Petition Drive Seeks To "Roll Back" Raises For Town Officials
While Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray, basks in the warmth of her $150,000 paycheck, angry residents want to do more than merely complain about the avarice and greed of the town's elected representatives. In fact, with the start of a Petition drive, they're looking to place a referendum on the ballot recalling those raises.
Power to the people!
Our friends at Roll Back the Raises report:
Town of Hempstead residents start a petition for a referendum to “Roll Back” the towns pay raises
Town of Hempstead, NY - For the fifth time in a row Town of Hempstead (TOH) Supervisor Kate Murray (R) and the Town Board gave themselves a pay raise after an election. This time the TOH boards raise came in the midst of the December holidays preventing good government activist from organizing in opposition. However resident from all over the Town of Hempstead have joined forces to fight this unfair pay raise.
The all-volunteer organization titled Roll Back the Raises (RBR), began organizing to obtain 25,000 signatures for a referendum question to be put on the November 2, 2010 election ballot. The referendum question will allow the voters to decide if Supervisor Kate Murray, Town Clerk Mark Bonia and the Town Board should get a raise.
“People are being laid off or put on furlough, yet this body of government decides to increase their paychecks,” said Derek Donnelly of the Roll Back The Raises campaign. “This pay raise will come out of the pockets of the tax payer, and we are demanding this pay raise be put to the voter for approval.”
The TOH Pay Increases:
Supervisor Pay Raise: 140,000 to 150,000 (full time)
Town Clerk Pay Raise: 95,500 to 106,500 (full time)
Town Board Pay Raise: 61,500 to 66,000 (part time)
“In this time of great economic troubles for so many residents, our elected officials should be cutting taxes and preventing unnecessary future tax increases that force people out of there homes” said Robert Young of the Roll Back The Raises campaign. “We are organizing to oppose these raises and will let the voices of the people be heard.”
“Pursuant to section 24 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law, it is permitted to petition for a referendum any time elected officials give themselves raises, and this is exactly what we are now doing,” said Donnely.
RBR is working toward having all the signatures by January 26, 2010. To help, email RollBacktheRaises@gmail.com.
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The Community Alliance supports a voter referendum on the issue of raises for Town of Hempstead officials, and encourages all TOH residents to contact Roll Back the Raises for purposes of signing the Petition.