Wednesday, December 13, 2006

M(urray)TV-2: Revenge Of The Town GOP

Its 5 To 1 (plus Kate Murray) On The Town Of Hempstead Board, And 120,000 Residents Don't Stand A Chance

There they go again. Excluding Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.

Bad enough that Town of Hempstead residents are continually left out in the cold by the Town fathers (or mother, as the case may well be), the powers-that-be (for reasons known only to God and Joe Mondello) also make a notorious habit of keeping the lone Democrat on the Town Board in the dark on matters of critical importance -- such as the appointment of commissioners.

Why bother to tell Dot Goosby about an intended patronage appointment, or anything else, for that matter. Let the sole voice of the loyal opposition (to anything) at Town Hall be muzzled, and her constituents be damned.

Shameful is the patronage at Town Hall, where if you are not a GOP Committeeman, well, frankly, you are simply not anything or anywhere. Outrageous is this childish game-play that effectively disenfranchises more than 100,000 Town of Hempstead residents.

"We don't want them to know" has become the standing order of government. From White House to State House, the legislative office building in Albany to town hall in Hempstead, its the 21st Century equivalent of "let them eat cake" -- or, here on Long Island, crumbs.

We elect 'em. They screw us over (and make us pay dearly for the privilege). We elect them again. And we wonder why our taxes go up, and absolutely nothing changes.

So, now the Town of Hempstead has a new Building Commissioner. No doubt we'll be seeing that war on illegal accessory apartments open up on many fronts -- one would be nice. Perhaps we'll have some Code enforcement -- assuming anyone at Town Hall can find a copy of the Code. And those affordable housing starts, the revitalization of our downtowns, and the rebirth of Main Street will most certainly be in the pipeline, right? Okay, we won't hold our breath.

Guaranteed you'll see some (many) mailings, and maybe a TV spot or two, featuring the new commish -- with photos of a smiling Kate Murray, of course. After all, that's what property taxes are for. . .
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Special to The Community Alliance -- New York State Legislature convenes in special session in Albany today. Among the items on the agenda: confirming Pataki's lame-duck appointees; pay hikes for State Senators and Assemblymembers (great part-time work, if you can get it); and a member-item grant of $250,000, sponsored by the Senate's Deputy Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, to be awarded to Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, for purposes of plastering her smiling face on billboards, supermarket checkout counter screens, and personalized postage stamps. Dean delivers. Kate croons. You foot the bill. What could be better?
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Appointment raises concern

Newsday Staff Writer

The Town of Hempstead yesterday appointed a new buildings commissioner over the objections of one councilwoman who said she wasn't even informed there was a vacancy to fill.

Supervisor Kate Murray praised the appointment of John Loeffel, the first deputy commissioner of the department, to replace retired commissioner Joseph Nocella. She called him a longtime "dedicated member of the building department."

Before casting the lone vote against the resolution, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said she learned of the upcoming resolution only on Friday and was handed Loeffel's resume only 15 minutes before yesterday's town board meeting.

Goosby, whose civil rights lawsuit against the at-large system of electing town board members forced the town to create council districts, said that since her election in 1999 she has asked repeatedly to be informed about vacancies so she could propose candidates.

"The continued practice of excluding me and, as a result, the over 120,000 constituents of Councilmanic District No. 1, continues this prohibited policy of exclusion from participation in government," she said in a prepared statement.

Murray and the five other town board members are Republican. Loeffel and Nocella are GOP committeemen, according to election records.

Nocella, who earned $114,502 last year, retired Nov. 12, according to town spokesman Mike Deery.

Loeffel will earn $108,398 as commissioner. He began working for the town in 1969 in the public safety department. He moved to the building department in 1988, where he started as a zoning inspector and worked his way up the ranks, according to town officials.

In May 2005, Goosby objected to two other appointments because she wasn't informed of the vacancies until a few days before the vote.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

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