Suffolk County Court Employee Retirees' Association



President Message Feb 2012

Hello Everyone,
 I hope you all had a great Christmas and Holiday season. Thankfully for those of us in the Northeast The weather has been mild. Some of us are even playing golf in February.
  I know you have just received the Feb. meeting notice and I hope to see a good turnout. Those of you who like to sleep late please try to make it your friends miss you.
 Now is the time to plan for the yearly Luncheon. I already made reservations for us at J&R's steakhouse in Stony Brook for May 1 @ 11:30 or 12. Location is on on Rt 347. Last years turnout was great even though I was just recovering from my 2nd shoulder replacement I had a great time. Please let us know if you can make it ASAP as they need to know which room to reserve and how to set up. E mail Mimi Austin at she will be keeping the count.
 I heard from some snow birds wishing to have it later in the year we discussed this at a meeting and a most of the opinions were that they'll be going away as you will be coming back. My best suggestion is when the snow birds come back up come to a breakfast meeting and we'll see if we can add a lunch date in August
Sept or Oct.My thought would be an additional day maybe later in the month.
 OK that's it for now consider this a Mini news letter LOL. See you all soon.
  George DeAngelis


December ‘10 Holiday Newsletter

Hello again!  Here we are with our fourth Newsletter.  I promise you that this one will be much shorter than the last one. First of all I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and me being me, I have to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanza.  If I missed any let me know and I'll add it next year.  


  It has been an exciting past few months.  As most of you may know there was a retirement incentive offered this year.  Needless to say, many employees took advantage of it.  Our latest estimate is over 100.  This is an unprecedented amount of people leaving in just a few short months.  The courts will surly miss them.  There are hundreds of years of experienced people who have walked out the door.  Their loss is our gain.  Joel and I attended most of the retirement parties and gave a humble little speech (ok for those of you who know me it wasn't so humble). We were well received and many people expressed interest in joining our Association.  Id like everyone one to take note here that this Association’s membership is very open.  Our By-Laws state qualification as follows:

  “Any person, A Suffolk County Court employee retiree, New York State, New York City Counties of the State of New York and political subdivision of the State of New York, Counties of New York Townships of the State of New York retiree”.

  I bring this up because at our December meeting a question was asked if Nassau County had this type of organization.  As far as I know, we are unique.  So if you know anyone who’s interested please let them know that they are welcome.  Any Judges or Attorney’s are also welcome to come on down.  After all, “The Price is Right”.

  Our annual December meeting was very exciting; at least fifty were in attendance.  That’s a record as far as I know for any meeting so far.  Tom indeed would be proud.  I know I am. Remember, this whole thing started with just three people: Jim Murphy, John Chojecki and Tom McGuinness.  As of yesterday we are over 310 members and growing. Who knows where we can go with enough numbers.  Tough political times are ahead of us and there is strength in Numbers.  If fact, Newsday on the day of this writing is attacking pensions and will continue to do so. This Liberal Rag blames us, meaning retirees’ for all the states fiscal problems.  And Mario Junior will be sure to try and go after us.  Harry Carr, a retiree, is still a Trustee in the Union and continues to watch out for us.  He reports regularly on the state of affairs and is adamant about everyone canceling their Newsday subscription and letting them know why. LEAVE OUR PENSIONS ALONE.  I agree! Be proactive not reactive. OK that’s my rant for the season.  Hope you liked it.

  More exciting news, especially for me, is our website.  It is UP AND RUNNING.  It’s still a work in progress but I am very proud of the efforts of Jeff Davis, our Web Master, to make my dream of bringing us closer together a reality. It’s even easier to log on.  We purchased a new domain name which makes it so easy to gain access to the site.  Just go to your tool bar and type in and voila, you’re on.  Put it your bookmark or favorite places and visit often.  This Newsletter as well as monthly minutes will be posted.  By posting these there will be no real need for me to repeat stuff that’s already been covered.  Most exciting of all is the NEW SCCERA Forum.  Just sign on, I used my name so everyone will know who’s posting, create a password and you’re immediately ready to post a note.  There are different categories so in the event that someone wants to open a specific discussion group they can.  As of today there are 2 discussions up: Hello and Information.  Jeff and I did this as a test so click on either one or both and see how easy it is to use.  This is a great social network tool.  Over past years at meetings people have discussed trips to Atlantic City and the problem was how to get it out there.  Now we can.  If you want to have an event like a fishing trip, gold outing, Christmas or holiday party, just post it.  Even to get together for an informal dinner, just put it out there.  The ideas are limited only by our imaginations.  This is finally a way to reach out to all of our retired brothers and sisters and reconnect.  As you can tell I’m very excited by all of this and if anyone has suggestions on improvements PLEASE let us know because we are a work in progress.  I just happened to check the site and Angie N just posted a comment.  That’s 3, this is progress!  Let’s keep this going and you folks without computers please try your Local Library to get connected. I promise you won’t be sorry!  There’s a wealth of information at your disposal.  Take that first step!  Other benefits on the site are the calendar so you can check when and where our meetings are.  Just put your arrow on the date and the information will appear in a window.  Also, there are links to other sites such as the Union office. You can even send your picture in and we’ll put it on your forum name.

