Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Of Cats, Dogs, And Patronage Hounds. . .

Patronage At The Pound (And Other Tales Of A Town Throwing Taxpayers To The Dogs)

Where Even A Dog's Life Is Nothing To Aspire To
We always believed that Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray was kind to her furry friends. She sure takes enough photos with them. Now, reports that GOP patronage at the Town's animal shelter -- with hefty paychecks to party loyalists -- may, in fact, be taking food out of the mouths of those cute cats and cuddly dogs. [Click here to see, Levinson says GOP loyalist paid big bucks at town animal shelter. Watch the video. Its a keeper!]

Imagine that. $100,000 a year for a dog catcher -- or groomer, or whatever it is these folks are being paid, with OUR tax money, to show up (or not) at the animal shelter.

Its silly, of course. PETty, really. Is this all taxpayers in the Town of Hempstead have to worry about? Unfortunately, not!

Or maybe its not silly at all, the enormous sucking sound in our wallets aside. Animal rights activists are up in arms over what is now being revealed as the Town's gross expenditure of funds to grease the palms of the GOP faithful when, at the same time, the Town, pleading poverty, says it cannot afford to spay and neuter the animals in its shelter. Perhaps its not the cats and dogs that need to be spayed and neutered!

So, what's a few hundred thousand here, or another $36 million there? Its only money. And for what a good cause -- so Kate Murray can have those warm and fuzzy photo ops with her canine and feline friends, before they go back into their wire cages, waiting for their highly-compensated caretakers to put them to sleep for the last time.

Hey, its YOUR money! Or is it?
- - -

Beyond The Campaign Signs - And Sometimes In Front Of Them - A Stark Reality
Over the years, we've all seen those signs that had a certain irony to them. For instance, the signs posted along the nation's highways in the 60s that encouraged us to KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL, surrounded by trash and truck parts, obliterated by graffiti. And the signs in front of the power plant that boast CLEAN PROGRESS FOR THE FUTURE, as the blackened smokestacks in the background belch out toxins into the air.

Well, right here in Hempstead Town we can laugh -- or cry -- at similar signs. Signs that speak of trust, of integrity, of doing the job right, superimposed over -- or in front of -- a reality that says, "we've got it all wrong."

We've counted more than a dozen lawn signs, for instance, in Elmont and Franklin Square, that call for voters to Re-elect Town Supervisor Kate Murray, planted on the grass in front of single-family houses known in the community to be home to illegal accessory apartments. We will not publish the addresses of these houses, although the info will be turned over to the appropriate authorities post-election (so no one can use same as political capital before the election).

Over in West Hempstead, a fence that borders a contractor's offices at Hempstead Avenue and Woodfield Road, hosts one of those gargantuan Kate Murray placards (Respected On Wall Street ~ Trusted On Main Street). Immediately in front of that sign -- vehicles illegally parked on the sidewalk. The illegally parked cars and trucks at this location are nothing new. Residents have been complaining about that for years. The Re-Elect Kate Murray sign is new, and residents have just started to take notice and make noise.

Perhaps its not at all coincidental that the Kate Murray signs, and many other political placards around our Town, serve to unwittingly highlight the hapless records of our elected officials in taking action on those quality of life issues that impact close to home. Then again, this could be a new policy by an administration that is right on top of things. See an illegal apartment in a single-family house? Mark it with a lawn sign. Code enforcement so lax that cars are routinely and with abandon (if only by lack of oversight) permitted to park upon and block the Town's sidewalks? Place a re-election banner behind it.

Ever wonder why those who snub the law with impunity appear to be the biggest supporters of the status quo? "Turn the other cheek" may be good for them, but it hurts the rest of us, and costs us plenty!

Like the canine leaving his mark (on the way, no doubt, to the Town's animal shelter), the Town of Hempstead is leaving its markers, pointing out -- with an unprecedented proficiency (one we'd hope they'd use in the ordinary course of the Town's business) -- the violations, the eyesores, and the patently unlawful.

And just on the corner of someplace and nowhere, the Town's street signs missing or obliterated, is a sign-post to which a Kate Murray bumper sticker is firmly affixed. Did the campaign staffer notice, we wonder, let alone report, that the street signs were amiss as he was pasting that placard to the pole? Probably not. And that campaign pastie will, no doubt, be there long after election day, while those proper street signs that should, by right, adorn that pole, sadly, will not.

