Tuesday, November 06, 2007

If A Budget Hearing Is Held In Hempstead And No One Is There To Be Heard. . .

. . .Will Anyone Figure Out That The Only Thing "Frozen" At Town Hall Is Democracy?

A do-over on the Town of Hempstead's "amended" preliminary budget for 2008 (the rubber-stamping comes later), as the Town Board holds a "public" hearing this Thursday, November 8, 2007, at 10:30 AM, in the Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion, adjacent to Hempstead Town Hall, One Washington Street, Hempstead.

Of course, with the budget hearing scheduled for 10:30 in the morning -- when most of us have to work so we can support the special district commissioners (together with their extended families), and pay those outrageous property taxes -- about the only "public" you could expect to be present are Town of Hempstead employees.

And speaking of Town employees, the only people voting for Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray today will be those who are on the Town's payroll -- which, by sheer numbers, should put kate over the top well before the polls close!

If you haven't voted, remember, the polls in New York are open until 9 PM. Put your finger where your money is -- VOTE!
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Also on the Town Board's agenda for November 8th ---

Hempstead's Town Board will hold a formal meeting to discuss actions to improve oversight and accountability of the special taxing districts. Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman recently sent a letter to the Town of Hempstead urging them to carefully review the 2008 proposed budgets of the special taxing districts. The letter to Supervisor Murray follows a number of recent special taxing district audits that found incidents of commissioners committing violations of state law involving waste, fraud, and abuse.

The Town of Hempstead has agreed for the first time that it has the authority to review the 2008 proposed special taxing district budgets.

Residents for Efficient Special Districts (RESD) advises that the meeting will be held during the aforementioned public session on Thursday November 8, 2007, at Town Hall (1 Washington St. in Hempstead) at 10:30 a.m.

Our friends at RESD ask that everyone attending should wear something that is kelly green to show the Town Board that the community supports increased oversight and accountability. [And we thought St. Patrick's Day was in March!]

The question of the day -- in this instance, that day is November 8th: Will this review be anything more than, "looks good to us," amounting to no more than the old wink and nod denial of control that the Town has adhered to ab initio vis-a-vis the special taxing districts?

Time, and the willingness of the Town Board to do more than green light the budgets of district commissioners, will tell.

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