NEWS:   I’m sorry to announce that Linda Weaver has resigned her position as Secy/Treas. Linda has been with us since the inception of our Association.  She has been invaluable to Tom and I, as well as the whole organization.  I’ve mentioned her tireless work in the past and cannot express in words the admiration that I have for her.  Without her hard work and determination we would still be struggling to get back on our feet since Tom’s passing.  So Linda, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.  I know you will enjoy just coming to breakfast and we will love having you there.

On a happy note, recent retiree Kathy Leppla has agreed and was voted on at the November meeting to be the new Secy/Treas.  Welcome aboard Kathy!  We’re glad to have you with us.

We have been considering splitting this position to separate Secretary and Treasurers posts. Victor Rossomano has expressed interest in being Treasure, so we will decide on this shortly. Right now we are waiting for the transition between Linda and Kathy to smooth out.  Linda officially leaves her post on December 31 and Kathy will take over at the January 4th meeting.

1.      Dues: The Association’s dues of $25 are now due. A change to the by-laws was made at the November meeting. The amendment provides that new members will pay $25 when joining our organization.  Existing members who renew their membership will pay $25 to cover a 2 year renewal. Please send your checks to one of the two addresses listed at the end of this Newsletter.

2.      Thought is being given to an ID card for Peace Officers under HR 218.  If you are a Peace officer and are interested, please contact myself or Joel.


3.      Welcome new members: Harry Meyer, Norman Klein, Victor Rossomano, Kathy Leppla, Bob Wisbauer, Pat Agelis, Pamela Borock, Phil Costigan, James DePasquale, John Edgar, Frank Grossman, Scott Loren, Mike Macri, Mike Tesauro, Maureen&Ed Wozencroft. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you and more at the next Breakfast meeting.

4.      In Memoriam: Harry Manzer’s Father, John Tolento’s Brother,  Ralph DiGioia’s Wife, Linda Weavers’ Sister in Law, Pat Rising’s Husband, Rich Molinelli’s Mother, Mark and Richard Roberts Father, Marion Mazzo, Son..  Also, member Helen Gonzalez.  Members please remember the union has a $2,000 death benefit.  Let your families know in their time of need, every little bit helps.  Also, FOP members have a Death Benefit.  There may also be a Benefit through Retirement system so please check.

5.       We have obtained a P.O. Box to help with mailings. As a professional organization we found this to be a step in the right direction. The address is SCCERA  P.O. Box 26, Farmingville NY 11738.  For now you may also still use the 118 Harrison Ave. address.

Union News:  Tom O’Neill is a new retiree and as such has given up his position as President of the SCCEA. Brian Mischo is interim President and awaiting a special election. Brian is not seeking the post. Check the SCCERA website for updates.

I remain Fraternally Yours,

    George DeAngelis

      President SCCERA

Contact info: 


C/O Joel Shapiro

18 Harrison Ave, Bellport , NY 11713


P.O. Box 26, Farmingville NY 11738


Summer ’10 Newsletter


Hello members welcome to our 3rd Newsletter. First I’d like to apologize for the length between these Newsletters I am not as adept as Tom was in writing these things. I for one believe Tom got some of his angst out by typing. Still that’s not a legitimate excuse suffice it to say I’m doing my best.

To alleviate the Newsletter issue I have some great news, well great for most of us anyway. We the SCCERA are going on the World Wide Web. After our last meeting with the help of Bob Arndt Jeff Davis and Joel Shapiro we now have a Web Site. We’ve opened an account on under SUFFOLKCOUNTYNYCOURTRETIREES.COM We discussed this at a few meetings and voted on doing it. The idea is to keep members up to date on at least a monthly basis. Our plan is to post the minutes of each meeting on the site so that YOU can keep informed to what the goings on of the SCCERA are monthly. We plan on putting links to other sites like the Union Web site, RPEA (Retired Public Employees Association) which if you can afford it I recommend joining. Others links will be discussed and added with Board approval. This is an important advancement for our group and keeps with our Charter in keeping members informed. We also hope to have an input section so that you can communicate with us at any time. With this you can share your thoughts and ideas. Also with this Website we could virtually eliminate a Newsletter which is arduous for me to write and too infrequent for you to enjoy. With this I will post monthly update as well as the monthly meetings minutes. This Association is so widespread with members in many different states this will make us all a bit closer. Even local members who can’t attend meetings because of work or other commitments can keep to date.  I know for those of you without computers this may be perceived as a problem however there is access at your local libraries. If those of you without computers still want a traditional type Newsletter we will copy some of the important information and mail it to you periodically, but I urge you to try to find computer access.