Hey, its YOUR money! Or is it?
- - -

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again -- As A Consultant
Just when you thought the storms were over, we learn the fate of Michael Brown, George Bush's embattled, clueless appointee and former Director of FEMA, forced to resign in shame after the Feds "We never saw it coming" response to Hurricane Katrina. He's baa-ack!

No, Brown is not the head of FEMA anymore. [Count on "W" not to make the same mistake twice when there are new mistakes to be made by the hour.] Brown does remain on the payroll, however, as a $3,000 per week consultant retained -- now get this -- to investigate what went wrong at FEMA after Katrina. Kinda like having Mrs. O'Leary, and her cow, look into the great Chicago fire. Ya think?

Leave it to the Bush administration to take care of its own, at our expense.

Maybe we could impose upon Kate Murray to find a spot for Michael Brown at Hempstead's Town Hall? We hear he's great with animals. . .

Hey, its YOUR money! Or is it?



  1. I've been to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter many times, the last in late August. The place is a filthy pigstie. No wonder they wouldn't let News12's cameras inside unannounced.

    Not only is the Animal Sheleter dirty, but the staff is often rude, sometimes bordering on abusive. And that's to the people coming to adopt!

    I guess there's only so much you can expect from $100,000 a year employees.

    Where is PETA when you really need them?

  2. How many of those houses with the Kate Murray lawn signs and the illegal apartments are owned by GOP Committeemen? Bet I can pick out more than a few!






  4. Now here's someone (ncres4change) who never has to worry about being governed by his inferiors!

    Just vote that Party line, no matter who's on the ticket, regardless of what they've done for us, without concern for the bottom line.

    No doubt there's a fine line between loyalty and insanity, and someone's taken that giant step over it.

    If, after reading all of the ncres4change posts, you can still say - with a straight face - that the GOP ticket is best for us Long Islanders, then go ahead and vote the Party line.

    Ignorance may be bliss, but its cost has become too much to bear for most of us!

  5. Try answering the question???

    And isn't that the pot callinig the kettle black voting along party lines give me a break!!!!

    Like the Democratic party isn't doing the same thing putting up anyone that has a heartbeat and pushing the party to vote for him/her!!!

    It's not loyalty or insanity that drives me but simply the fact remains that there are no DEMOCRATS willing to answer the question and give me a reason to vote for either Harvey Levinson or Tom Souzzi!!!

    And I don't need to hear the whiny Democratic response that it's time to change the GOP machine politics BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!

    I'm sure that the closer we get to election day the more MUD will be slung from both sides

  6. You complain about the assessment but you never give a reason why. You feel that your homes isn't assest properly but I will venture a guess that your home is under valued. The party that is for less government and lower taxes has given us the largest government with the highest taxes. We have heard about consolidation for many years and now that Harvey Levison has a plan to consolidate the GOP tells everyone that we like the many taxing districts. For years we have heard about an income tax to replace the regressive property tax and when Harvey Levinson talks about a study the GOP tell us we like the way things are.You might think the assessment was wrong or is wrong but you had a life time to blame the the GOP. sO FOR YOU MR. NCRES4CHANGE I will buy your home and give you an extra 50 thousand above your assest value and still make a ton of money when I re sell your home. Just one question for you, are you one of those people in the funny commercial rolling those coins or are you one of those people who after 100 years of one party rule and complaining will send the same people back?IFHarvey doesn't deliever we can always go back to the same garbage and we only wasted a few years,I think 100 years is long enough to get it right, Don't you?

  7. Well "PAT" like I have said before ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!

    NO ONE has and all you want to do is focus on "his" ideas

    And rather than blame the GOP get over it

    The Democrats have had the chance to run the County and maybe it is time to give someone else a chance and like you said if it diesn't work you can always vote them out

    But give it a rest with the scare tactics because that is ALL the democratic party wants to do is remind the County of the past problems with the Gullotta administration!!

    Taxes have been held??? Give me a break

    Cut party patronage??? Additional 413 new employees at a cost of $31 million in additional payroll??

    You don't like my posts too pat tough!

    And no my house isn't underestimated just the opposite!!

    That's why I appealled my assesment
    and I am STILL waiting for an answer but I guess Harvey Levinson is working hard at it ( Running for TOH SUpervisor that is )!!!!