Friday, September 30, 2005

Show Us The Money. . .

. . .Or, How To Spend 100 Million Dollars Without Even Trying

Michael P. Mulhall of Point Lookout is a self-avowed Republican County Committeeman. Not that there's anything wrong with that. According to RCA (Republican Committeemen Anonymous), admitting the problem is the first step toward recovery. [Just kidding. Gee, you folks are sooooo overly sensitive.] Seriously, its good to be involved. Misguided, but still involved. Hope remains alive.

Anyway, we first learned of Michael P. Mulhall, Republican Committeemen (for today. By tomorrow, he might resign. "Is." "Was." You know how it goes.), by way of a Letter to the Editor he wrote to the local Herald newspapers, ostensibly as a potshot at Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.

You see, Mr. Mulhall, the Republican Committeeman, believes that Greg Peterson would be the better choice in November based, if nothing more (and there appears to be nothing more to Greg "and your parks are lousy too" Peterson), on Greg being the more fiscally responsible of the two. [Yes, it was topsy-turvy day at Republican Headquarters in Westbury.]

Forget that Tom Suozzi is, flaws and foibles aside, due both accolades and kudos for bringing our County back from the brink of financial suicide. Forget that the Nassau County GOP brought us to the depths of financial despair in the first place. And forget, if you can, that Greg Peterson wants to take us back to that Nassau of old. Then again, don't forget it. There's simply too much at stake to allow nostalgia for the "good old days" of Hoovervilles to cloud our judgment on Election Day.

No, it wasn't Mr. Mulhall's (did we mention he's a Republican Committeeman? Wait, that was yesterday.) incredible play on Peterson's fiscal prudence that prompted this piece. After all, we expect nothing less than themes from bizzaro world from the Borgs who oil the Mondello Machine with money earned through our sweat and toil. It was something else Mr. Mulhall said in that Letter that caught our eye.

You see, according to Mr. Mulhall, when Greg Peterson prematurely left the office of Hempstead Town Supervisor to become Chief of Nassau County OTB just weeks (days?) after his re-election, he left for his anointed successor, Rich Guardino, a $100 million surplus. Greg never did mention a $100 million dollar surplus, that we recall, and Rich told us we were $50 million in the black, but we will make the presumption that Mr. Mulhall, as a Republican Committeeman, knows what we don't - that the Town of Hempstead had a $100 million dollar surplus when Greg Peterson packed his bags at Town Hall for the last time.

So, what happened to half of that $100 million from the time Greg gave up his office for the appointment of his successor until the day Rich Guardino stepped in? We didn't see any rebate checks, returning the people's money to, er, the people, did you? Did Greg take $50 million with him to OTB? "That's $50 million of Joey's Boy to win in the first!" Did we get any tax breaks with this wealth of money in the bank? Nope. Every year since this windfall, the Town - in one or more of its sleight of hand incarnations - raised our taxes. They called it "holding the line." We call it chutzpah!

As Kate Murray was ushered into office (yet another appointee to an elected post. Not that there's anything wrong with that!), the bellows of that Town of Hempstead has a 50 million dollar surplus still echoed throughout the land. Once Kate was elected in her own right, however, we suddenly stopped hearing about the $50 million, let alone the $100 million Greg Peterson is said to have left in Rich Guardino's hands. Gone. Forgotten. What $50 million? Fuggetaboutit!

Where did the money go? Kate cut taxes? Yeah, right. An increase every year, including a 12.8% hike in 2005. Could be Kate spent the $50 million on postage. Or maybe it went to buy turkeys at Sanitary District 2. Who knows? $50 million doesn't go as far as it used to. One tank of gas, if you're lucky.

And it wasn't really $50 million or $100 million or anything like that. After all, you must remember that Kate has "no control" over much of what goes down under color and title of the Town of Hempstead. So, that $50 million, $100 million, whatever, really trickles down to some $3 and 67 cents disposable (through Sanitary District 6) income. Barely enough for carfare. Time for another tax increase, because that "fiscally responsible" shortfall is just around the corner!

What bothers us - even more than the fact that a $100 million surplus seemingly vanished before our eyes (or behind our backs) - is that nobody seems to notice, let alone care. Hey, we misplace our lunch money and we go crazy looking for it. But 100 million dollars? What gives with that?

Fiscal responsibility. Accountability. Transparency. That's what it all boils down to, doesn't it? That's what Michael P. Mulhall, Republican Committeeman, is telling us. We say, believe him! And, having reaffirmed your faith, take just a moment to ask, "WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD'S 100 MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS?"

16 comments:

  1. That's the ticket. Vote for Peterson and Murray on November 8th, and give new meaning to that old proverb, "A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED!"

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  2. A first time reader of this blog. What a blast! I was rolling on the floor with laughter - until I realized that beneath the humor lies a tragedy in the making!

    Where's the $100 million? I can't be certain, but it looks like some of it went to buy $700 dinners at the Sanitary Districts, to pad the payroll at Town Hall with the Friends & Family Plan, and to support 323 Republican Committeemen out of our pockets.

    Still, there's a lot more unaccounted for (I wonder if it was all taken in "cash?"), and no one to watch over the pot at Town Hall. [Maybe the former County Comptroller, Fred Parola, who now holds a cushy 6-figure job as head of the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency, could perform an internal audit. "DONE. The books have been cooked. Everything is looking Grand!"]

    Forget the turkeys at Sanitary District 2 (yes, TOWN Sanitary District 2). We are in for a most rude awakening from Town Hall should we keep the machine truckin' on down the same road. More taxes. Less accountability. And a quality of life equal to none.

    The Murray/Mondello Machine has to go if we can ever hope to stay in Hempstead Town. Greg Peterson's longing for yesteryear has no place here.

    I plan to share this blog with everyone I know. You should too. Every one of us should be asking the questions, and demanding the answers, as posed by The Community Alliance!

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  3. What always seem to bother me was the pharsh we held the line.Even though it was impossible since my taxes are now 7 times higher than when I first bought my home. What bothers me more now is the fact the Town never did their job, they might tell you they did but after 100 tears I mean years of 1 party rule we can see many failures. The largest failure was the lack of enforcement/ All the illegal homes who pay no extra taxes and no fees and the rest of us legal home owners have to pay more. That is the largest failure of this town and that is costing our families not only money but also to leave Long Island. Did anyone ever figure out how many people living in Nasau COunty don't pay any taxes? Between the illegal homes who also get star exemtions to the illgal day workers who are paid very well to the contractors who pay no taxes for their workers. Not to mention those 700 dollar steak dinners, who do you think makes up for all these people who abuse the system? You got it you and I. It is time for a huge change not only to send a message but to set a mandate to deal with these taxing issues.

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  4. The surplus is real, but is divivded among many accounts and special districts. The aggregate surplus for the Town vis a vis its budget should not exceed 10% or 30-35 million per NYS Controller recommendations. But, the town doesn't care. It would rather keep the surplus than return it to the taxpayers. Some of the town's special districts, not the "commissioner districts" [like the five sanitary districts], have surpluses that are three times!! the districts annual operating costs. The Town's finances are abysmal.

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  15. the town doesn't care. It would rather keep the surplus than return it to the taxpayers. Some of the town's special districts, not the "commissioner districts" [like the five sanitary districts], have surpluses that are three times!! the districts annual operating costs. The Town's finances are abysmal.

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