  To go onto this site all you have to do is type in and when we are up and running you will have members access.  We realize this is a long address; however, domain names with SCCERA were already taken. As of this writing the site is not up and running but I urge you to check often because I’d like at least to try to have the September minutes posted., Thank you all for your patience and continued support.


News Old and New:  The zippered portfolios provide by the Union were all distributed. We hope that you found them useful.

            1. Maureen D’Abramo was elected as our third trustee at our December meeting.  She is replacing Ray Farrell, an original founder who at the time relocated to North Carolina . Ray has just moved back and I for one am glad he’s home. Welcome back Ray even if it’s only on a part-time basis.


            2. We have moved our alternate Diner meeting place to the Hauppauge Diner on the corner of Routs 347 & 111. All the members seem to be happy about the change. The Diner is still convenient and the meeting room can hold more than enough people should the need arise. More importantly the food is very good. It seems a pity that after so many years the Millennium Diner would not listen to our warnings.


            3. Once again as always I urge all members to keep updated on the State of the State. Many rumors continue to circulate on what will happen to our pensions and health insurance and other retiree benefits. These are indeed concerns. Know who your legislators are and write to them. They do listen to e-mails and hand written letters. Do not join in on chain e-mail petitions because these are most often scams to get all your e mail addresses, so avoid them.  Besides, Legislators and government pay no attention to them at all.

  Harry Carr remains a Trustee with the union and continues to “watch our backs”. Make no mistake in these trying economic times we are easy targets so vigilance is our best weapon. Again, check in with the REPA organization they are huge and they advocate for all retired public employees. The Association has paid Joel Shapiro’s dues for this group as he is our Legislative chair as well as Vice President.

  Another issue is the Government adding our Health insurance benefit to our W-2 at the end of the year. The rumor is if your insurance is considered a Cadillac plan you will have to pay Tax on it. I spoke to my accountant and as of now it’s not being enacted. If you’re not happy with the goings on of Government then Vote the Bums out. Seems to me Government is working against the working class and not for it. This is of course my opinion and as always I also can be voted out.


            4. Tom O’Neill informed me in March that there were no school tours to the court houses. Once again the OCA-DAJ’S office seemed interested in having retirees volunteer to welcome participants and begin their tours then turn them over to Court Officers or other court employees. No one in our Association has stepped forward to volunteer so the status of the program remains in doubt. If anyone is interested please contact us.


            5. Neill Keefe sent a letter to his representative urging the increase the earning limit of retired employees at a public Agency from $30,000. The reason being that after that limit has been reached an individuals pension is reduced. Joel reported at the May meeting that a Bill was passed raising the limit to $32,500.


            6. The May luncheon was again held at J & R’s steakhouse in Rocky Point. 4o Members attend and a good time was had by all. The food and service was good with a couple of exceptions. The prices here are very reasonable and the accommodations are acceptable. The only issue is not having adequate Handicap access.


            7. Linda Weaver has been having many computer problems. She spends a great deal of time on our behalf on it and these problems have made things increasingly difficult for her.  Discussion was had and motions were made for Linda to buy a new computer as well as a printer and a backup hard drive and any software and accessories she may need to make her tasks easier. A limit of $2,000 dollars was put on this and as of this writing Linda has bought the computer. A report of costs will be given by her at the next monthly meeting on Sept.7th at the Hauppauge Diner.


8. Despite the efforts of RPEA, new legislation has been passed that mandates that the cost of reimbursing Medicare-primary enrollees for their Part B premium costs be included as a component cost of New York State Health Insurance Plan (NYSHIP) premiums.  We will still be reimbursed for the cost of the Part B premium, but these costs to employers will increase the program cost for all NYSHIP enrollees.   It also seems that deductions will be imposed back to April 1, 2010.


9. Current Membership is at 282. We have had several new members over the past few months and we welcome them all including: Paul Cicalese, Linda Bianca, William D’Amrosia, Susan Curth and Robert Arndt.

