Thursday, July 21, 2005

What We Pay To Play (In The Garbage Game)

Garbage By The Numbers

For those who have been asking, the chart below shows taxes paid by both residents and businesses in the various Sanitary Districts in the Town of Hempstead, based on a hypoyhetical value of $350,000. [Of course that's hypothetical. Where are you going to find a home in Nassau County for $350,000?]

Of interest, the Baldwin Herald reports that "There are approximately 15,000 stops in Sanitary District 2, less than half the pickups in District 6, which comprises 35,000 residents." This notwithstanding, residents in District 2 pay almost as much in taxes for garbage collection as residents in Sanitary District 6. What gives?

It appears that the only Sanitary District in which taxes are lower than those paid by residents and businesses serviced directly by Town of Hempstead Sanitation is District 14, which services East Atlantic Beach and Atlantic Beach Estates. What say we all take our garbage to Atlantic Beach and save a bundle?


Elections for a Commissioner in the beleaguered Sanitary District 2 will be held on Thursday, July 28th. Sitting Commissioner Gerard W. Brown, a career Supervisor of Operations in the Baldwin Fire Department, faces a stiff and vociferous challenge from Laura Mallay, a community activist who calls South Hempstead home.

While Brown may represent experience, having been a Sanitation Commissioner since 2000 (whatever "experience" may represent in what is patently a patronage position), he also carries the baggage of the status quo, the maintenance of which is wholly unacceptable.

Mallay, while admittedly a novice to trash collection (then again, her garbage must be said to be as good as Mr. Brown's), is zealous in her desire to work not for the benefit of the privileged few, but rather, for the good of the public at large. Laura Mallay, like a cool breeze on a hot summer day, represents change - a change that can only take place with an outsider sitting on the inside.

Acknowledging, at least in this particular race, that change trumps experience, The Community Alliance endorses Laura Mallay for Sanitation Commissioner in District # 2.


  1. Hip, hip horray for Laura Mallay!

    How refreshing to see a community activist who is an advocate for the people in more than name only.

    In my community, the local civic association is no more than an extension of the Republican club. A rubber stamp on the agenda of Hempstead Town Hall, and a potted plant when it comes to advocating for the people of the community.

    While some decry Laura Mallay's foray into politics, and suggest that civic associations should shy away from anything that even smells of the political, isn't this what civic involvement is supposed to be all about?

    We need more good citizens like Laura Mallay to challenge the status quo, and more groups like The Community Alliance to be in the faces of the powers that should no longer be!

  2. Sanitary 2 Survivor:

    you criticize your civic association's lack of involvement in politics, yet you claim that it is no more than an extension of the Republican Club. Doesn't that mean, by defenition, that they are involved in politics? Which one is it? Are they involved or not invloved? Oh..I get it. You consider it "being involved in politics" only when they're supportive of your political party?

    Come November, assuming the very real possibility that Levinson defeats Murray, will you be an unhypocritical sport and come back on this board and say, "the Community Alliance is nothing more than an extension of the Democratic Party. We need more groups like my civic association to be in the faces of the powers that should no longer be."?

  3. Do we need civic associations to be political clubs? Political clubs we have enough of (and I'm a member of one - a Republican Club - so believe me, I know). We need civic associations to be involved in their communities. Yes, that means being "political" - but not being entirely one-sided, supporting only the ideas that come out of the clubhouse, and ignoring the other needs of the community.

    We'll see about The Community Alliance, and whose faces they do and do not get into. I agree, there appears to be a "Democratic" slant to the left, but after all these years of leaning to the right - and being bulldozed by the Nassau County Republican Machine, a little "democracy" is refreshing.

    You have to admit, the clubhouse has done us ordinary taxpayers way wrong, from property taxes to sanitary districts. I'm willing, at this point (with barely a dime left in my pocket), to take my chances with change!

  4. San 2 Survivor:

    Beleive me, I'm right with you there. I can't bear the sight of my tax bill goin thhrough the roof anymore than the next guy. There are lots of problems I personally have with the current administration. I even happen to like some ideas proposed by the opposition and would like to learn more about them.

    I can't speak for all civic associations, but the one I'm familiar with coordinates many of their programs through the help of various levels of government. For some programs that almost define their very existence as a public advocacy group, they are dependent upon government support. They coordinate cleanup efforts, hold recreational events, raise public awareness via publicity, with the crucial help of government.

    Now, imagine, for one moment, if they adopted your model of a civic association. I'm not just talking about complaining about the shortcomings of government - but also openly endorsing the opposition. I would highly doubt that the good programs they would like to run would get carried out for very long. The same goes for the opposite argument - If my civic association would blinly defend the current government and incessantly attack the opposition, were that opposition to end up winning, I would tend to doubt that they would get much support from whoever they opposed.

    I don't think it's a matter of who's right or wrong here. It simply depends what you want. If you want a civic association that takes sides with whatever party makes the most sense to the leadership of that civic group - an association that doesn't sponsor community clean ups for lack of funding, one that doesn't publicize anything, one that holds scant social events, then your model will work. But if you want your civic association to hold social events, to hold community events that benefit the neighborhood, that put out publicity to keep residents informed, then you can't demonize and ostracize any one political party that will eventually become the ruling party.

  5. No one is suggesting that civic associations demonize or ostricize - let alone endorse candidates. In fact, my understanding is that civic associations, under the not-for-profit law, are not permitted to endorse candidates.

    That said, we must rely on our civics for more than social events, parades and community functions.

    Sure, we have to work with government officials - no one says otherwise, and we'd be crazy not to. On the other hand, can we just let them get away with anything they want - even that which is adverse to the communities we live in, just to avoid biting the hand that, well, often bites us in the --- anyway?

    There's a balance to strike here. Maybe the Alliance can get away with it because they are not a civic association, per se. And maybe they are a bit (?) over the top for good reason - because they'd never get anyone's attention - the pols or us - otherwise.

    What does it all mean? Who knows? It makes great reading, though - and good laughs. Could be they're on to something. So far, its more than anyone or any organization has given us. We shall see.