Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Good Government Begins With Good People

"Hello, I must be going. I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going..."
~~ Groucho Marx

Vindicated, at last!

For the longest time we've been "suggesting" that the Nassau GOP form a Retirement Party Committee (surely, they can find a Committee Chair somewhere :-), and show Joe Mondello, the Nassau County capo di tutti capo, the door.

Of course, this was just the rant of a Democrat with a big "D" -- an opinion shared only by the disenfranchised and the disgruntled, and dared to be whispered anonymously on political blogspots and behind tightly closed door.

Now, that door opens up a bit, with even mainstream GOPers suggesting, in the pages of Newsday, no less, that Godfather Joe's time to go has come. [The fact that the Nassau County GOP was MIA at this week's State Republican Party pow-wow was not so much a snub of the Party by Joe Mondello & Company as it was more evidence demonstrative of the fact that Nassau's Republican Party, in the greater scheme of things, is quickly becoming irrelevant.]

John Leboutillier, a former one-term Republican Congressman, joins the growing chorus of GOP Party regulars who sing, not Joe's praises, but rather, his swan song. [SEE It's so, Joe: Nassau GOP needs new leadership].

Not only does Mr. Leboutillier have the temerity to call for Mondello's ouster, intimating that the kingpin's reign has had the effect of a "lingering infection," and that the Party's chief "repeatedly commits acts of political malpractice," he dares to suggest that Nassau County Republicans return to their grassroots, that the Party become "hip to new issues" like urban encroachment and excessive property taxes (Duh. Ya think?), and, would you believe, that (we'd better quote this one) "the party has to renounce political cronyism and endorse government hiring by merit. Having 'connections' has to be replaced by having the skill required to do the job." Oooooh. Can you see them scurrying at Hempstead Town Hall, shouting, "Find a dictionary," as the cronies try to look up the word "merit." "Phew. Here's the dictionary, but the page where 'merit' would appear has been ripped out. For a moment there, we were worried."

Nah, if merit -- or any semblance of "skill required to do the job" -- had anything to do with the GOP's hiring practices (or, for that matter, the practices of government at all levels, regardless of party affiliation), the telephones of community advocates and activists across Long Island would have been ringing off the hooks on November 9th, inviting those most committed to community to immediately send their resumes to Town Hall and the County Seat. Just think, for all the good these gallant stewards of our villages and hamlets accomplish as volunteers, imagine what they could get done if they were on payroll! "Kate, why haven't you called?"

Mr. Leboutillier opines that the next Chairman of the Nassau County Republican Party "must be young, attractive, able to speak well on television and, most of all, not be tied to the past mess that continues to drag us down." Again, we're waiting by the telephone. Ooops. Wrong Party. Never mind!

Far be it for this blogger to say that Mr. Leboutillier is correct. He is, of course, and most Nassau County GOPers, whether publicly or in private, would be prone to agree. The dance may be to a different drummer in Westbury, but the lyrics -- from Groucho's mouth to Joe's ears -- are indelibly the same: "I'll stay a week or two, I'll stay the summer through, but I am telling you, I must be going."
- - -
Another Election, Another Show -- Or Not

Fire District and Water District elections came and went yesterday. Newsday reports that voters turned out in "high numbers," ousting incumbents in more than a few contested elections. [SEE Heated Races In Fire Districts.]

"High numbers" is a relative and rather subjective term, we suppose. In this blogger's Fire District, voting about a half hour before closing time, I was number 31. Moments later, at the polling place for the Water District, I was number 29. Moving up in the world!

Granted, these were uncontested elections, the night was frigid -- and dark, let's not forget dark -- and most folks were content to stay home, presumably stoking the fire rather than voting for its unwitting accomplices.

Yes, there were "upsets," mostly in Suffolk (has Suffolk, in a progressive mode, become the new Nassau?), the impact of firehouse excesses apparently taking its toll. For the most part, though, it was "tow the line" business as usual -- the "all dressed up with no place to go" but the firemen's ball.

