Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Daze Are Here Again!

Election Time In America's Largest Township. Oh Boy!

In case you hadn't noticed -- and how could you not, what with all the lawn signs planted and election placards plastered (many illegally) on boarded up commercial buildings and upon fences that surround nearly every abandoned property and festering brownfield -- there's an election coming up in Hempstead Town.

Yes, it's the seemingly perennial (as the same folks keep popping up year after year) races (if you can call them that) for Town Supervisor, Town Clerk, Receiver of Taxes (boooooo hissssss :-), and so on down the line.

This year's yawn of an election -- one, for all intents and purposes, surrendered by the Democrats at inception -- pits the always polished, ever effervescent Team Murray (Kate Murray, Supervisor) against the listing badly, we hardly knew ye Team Port (Gary Port, standard bearer for the walking wounded and permanently disengaged).

Inspiring music on the Team Murray site. And nice to see Supervisor Murray switch out the iconic red blazer for a crisp white one. Other than that, the story is much the same as it was in the last election, and the one preceding that. Ersatz tax freezes. Value for your vanishing tax dollar. Trusted on Main Street, Reviled on Brownfield Turnpike. Yada. Yada.

As for Team Port, or more aptly, the Nassau County Democrats, there's no music, perhaps indicative of the silence of the Party on many of the great issues of our time, and only a listing of candidates for office, with highlights from last May's Nominating Convention.

Yes, there are the typical and customary GOP videos and the Dem YouTube moments (we won't bore you), but, for the most part, you've not only heard it all before, you've lived it! [If you could call this living...] There's even mention, by Gary Port, of "Murraygrams," a word we, at The Community Alliance, coined, and duly expect to be paid royalties on. Thank you, Gary!

The Democrats, in a nod to the 21st Century perhaps, have their blogs. The blog of the Democratic Committee, posted sometime last century, being as vacuous as the achievements of the Party the last time it held favor in the State Senate and the Nassau County Legislature. Gary Port's blog, entitled Future Vision (to be distinguished from the Tunnel Vision that too often defines politics, on both sides of the aisle, here on our Long Island), is more a biopic (myopic?) jaunt down memory lane, peppered with the failings of the Murray administration -- from the Coliseum to the Courtesy, the Animal Shelter to personal animus -- than it is a view toward a better, brighter tomorrow.

The GOP offers no blog, per se. At least not one this blogger could discern. Heck. Who needs a blog when you have a fine-tuned machine to rally the troops and get out the vote? We did find a Team Murray blog in our search. It, thankfully, had absolutely nothing to do with either the upcoming election, or, for that matter, politics. There is a God!

To say that this campaign season has been lackluster, if not a complete ho hum bore, would be an understatement. But for the lawn signs and eye-polluting placards -- with ongoing forays into the enemy camp for sign-snatching, unlawful postings, and the hurling of racial epitaphs (as if we needed even more reason to dissolve the Town's Special Taxing Districts, including Sanitary District 6) -- there hasn't been all that much one could call election excitement.

No shows -- mostly the Democratic challengers, whose capitualtion from the get go is overshadowed only by their absence from community forums, News12 Debates, and interviews in the local papers.

No ideas -- well, not any new ideas. On the economy. On Taxes. On the Coliseum. Nothing. Nunca. Nada. Let's just rehash the old ideas one more time, and call them new. Yeah. That's the ticket!

No vision -- other than those backward glances over the shoulder, to make sure yesterday isn't catching up with them before November 8th.

No cooperation between the parties or players. No cessation to the finger-pointing and opposition-bashing. No independence of thought or action. No deviation, by anyone at anytime, from the party line.

Thank the heavens above for the likes of Sanitary District 6's Vinny Prisco, posting signs -- on the taxpayers' dime -- for GOP Legislator John Ciotti outside the Dem opponent's office, while muttering racial slurs -- on camera, no less. At least we have something to break the monotony, and to remind us that not only are we alive, but we still live in a very dark age where the antics of henchmen, hoods and goons are not only tolerated, but, at least until caught on video, condoned and encouraged.

