Monday, November 23, 2009

And The Beatings Go On...

Barely Out Of One Election, Right Into Another

The ballots from the November 3rd vote for County Executive are still not all counted -- and may not be until the week after Thanksgiving -- and here we are, headed into yet another election (in December, no less), this time for commissioners of those special taxing districts.

Yes, though few will actually take notice, and even fewer will bother to vote (given the low turnout on November 3, that may take us into the negative numbers), commissioners for fire and water districts, among other fiefdoms, if their posts are challenged at all, will likely be elected to public office by friends and family. Literally.

Why, even our good friends and neighbors who spearhead the fight to consolidate -- if not eliminate -- those costly, wasteful and too often corrupt special districts -- Residents for Efficient Special Districts (RESD) -- oxymoron aside, are silent as to the date, times (they vary), and locations (in the commissioner's kitchen, perhaps?) of the upcoming elections.

Oddly enough, neither the website of the Nassau County League of Women Voters nor the organization's Political Calendar, make any mention of Special District elections.

We've gone so far as to visit the website of Long Island Progressive Coalition's Nassau County Government Efficiency Project -- -- and while they plainly and properly rant about the special districts, nowhere is the date for special district elections posted (at least not conspicuously).

It is a horror story, indeed!

Could there be some vast conspiracy to keep voters away from the polls on Special District Election Day, denying them the "local control" they are said to have over these patronage-filled bastions of medieval ministration?

All right. We know the suspense is killing you.

Tuesday, December 8th. Special District Election Day.

Of course, most of the special districts themselves -- including many of the districts that have websites -- don't give you a clue as to an election of commissioners, let alone a date, time, and place.

Where can you find information? Well, try the website of the Town in which you live. [Believe it or not, the Town of Hempstead (the absolutely last people in the world you would expect to divulge such info) has a special districts page, linking to specifics (presumably furnished by the districts themselves) available for fire, water, sanitation, etc.]

Of course, not all districts are listed, and rare are any details on the Town's own special districts (i.e., Sanitary Districts, which typically hold their Special District elections -- because they are sooooo special -- during the Dog Days of August), let alone the posting of proposed budgets for each special district, which, as we recall, is required by law. [The district shall furnish and the Town shall post.]

Oh, we're so picky when it comes to such minutia, aren't we? Too bad the public, at large, is not!

So, like we said, here comes yet another election day. One that too few are aware of and where still fewer will opt to vote.

The outcome? The status quo, where the few (with pension credits, health insurance, SUVs, and 52" HDTVs) will decide how much you pay to have water flow from the tap, garbage picked up at the curb (or from the side of your house, district dependent), and a uniformed firefighter at your door handing you an envelope for a "voluntary donation" (as if our out-of-pocket tax dollars were not enough. Gotta have those keg parties and junkets to the Bahamas, after all).

Now isn't that special. . .
- - -
Here's a thought for our State Legislators, now in special session up in Albany (where the Dems are afraid to cut spending, lest the Republicans blast 'em for doing so, and the GOPers are content to sit on their hands and do nothing, letting the Dems take the blame).

How about a bill that requires at least 25% of all registered voters in any particular special district to cast a ballot in a special district election? The failure to reach the 25% minimum turnout would cause the automatic dissolution of said special district. Period!

Now that, dear friends, would assure a get-out-the-vote campaign like no other. And you could be sure that notice of an upcoming election (did someone say December 8?) would be as prevalent in special district households as, well, a weekly newsletter from Town hall.

And should voters stay at home on Special District Election Day? Well, The Doomsday scenario for the folks at fire, water, and sanitation might well provide tax relief for homeowners. Read as, "the only good special district is a dissolved special district!"

December 8. A date that should live in infamy!


  1. Just how much local government do we need? Why are we so willing to be taxed out of our homes? As The Community Alliance has asked so many times, "Where's the outrage?"

    Looks like those who are smart enough, and able to afford the move, are simply packing up and moving off Long Island, leaving the few who care, and the too darn dumb to give a damn, behind in the trenches.

    Come on, folks! If we don't put an end to the taxation by too much government, the only thing that will be left in Nassau County will be the tumbleweed, and even that will be taxed!

  2. THW,

    I concur with your post. Here in nassau it seems that we have the most apathetic,irresponsible electorate anywhere. Usually I bash the politicians,but joe and jane nassau have to take their share of the blame for this mess.

    Its high time to have school board and special district in elections in november,on election day. havent it at different dates,times,and places only serves to ensure the lowest possible turnout-ive heard that only FOC's "friends of candidates" actually bother to show up.

    I dont mean to be a pessimist but I dont think Mangano will be our salvation. He's hand-in-glove with such intellectuals ( sarcasm) as schmitt and king. In the end most of the next four years will be spent blaming suozzi and playing the same good ol boy politics that has done so much harm to this county over the years.

    Every time I leave LI,either for business or other reasons,I return with the feeling that things are very wrong here.

    Ive said it a thousand times,but in the end it'll be rich shnooks-living in mostly gated communities-and a permanent poor class to service their needs.

    Look at who does everything from deliver newspapers to mow lawns,landscaping,working at mikey dees and much more-adults,usually foreign born.

    I dont mean to sound like archie bunker, but is the long island of today the kind of place that we want to leave for the following generations? I should hope not.