Thursday, July 14, 2005
Picking Through The Trash At The Town of Hempstead Sanitary Districts
Is That Compost We Smell at Hempstead Town Hall?
No, we're not done sorting through the garbage at the Sanitation Districts in the Town of Hempstead. Far from it!
With that sham of an election in Sanitary District 1 just behind us [SEE Nassau Herald and "Secret Vote" Goes Forward...], and "elections" for Commissioners upcoming in Sanitary District 2 (July 28th, 2 PM - 10 PM) and Sanitary District 6 (August 15th, 6 PM to 10 PM), the heat is on for the Town - and its "special" Districts - to show that the Sanitary Districts' trash is well worth twice the price.
From what we hear from the Commissioners, the District Managers and the folks at Town Hall (including Town Councilman Anthony Santino), the services provided by the Special Sanitary Districts (as opposed to the TOH Sanitation Department) are sooooo good that we're fortunate to have the privilege to pay double the going rate paid by those serviced directly by the Town.
Interestingly, Levittown, home to TOH Supervisor Kate Murray, and East Meadow, the stomping grounds of former TOH Supervisor and County Exec wannabe Greg Peterson, are both served directly by the Town of Hempstead Sanitation Department. Shucks! Kate and Greg miss out on the sheer enjoyment of paying double the tax to have their garbage collected. And what a shame that neither Kate nor Greg have "local control" over their sanitation services. Hey Tony, can we take up a collection for these poor, unfortunate souls?
Truth is, sanitary service in the areas serviced directly by the Town of Hempstead - East Meadow, Levittown, Merrick, Bellmore, Seaford, Wantagh, Lido Beach, Point Lookout and parts of Uniondale - is every bit as good as the trash collection in Sanitary 2 and 6. Geez, it's garbage, stupid. How good can it get? And just how deep do we have to keep digging into our pockets, not only to pay for trash pick-up, but worse, to support an entrenched system of party patronage?
Of course, don't fret for Kate and Greg, for life outside the Sanitary Districts isn't quite as bad as they would have us believe. In fact, in Kate Murray's own words, "The Town of Hempstead Sanitation service is excellent... just as good as Sanitation District number 2."* No wonder Kate and Greg always have those big grins on their faces. They're getting the same sanitation services as those who live in the "special" Districts, and at half the cost!
Assuming we use our noggins and count the nickels and dimes, elimination of the Sanitary Districts, with consolidation of services under TOH Sanitation, is a no-brainer. The jobs of the rank-and-file at the Sanitary Districts are safe. Hey, they actually work for a living. Does the Town of Hempstead really need to operate (and don't let them hoodwink you, these are, for all intents and purposes, TOH operations) 5 separate Sanitary Districts (in addition to its own Sanitation Department), each with, give or take, 6 Commissioners, 17 Supervisors and a Manager? Okay, by a show of hands (or a "no-show" of hands, as the case may be), who is in favor of eliminating the "special" Sanitary Districts and consolidating them under the Town of Hempstead Sanitation Department? Just as we thought!
Given the crock we are spoon-fed by the Town as to the "benefits" of the Special Districts, is it any wonder Kate Murray is always smiling? After all, you can't possibly put this malarkey over on the public with a straight face!
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Around The Sanitary Districts
In Sanitary District 2, Harvey Levinson, Chair of the Nassau County Board of Assessors and candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor (the fella who opened our eyes to the taxing travesty of the "Special Districts"), has called for full disclosure of Sanitary District 2 management salaries and positions. A Freedom of Information Law request was sent July 1, 2005, with no response received to date. [Funny how the Town of Hempstead routinely disregards FOIL requests, isn't it? Maybe they just don't bother to commit anything to writing?]
Also in Sanitary District 2, community advocate Laura Mallay (SEE www.southhempsteadcivic.org/sanit2.htm) is challenging the machine-tooled candidate, looking to consolidate the District with the Town of Hempstead Sanitation Department. The vote is on July 28th. [As Kate Murray said to Laura Mallay, "There is an election every year. If you're not happy, just run for Commissioner." Laura, the Supervisor didn't mean you should actually run, did she? :-)]
In Sanitary District 6, Petitions (to run for a Commissioner's seat) will be available as of Monday, July 25th at the District office (80 Cherry Valley Avenue, West Hempstead). The Petition must have at least 25 valid signatures (persons of voting age who reside within the District). Petitions must be returned to Sanitary 6 by Friday, August 5th. The vote is on August 15th. Any takers?
*June 23, 2005, meeting of ACORN Uniondale/Roosevelt community held at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Roosevelt.