In reading this tirade, one would think that this blogger was disenchanted with the state of politics in Hempstead Town, if not on Long Island, and well beyond these pristine shores.

I am. Or do I say, he is. This blogger should be saying, "We are," as in we've all had more than we can stand and, thank you, Popeye, we "can't stands no more!"

Looking back, more than 100 years of single party rule in a township that is noted more for blighted biways and bloated patronage than for innovative planning and the cultivation of anything more than Victorian-style street lamps and decorative planters. Nothing changes. Nothing.

Looking forward, toward that tomorrow, with the promise of the rebirth of a vibrant, vital suburbia, we see little offered, by either party, to reflect upon, let alone as harbinger of the ideals upon which a suburban way of life fluorishes and thrives. No, beyond the rhetoric of that poorly paved-over yellow brick road lined with lawn signs lies only the perception of Oz, behind which curtain we are forced to admit, with disheartening tomes, "there's no place like home." No place, indeed.

Over the years, our credo has been echoed from the Turnpike to the Boulevard, Elmont to Wantagh. "The status quo is never good enough!"

But change for the sake of change alone, out of the proverbial frying pan into the all-consuming fire, doesn't quite do it for us.

The party now in power in Hempstead Town offers us more of the same. They tell us that, after a century, their work is not yet done. Two more years. Three more years. One hundred more years. Whatever it takes.

And the party that would be king? Well,  just put us in and.... Wait. We saw that in Albany, where the State Senate devolved into nothing short of a three-ring circus, and in Mineola, where the magical mystery bus tour of revitalization left us all stranded.

What were those lyrics again? "The buyers and the sellers are no different fellas than what I professed to be..."

Maybe so.

If you are looking for an endorsement here, as has been our practice and policy over the years, move on. Not now. Perhaps not at all. Well, maybe later, because sitting on the sidelines, cursing at the darkness to our right, and raising a clenched fist to the faint light of an oncoming freight train, far in the distance, to our left, is simply not our style.

For while we respect all who hold or run for public office, there being no higher calling (well, maybe blogger :-) in service to the community, and, in more than political circles, we call many in or seeking office "friends," we must profess, with profound sadness, that, as benefactors of the portended public good, collectively, systematically, and, perhaps, unwittingly, they have let us down.

The status quo may not be good enough. Not now. Not ever. It  is, nevertheless, what it is, what it was, and, what might yet be. The Devil we know versus who the heck knows what. Mediocrity, like water, seeks its own level.

We'd like to think, and even believe, with all of our hearts, that we can do better; we must do better. That happy days will, indeed, be here again. If not by way of this election, with an electorate duly motivated, or should we say, incensed, and candidates with the gumption to fight for the causes of community, or to at least talk about them, then maybe in the next!


  1. Come now. You don't give the Town of Hempstead GOP due credit. Look at their Jobs Plan. 100% employment -- of every last Republican Committeeman!

    If only Vincent Prisco were an aberration on the Town's payroll. The lost soul, incapable of reasoned thought, or any thought, for that matter. A drone. A hit man for the mob mentality that takes his orders from above, for he simply cannot think for himself.

    Unfortunately, Prisco and his ilk have permeated our Republican Party, a growing cancer, not only upon the principles of democracy, but worse yet, upon every precept of decency.

    Reason enough to vote the bums out of office. And Raison d'etre to vote Carrie Solanges in!

  2. The Democrats have essentially given up on the Town of Hempstead, leaving us to rot amidst the decay of the Turnpike.

    Look around, people? Is this really the suburban life you dreamed of? Are you getting anywhere near the bang for the buck you pay in property taxes? Is Hempstead Town truly better off today than it was 100 years ago?

    There's nobody coming to our rescue, folks. It's time we muster the forces and save ourselves!

  3. GOP is entrenched and corrupt beyond redemption. Dems are adrift without a sail or a plan. What we need is a truly independent (NOT Independence) party to take this town in a new direction.

