defending their homeland against a ruthless invasion. They receive support from NATO.

I refer Melillo to the Spanish Civil War as a specific example of proxy warfare. He equated Ukraine with Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. These are false equivalences. Our involvement, a fight with loss of blood and treasures, was largely due to the lies uttered by the competent administrations.

Once again Ukraine has been invaded. We’ve all seen it on the news. NATO provides tactical and logistical support, not combat troops.

The ‘fear of NATO encirclement’ is a false narrative contradicted by Russia’s own history of aggressive imperialism and subsequent ‘Russification’. Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied Ukraine’s right to exist.

Melillo’s suggestion that President Joe Biden negotiate Ukraine’s future with Russia is dismissive and insulting. Ukraine is a sovereign state that will negotiate its own future.

The author is right to say that diplomacy is preferable. By its very nature, war is a tragedy, but so is acquiescing to predators.

Walter Miziuk, Hamilton

Justice finds it worrying

Based on the recent US Supreme Court decision weakening the federal government’s ability to address climate change through power plant regulation, I believe there is cause for concern.

If a technically advanced society is not influenced by scientific thinking, it could easily succumb to any life-threatening challenge that requires critical and strategic thinking to survive.

And unfortunately, there seem to be a number of these troubling challenges right now.

Richard Weed, Ewing

Warrant limits could help gun limits

Will the cowards in Washington posing as US Representatives and Senators ever fulfill the wishes of 80% of their constituents and ban assault weapons?

I have yet to hear any of these cowardly elected officials give a justifiable reason why anyone outside of the military should be allowed access to such killing machines.

There is only one way to rectify this continuing abomination, and that is to introduce term limits in both houses of Congress. Maybe that way some of those bureaucrats could actually focus on the needs of the country rather than their re-election.

Bob WelgosWharton

Editor’s Note: Recent polls show a a small majority of respondents support a total ban on assault weapons salesbut support for the increase in gun control measures globally reaches the level of 80% quoted by the author.

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Melissa C. Keyes