Debunking The Murray Myth
Trusted on Main Street.
That's Kate Murray's credo, as she gears up -- Town Clowns and GOP goons in tow -- for another run for Town of Hempstead Supervisor.
Trusted on Main Street? Which Main Street would that be?
Certainly not on Main Street in Elmont, where promises of downtown revitalization have been as elusive as Ms. Murray at community forums.
Not on Main Street in West Hempstead, where "trust" went out the window in 2005, after the Supervisor reneged on her promise to shutter the no-tell Courtesy hotel "by year's end." [When last we looked, that hotel was still open for business. Hey, it's a process for the Town of Hempstead. A long, loooong process.]
Nowhere on the streets of Uniondale, where delay upon delay has dimmed the light of the Lighthouse Project, and shattered hopes of Nassau County's much-needed redevelopment of its central hub.
Not on the Town's Main Streets, wherever they may be seen to crumble throughout America's most blighted township, where economic redevelopment amounts to little more than a few oddly placed brick pavers, ill-maintained planters, and those throw-backs to a simpler time, the ever-present Victorian-style street lamps.
Not even on the Main Streets of Murray's own Levittown, where, on the very street where she lives, right under her nose, Kate's former Buildings Commish was erecting a McMansion -- without required permits.
Sure, tell a lie long enough, say it loud enough, and people will begin to see it for the truth.
Well then, welcome to the Town of Hempstead, where the truth lies!
Be sure to visit the I Like Kate website (and who would that "I" be? Presumably, Kate's dad, Norm), and take a gander at Kate's Top Ten List. [You know. The top ten reasons for sending her back to Town Hall for yet another term of broken promises.]
Let's have a look see --
1. The Murray Team is freezing town tax rates later this year.
Next year, perhaps, but this year, Kate Murray and her team RAISED TOWN TAXES BY 6.6% across the board for residents of the Town's unincorporated areas. And that tax levy rose by 11.72% for Town Highways (like anyone's working on those roads), 11.70% for Town Building/Zoning (we have zoning?), 9.61% for Town Lighting (and you thought they kept us in the dark), 12.3% for Town Parks, 10.92% for Town Refuse Disposal (not including what you pay to your local Sanitary District), and a whopping increase of 136.33% for the Town's Public Parking Districts (gee, I think I'll walk). Your Water District tax levy, by the way, went up 9.43%, but hey, that's water under a bridge over which the Town claims to have no control -- but for staffing, and appending signs that clearly read "TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD."
2. Hempstead Town has earned the highest Wall Street credit ratings available (four grades higher than Nassau County’s ratings).
Sure. Consider, however, that when Kate Murray took office in 2003, her predecessor, Rich Guardino, had left the Town with an official surplus of $50 million. [We say "official," as Town Hall insiders told us that the figure was closer to $100 million.] So, where did all that money go? Yeah, some of it went to Kate's dad, brothers, and political cronies, but what of the five bucks that was left over after patronage and nepotism took their toll? Did anyone see a tax refund check signed by Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin? Oh, we know. Road repair! Guess it wasn't only the Beltway GOP that was adept at squandering surpluses!]
3. Kate’s Team fought for funds to dredge Jones Inlet and restore eroded beaches.
That was a federal project performed by the Army Corps. of Engineers, wasn't it? The feds coughed up $3.7 million. NYS, $7.6 million. About the only things Kate & Kompany were able to dredge up were press releases. Gotta love those Murraygrams!
4. Kate’s Town Board has approved “smart growth” commuter-oriented homes next to the West Hempstead train station, offering increased housing opportunities for our working residents.
Now let's get real, Kate. You opposed the West Hempstead revitalization project from Day One, fighting the community every step of the way until you were literally forced to concede, not only by your constituents, who were dissed by your disservice, but by the State Senator and Assemblyman (both members of your own party) representing West Hempstead, who offered support in the face of your disdain. The local Town Councilman (also a Republican) paved the way for redevelopment, while you, Kate Murray, stood in the way, a roadblock to progress. The scars upon the West Hempstead community, and the whole of Hempstead Town, deepened with wounds reopened, will be with us for years, Kate, all because you did what you do best -- thumb up your nose at community, and at any reasonable attempt to revitalize and redevelop. "Smart Growth," Kate? Not from Team Murray. Not in the Town of Hempstead!
5. The town is building Long Island’s first hydrogen fueling station, which can fuel zero emission vehichles.
Folks, get your Hydrogen cars ready. Kate's pumping gas!
6. The Murray Team is beautifying downtown business districts.
SEE brick pavers, potted planters, and Victorian-style street lamps, above. From the team that elevated blight to a lifestyle in Hempstead Town. Thank you, Kate Murray!
7. Hempstead has instituted tough new laws increasing fines for graffiti vandals. The Town also has laws on its books prohibiting illegal accessory rental apartments. Can anyone say, "enforcement?"
8. Kate Murray is building affordable homes for families and seniors.
Single family units, ala Levittown circa 1950, lotteried off to the few fortunate souls. A nice start (or should we say, tribute), but nowhere meeting the affordable housing demands of a 21st century suburbia. Murray vows to "maintain the character of suburbia." As if the Town's redevelopment of Roosevelt Raceway, a congested hodgepodge in the shadow of the Covanta incinerator, is a reflection of a suburban quality of life to be envied. The only "character" preserved here is Kate Murray!
9. Kate and her Team have unveiled the first fully solar-powered government office on Long Island.
Yup. Kate's running her office fridge off the grid. A pat on the back to alternative energy does not an environmentalist make. We gave Kate Murray high marks for her green projects, but frankly, at this point in the game, energy efficiency and "going green" should be the norm, not an aberration warranting a photo op. Did somebody say, "Norm?" Didn't he retire?
10. Kate has fought for commuters, opposing the commuter tax, MTA payroll taxes and the third track project.
Wow. We didn't know that the proposed third rail went through Hempstead Town. North Hempstead, Town of Hempstead, Village of Hempstead, West Hempstead. Same difference, right? How about fighting for the people of Hempstead Town, Kate, supporting measures that would consolidate or eliminate the Town's beloved special taxing districts, for instance. No, you're silent on that one, as you turn a deaf ear to the needs and desires of your constituents. Yeah, we know. What would Town Attorney Joe Ra have left to do if the special taxing districts went bye bye?
Okay, Kate. We're ready for the next Top Ten list from Hempstead Town Hall.
How 'bout the Top Ten reasons to send Kate Murray back to Levittown?
We bet our readers, many of whom are Town of Hempstead residents, could easily come up with 10 -- or 20 -- or 100. As in putting an end to more than 100 years of one-party rule in America's largest township.
Write to The Community Alliance with your thoughts -- and Top Ten lists -- at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Watch for Kate Murray and her entourage to come out of the woodwork, visiting a community near you to cheer for Kate, and heckle down anyone who may have an unkind word to say about Hempstead Town's Queen of Mean. Autocracy lives in America's First Suburb!