Mark Goldstein was, as Newsday put it, "soundly defeated" in his bid to unseat South Hempstead's incumbent Fire Commissioner. The incumbent had been backed by the GOP Machine, while Goldstein enjoyed the support of, er, The Community Alliance. As Ghandi said, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." [At present, we reckon, we are at the "laugh at" stage.] Mark, next time out we'll endorse the opposition. That should give you at least a fighting chance. :-)

Change comes, if at all, slowly. In the Town of Hempstead, as News12's Jerry Kremer put it on that other Election night in November (only in Iraq do they have more elections than we do. Ah, we love the smell of democracy in the morning!), it may "take a higher authority." Until such time as God should choose to intervene here (we understand he's busy with more important matters, like placing Merry Christmas on the lips of Greeters at Target), we'll have to rely on those shifting demographics, gradually changing mindsets, and the oh so fickle will of the voters.
- - -
Another Meeting, Another Show. Please do!

The OCEANSIDE CIVIC ASSOCIATION meets tonight (December 14th) at 7:30 PM.

On the agenda, HOME INVASIONS & THE PROPOSED RECYCLING PLANT (or is it The Invasion of the Recycling Plant? Sounds like a bad night on the Sci Fi Channel.]

The meeting will take place at School #8 located at 3252 Fulton Avenue, Oceanside.

Visit for all the details.
- - -
This Just In . . .

Consider this an endnote, or, perhaps, just the beginning of the end: At yesterday's monthly meeting of the Hempstead Town Board, Supervisor Kate Murray was voted a $15,000 raise. [What are we up to now, around $130,000?] That's an increase of about $800 for each of the 19 percentage points the Supervisor defeated Harvey Levinson by!

No doubt, every Town of Hempstead homeowner will garner from his or her respective employer a corresponding 12% increase in salary -- they'll need it, just to cover the additional property tax. We surmise that Kate Murray's "freeze" does not apply to salaries at Town Hall.

And so, the Supervisor of America's largest township now commands a salary greater than that of the Nassau County Executive.

The Town Board members gave themselves a raise, too -- only $5000. Heck, they deserve every penny. Hope there's something left over for Kate's friends and family. Oh, suffer the poor Republican Committeemen.

We could go on and on about this, but we're certain you'll be receiving a Murraygram in your mailbox real soon with all the juicy details. The caption above Kate's photograph will likely read, "RAISES FOR EVERYONE AT HEMPSTEAD TOWN HALL!" There is reason, indeed, for Kate Murray to smile. . .


  1. When do we get our rebate? Or did they spend the millions they told us they had in surplus? To bad John Lennon is no longer with us, he could have rewritten the song Imagine. Imagine there's no TOH only 1 mayor to oversee all of these taxing Districts. No tax increases only single family homes.Well we can only imagine but the one sure thing is my taxes are not imaginary they are very real. Pay raises for a job well done?

  2. I'm not getting a 12% raise this year. Are you?

    In these times when the average Long Island resident is taxed literally out of house and home, how can a high ranking public employee see fit to take a $15,000 a year raise?

    If the Town has the money to give you a hefty hike in your income, you should first pay the people who make it possible to draw that salary. Give every Town of Hempstead property owner back 12% of the taxes they paid to the Town in 2005. [Which, if I recall, you raised by some 15%.]

    If you look at your 2005-06 School Tax bill, you will see that the combination of Town Taxes and Special District Taxes is GREATER than the sum total of County taxes.

    Last time I looked, the Town was an entity within the larger County, and yet, taxpayers pay MORE to operate Town government than they do to run County government.

    Kate, it is simply not fair that you take while we pay. Renounce that 12% increase and rebate our money to us!

  3. 'Tis the season of giving, don't you know?

    Give yourself a nice raise. Give the voters the old song and dance. Give sweetheart Town contracts to bid-riggers. Give your friends and political hacks no-show jobs.

    "The taxpayer be damned and the electorate be duped!" That's the sign that should hang above the Supervisor's office in Hempstead Town.