Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Campaign Garbage On Our Dime

Sanitation Supervisors On Campaign Trail in Sanitary District 2 - All In A Day's Work!

They've gone too far.

First it was Kate Murray, using taxpayer paid mailings to campaign for re-election. Now, in a hotly contested election for a Commissioner’s seat in Sanitary District 2 (South Hempstead, Roosevelt, Baldwin and part of Uniondale), Supervisors – yes, paid Supervisors – of the District are handing out campaign literature – under signature of your popularly elected Board of Commissioners – refuting claims that the District is a wasteful sink hole of political turpitude.

It is one thing for a sitting Commissioner, running for re-election, to – at his own expense – print out and distribute literature that purports to dispute his opponent’s claims, but for an “elected” and paid Board to promulgate, and salaried Supervisors to distribute, pure campaign literature is the stuff that Grand Jury Indictments are made of.

The handout states, among other things, that “The primary reason taxes vary between Sanitary Districts is the same as in all school, library, fire and police districts and Incorporated Villages in the County. The simple answer is the Nassau County assessment of taxable properties.”

Oh, that says it all. We’re not talking about the varying costs of Special Ed programs or transportation, or even disparate costs for teachers’ salaries and the maintenance of buildings and grounds. We’re talking about GARBAGE COLLECTION!

We all have to have our trash and recyclables picked up from our homes and businesses and transported to the dump. And we all should have the same services for which we all bear the same expense.

Do we pay a different tax rate depending on where we live in the Town of Hempstead for services provided by the Nassau County Police Department? If so, then we suggest an investigation is in order. We know that we pay different taxes for our multitude of Fire Districts, but that’s another story for another day.

To pay different tax rates so we can have different people pick up our garbage in different areas of the Town is nothing short of absurd, and to have these political hacks – those with their patronage jobs on the line and their hands in our pockets – tell us otherwise (on our dime, no less), is nothing short of unconscionable.

The missive distributed by the Board of Commissioners of Sanitary District 2 cautions residents that (should there be consolidation with Town of Hempstead Sanitation), the Town “is under no obligation to hire any employee from Sanitary District 2.” Gentlemen of the Board, in case you haven’t looked, the rank-and-file employee, with rare exception, is Civil Service. We need the folks who pick up the trash, consolidation or not. What we don’t need are umpteen Supervisors and an untold number of Commissioners, who are the only ones who would lose their jobs under consolidation. Good riddance to bad rubbish, we say!

The Board of Commissioners of Sanitary 2, through its campaign handout, goes on to argue that the District “provides one of the highest levels of services in the County.” For goodness sake, its GARBAGE COLLECTION! Besides, Town Supervisor Kate Murray has already conceded, publicly, that the services of Town Sanitation are just as good as the services provided by Sanitary District 2.” Next case.

Point 3 of the Board of Commissioners is almost beyond belief: “Sanitary District 2 works closely with our local schools and fire districts, providing them with inter municipal agreements to help hold the line on taxes.” Yikes. Do they mean that if serviced directly by Town of Hempstead Sanitation, the trash at schools and firehouses within Sanitary District 2 will be left to rot on the streets? And “hold the line on taxes?” No oxymoron here. Just morons. Duh! Sanitary District 2 residents already pay twice the tax paid by residents served by Town Sanitation. Watch where you hold that line!

Finally, the Board of Commissioners argues (we wonder who writes this trash) that the Sanitary District “works closely with community groups… sponsoring events like the Big Sweep and programs like the Classy Cans. Consolidation would end this vital local level of accountability.” Are you buying into this, folks? The civic and community groups – who do all the foot work in promoting and sponsoring these events and programs – won’t bring you a Big Sweep or Classy Cans without the assistance of Sanitary 2. What utter rubbish!

As for that “local level of accountability,” how about a Town Supervisor who exerts at least some level of “local control,” bringing back accountability to Town Hall? Now there's a classy can the voters should consider trashing come November 8th!

The Commissioners of Sanitary District 2, in their taxpayer financed and employee distributed campaign literature, tell residents that “the service Sanitary District No. 2 has provided you… for over seventy-five years should continue.” Here at The Community Alliance, and in households throughout Baldwin, Roosevelt, South Hempstead and part of Uniondale, we believe that more reasoned thought will prevail, and that voters will say, “after seventy-five years, we’ve had enough!”

The vote for Commissioner in Sanitary District 2 is Thursday, July 28th, 2 PM to 10 PM. Sanitary District 2 encompasses Baldwin, Roosevelt, South Hempstead and part of Uniondale.

If you live in Sanitary District 2 - or know someone who lives in Sanitary District 2 - get out the word. Every vote counts. And every vote to dismantle this inequitable and unfair system of costly patronage feifdoms is a vote to restore true local control to Town government.

The voting places for the Sanitary 2 elections are as follows:

Roosevelt (part Uniondale): Queen of the Most Holy Rosary - 196 West Centennial Avenue, Roosevelt, NY

Baldwin: Sanitary District #2 Headquarters - 2080 Grand Avenue, Baldwin, NY

South Hempstead: Covert School - 379 Willow Street, South Hempstead, NY



  1. The sheer nerve of these guys. Its one thing for a Town employee to put a KATE MURRAY bumper sticker on his car (as per marching orders). Its quite another for a Town employee, on company time, to distribute campaign literature on behalf on a candidate for public office.

    As for the Board of Commissioners signing off on the campaign letter and sanctioning its public distribution, that's absolutely shocking to the conscience.

    This info needs to get out to the voting public, if not in time for the July 28 Sanitary District 2 election, then certainly before the November 8 General Election.

    What's going on in the Town of Hempstead is an outrage. We cannot afford to keep paying these taxes, or to keep burying the untoward conduct of our elected officials along with yesterday's trash!

  2. I have yet to hear anything about actual operating costs, differences in how trash is handled, or differences regarding recycling practices amongst the districts in any of these discussions. I, like the next Town of Hempstead resident, am outraged at the brazen patronage, graft, and almost lawless behavior allowed by the Town, but, can we talk actual work processes here???

    For example, I understand that District 1 uses "post-collection separation methods" to comply with NY State recycling law.

    How much money is returned to the district by the fees earned by being a major fuel supplier to American RefFuel?

    And where do the rest of the recycled materials go? And who benefits from that? (Not to mention who gets the carting contracts.)

    This piddling little argument about electionering is small change compared to the real crimes being committed here.

  3. LITTLE is known about Sanitary District 1's operating costs. If you look carefully at the budget the district submitted to the Town of Hempstead budget
    (it's online at www.townofhempstead.com),
    you will see that Sanitary Distict # 1 submitted the LEAST amount of information
    of ALL the commissioner-led districts. Something smells like garbage all right!
    How is something like this exposed properly? I would LOVE to see what the district recoups either in rent or recycling fees from ReFuel. By the way, WSI has been dumping at the recycling site - the site isn't EXCLUSIVELY being used by Sanitary Distict # 1 garbage. Are there additional payments being made? To whom? WSI tractor trailers go there FULL every day and they aren't dumping it ANYWHERE else but "up the ramp".