Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lighthouse Project? What Lighthouse Project?

Town Supervisor Nixes Meeting, Cites Ethics

If the Lighthouse Project ever becomes a reality at the Nassau Hub, it will have very little to do with the tenacity of Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray, who missed out on yet another meeting with elected officials and developers.

Oh, it wouldn't be right if Murray mingled with the developers when she herself, as a vote on the town board, must sit in judgment on the matter.

Yeah, right. Suddenly Kate Murray is concerned about the appearance of impropriety.

Okay. So don't show. Send a rep. Maybe your dad, Norm, now that he's "retired" as a $130,000 per year Law Assistant for the town, collected nearly $40,000 in severance (plus his pension of almost $50K per annum) and stepped in as a $40 per hour clerk -- in the same department.

Got any of those cushy clerk jobs left, Kate? Need a law assistant?

Its always talk a good game -- no, a great game -- for Kate Murray, but whenever it comes to actually showing up, the Supervisor is too busy or otherwise unavailable.

Gee, Kate, you always have time to show up at a senior center (courting the Alzheimer's vote, no doubt, for no one in her right mind would vote for Kate, unless, of course, she was on payroll), or for some innocuous ribbon-cutting ceremony in Levittown, but on the substantive issues, whether downtown revitalization in Elmont or a round table on plans to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum area, you are constantly and consistently a no show.

Kate, we elected you [well, not all of us] to be our representative at important functions, of which the Lighthouse Project is one.

By missing yet another opportunity to interact and interject, you delay progress and dismiss the public will.

Perhaps more disturbing than the conspicuousness of your absence is the silence of your compatriots at town hall, most notably, your fellow elected officials in Hempstead Town.

Instead of praising you to the hilt, and sticking in a "Kate Murray and I" wherever ink meets paper or lips shall parse, they should be calling a Kate a Kate, demanding that you either step up to the plate or head to the showers.

Worse, still, is the silence of the good people of Hempstead Town, who, whether moved by Kate's irrepressible smile, or simply mesmerized by her iridescent red jacket, refuse to recognize Kate Murray for what she is -- a public servant who serves not the public interest, but only her own. [All right. And that of her dad, brothers, and Lord knows who else.]

If only Kate Murray would look out for John Q. Public as she does for her father, brothers, and sundry other relatives, instead of taking money from our pockets, the town might actually be putting money in!

The smile and the patronizing (no pun intended) rhetoric are disingenuous. The era of fooling too many of the people too much of the time must, at long last, draw to a close.
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From Newsday:

Murray a no-show at Nassau Lighthouse project meeting
10:43 PM EDT, May 11, 2009

There was an empty chair at a meeting held Monday by the Lighthouse Development Group and the Nassau County executive on the fate of the proposed 150-acre mixed-use development around the Coliseum.

It was reserved for Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray.

Suozzi and the developers say Murray was a no-show at the meeting that had been arranged by local labor union officials between Thursday and Sunday night.

But town officials insisted Murray had said she was unavailable even as she said she would meet with the principals at another time.

Both the developers and County Executive Thomas Suozzi said her absence is evidence of a pattern.

"After 31/2 months and at least six attempts to get a 'process' meeting on our project, we were confident that the seventh would be the charm," said Lighthouse president Michael Picker. "We were very disappointed." Suozzi said he found it hard to believe that Murray hadn't agreed to Monday's meeting.

"Why would the developers and members of their team, me and members of my team - all busy people - have shown up after having changed their schedules if they didn't think Kate Murray was going to be there?" he said. "There have been too many instances of her saying [that] she can't go to a meeting, it's not proper - and now, she can go but it's not the right time?"

Suozzi said Murray had also refused to attend a meeting he tried to arrange in March.

Hempstead Town officials have said it's improper for the supervisor to meet with applicants "to discuss the project" of which she will sit in judgment. Murray did meet with developer Charles Wang in January, and officials said she would meet with him again on the approval process, which he has criticized.

Long Island Federation of Labor president John Durso acknowledged Monday that Saturday afternoon Murray said she would "make herself available" for a meeting, but did not commit to attending Monday's meeting - though he "was under the impression" that she would.

Hempstead Town spokesman Michael Deery said that Murray reached out to Lighthouse principals Monday afternoon to set up a new meeting.

By 6 p.m., he said, they hadn't called her back.

Copyright © 2009, Newsday Inc.

1 comment:

  1. It's more than a little ironic that on any given business day, Murray can be heard on Bloomberg radio extolling the virtues of the "business-friendly" climate in Hempstead. This, of couse, is paid commercial time compliments of taxpayers. Despite this, I guess in the case of the Lighthouse project, Hempstead is not so friendly.