Relating to new members there has been a retirement incentive and well over 70 people may be taking advantage of it. My understanding is that it is going to be in two stages. Congratulations to all those new retirees. We look forward to welcoming you as new members. Your insight and input will be valuable to us. Among those retiring will be Mary Gene Caminiti She was Tom’s right hand Girl/Woman for many years in the union office and I am excited to have her join us. There will be many more and we will list them either on the New website or in a Future newsletter. When we have information on retirement parties we will post them on the future website or have John McSherry e-mail them out. The ones we know about already are the Country Court Retirement Party to be held at Majestic Gardens on Thursday, September 30, 2010 and the Supreme Court retiree’s party to be held at Willow Creek Country Club on October 7, 2010.


      10. Treasury stands at $9451.69 as of our August meeting. This does not count of course the money spent by Linda for the computer as mentioned above. Dues have been a topic of discussion at many meetings. We will collect dues this year. Joel will be sending notices out with the notification for our Annual meeting in December.

 We have been holding back on dues because of excess funds in the past. But we have been spending money with the new computer, the website, mailing for the Portfolio books and we need to print up all new Membership cards. Our plan is that all new members will pay the initial $25 dues and thereafter we will collect $25 every 2 years for existing members. We hope that all of you renew and remain viable members. So look for your notices and renew quickly, as this helps us to keep our record keeping simple.


Union News:  As we know the State has not yet passed its budget. O’Neill informs me that they are still negotiating. Who knows what the future holds. You can refer to my comments on Government several paragraphs back. Also please remember that the office has a conference room and you can go in and look at some old pictures or View Tom’s Memorial service. Please just call before you go. Also the Union Scholarship was renamed in memory of Tom McGuiness.


Member Status: Once again please remember to advise us of changes in e-mail, address or phone numbers they are vital to keeping our records current.


Health and Wellness: Some of our members had injuries or illnesses over the past several months. Many have recovered. Woody Goldstein and Bill Mayday are still healing as far as we know their outlooks are good. Get well soon guys, we wish you well.


In Memoriam:  Sorry to report the passing of the following friends and family of members as well as non-members: District Court Assoc. Court Clerk John Lovrich’s son John was killed in a cycling accident while in Germany . John’s mother also passed away about one month later. Hugh Conroy’s father and Neil Keeffe’s mother in law also passed. Dennis Quirk’s wife Doreen passed. Dennis is the long time president of the NYC Court officers Association. Former Senior Court Officer Brad Newcombe and Millie Bachman’s husband Charles also passed. Retired Court Clerk Richard Clark, retired SCO Don Ambrose’s wife and Lynn Schimmel’s husband Bob a retired Suffolk Count Sherriff also Passed away. These are all the passing’s that we know of dating back to December 2009. Our prayers and sincere condolences go out to all their friends and families.

 Again if anyone hears of an illness or deaths please let us know.  In the future we can post it on the new website for more timely notification.


Other News: Jeff Davis has agreed to be Web master of our new site. Bob Arndt Joel and Dan Tarantino offered their assistance to Jeff. Thanks Guys. We can expect a COLA adjustment of $216 per year or $18 per month pretax that figure is based on $18,000(the maximum considered for COLA adjustments). Thank you Gov’t, we’re all gonna be WEALTHY. Sarcasm intended.

 A suggestion was made to make member information available to all members. The Board is concerned with privacy issues. If you have any input on this please let us know.

 Harry Carr urges us all to stop purchasing Newsday because they continually bash NYS retirees in relation to the States dire financial condition. There also has been NO increase in Welfare benefits for retirees for several contract periods. Thanks Harry, it seems Government thinks we keep getting richer… again sarcasm. Oh and by the way, Joel, who is also President of his local CSEA chapter for code enforcement, reported that in a Newsday article NYS ended in surplus this year. Need any more sarcastic remarks?  I didn’t think so. And finally directly from the last news letter and included as a reminder:

 As you all are probably very aware, New York State is once again in a fiscal crisis.  Governor Patterson is imposing many new taxes and cutting many services.  Let’s not kid ourselves; no one is safe from his hatchet.  Please keep up with news relating to our pensions and health insurance.  Go to, find your Senators and Congressman and email them of your concerns about losing hard fought for benefits.  Remember, we can all be just one step away from being broke!!!


Once again thanks for putting up with my tardiness (although this newsletter DID take me over 7 hours to write!) and some of my ramblings. And don’t forget that we always need help so please step up and volunteer.


I remain Fraternally Yours,

   George DeAngelis

     President SCCERA


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