Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kat Keeps Her Kitty

Town Supe Shows Backbone In Voting Against Health Benefits For Part-Timers

Its not often that we give kudos to Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, but this one deserves more than a pat on the back.

Supervisor Murray offered a resolution before the Town Board eliminating costly health benefits to part-time employees -- including the wife of former Senator Al D'Amato, who just happens to sit on the Town's Zoning Board.

In steps Councilman Tony Santino, henchman for party Chairman Joe Mondello, introducing an amendment scrapping the benefit for members of the Town's Civil Service Commission, but keeping the perk intact for the part-time members of the Zoning Board. Here's to your health, Kat D'Amato!

Whether a matter of conscience, or simply political convenience, Supervisor Murray, siding with the Town Board's lone Democrat, Dorothy Goosby, voted against the proposal as amended.

The idea behind the original proposal was that no part-time town employee should receive fully paid health benefits -- period. Bravo, Kate, for sticking to your guns here.

Of course, let's not read too much into Kate's magnanimous vote. It would have been tantamount to political suicide for Kate to vote in favor of free bennies for Kat and her cronies on the Zoning Board. She knew the vote would be in the bag, anyway, the Town Board passing the resolution, as amended, 6-2.

True, Kate Murray played to the audience -- or at least to the press. In this instance, however, in the typically monolithic, self-serving process that pervades Town Hall, she did the right thing.

And Kate Murray voting with a Democrat? Wow! That has to be a first in the annals of Hempstead Town Hall.

The forerunner of better things to come, where people over party is the norm and not the aberration? We can only hope.

As for Tony Santino, and the five other Town Board members who voted with him, shame on you. You will no doubt have the thanks of the D'Amatos. From the rest of us, you get a big Bronx cheer.

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