    Time to get the party started! Anyone game?

  4. Gotta love the irony: The very politicians who, over their many years in office, RAISED OUR TAXES (under guise of freezing them), now run under the banner of the TAX REVOLT PARTY!

    What a sham! Why don't the Dems pick up on this?

    Tax Revolt? What's revolting here is the scam the GOP is running, and the willingness of an indifferent populace to simply let it slide.

  5. Keep the comments, as well as those Poll votes, coming!

    We challenge those in office and running for (or was that from?) office to earn our endorsement, if not the confidence and trust of the voters.

    Comment here. Write a Guest Blog. [Email us at] Let us, and the folks who would put/keep you in office, hear from you. Speak, and ye shall be heard!

    Remember, boys and girls, all that evil needs to triumph is for good people to sit by and do (say?) nothing!

    We love a tirade. Join us!

  6. Dear editor:

    The Town of Hempstead payroll is rife with political patronage and cronyism that waste taxpayers' dollars. As some media outlets have reported, there are many examples of relatives of elected officials or Republican Party leaders being put on the payroll and given exorbitant raises shortly after their hiring.

    As Supervisor, I would end this practice: no more lavish raises for political appointees. To expand upon this and to lead by example, I would cut my own salary as Supervisor by 25 percent and reduce that of other senior officials in my administration by 10 percent. This is a dramatic difference between me and the incumbent supervisor, who has gives herself a pay raise every two years; ever since she was appointed in 2003.

    At the same time, I would protect civil service employees - the rank and file personnel who carry out the Town's day-to-day functions - from politically motivated hiring or firing. Civil service employees would be hired and retained based solely on merit, as the law requires.

    In an environment where jobs are number one on people's minds, we need a Hempstead town government that has the interests of all the people at heart, not just the well-connected few. In a Port administration, the common good would trump partisan politics.


    Gary Port
    Democratic Candidate for Town Supervisor
    West Hempstead, NY

  7. Not to sound like Senator Joseph McCarthy, but... The Community Alliance has in its hands a list of all employees on the Town of Hempstead payroll for 2011 (it is, after all, a matter of public record), which shows, among others less notable, no less than 5 Murrays, 3 Bonillas, 2 Hudes, 2 Santinos, 2 Darcys, 2 Cullins, 2 Mineos, Al DAmato's wife, and 2 D'Alessandro brothers, who own and operate a building company called Three Brothers Home Builders, but yet find the time to work full time at the TOH (We surmise that the third D'Alessandro brother is doing all the heavy lifting!).

    Not a stretch to imagine that countless other family members, cronies, and GOP Committee people, whose names are not readily discernable as "friends & family," are on the public dole as well. And, we note, more than parenthetically, that this list does not include employees of the Town's Special taxing Districts, like Sanitation.

    The town has 2344 people on the payroll, 288 making more than 100k, 432 making more than 90k, 722 making more than 80k, and 1075 making more than 70k.

    Nice work, if you can get it!

    We were liberal arts majors in college, so you'll have to do the math. Still, as any nitwit not already on payroll can figure out, without need for either calculator or abacus, something is rotten in the Town of Hempstead, and it is costing the taxpayers dearly!

  8. Conditions are getting worse& worse in this county everyday. The only repairs I see are those that can count towards the re-election of Kate Murray and her crew of cronies. It's almost as though public office was created for their economic benefit. It's disgusting. No wonder there are so many folks leaving Nassau. The quality of life is diminished in a place which should offer so much in the way of recreation, employment, etc. It's time that we the people step up to the ballot box and vote for a change in leadership instead of voting for the 'same old, same old' crew. I know I and my family certainly will. I cannot imagine things getting any worse under the Democrats since the Republicans have done nothing other than line their own pockets at the tax payers' expense.why we even have to pay for their unsolicited mailings! Disgusted in WH!!

  9. What absolute bull crap! Always pissing on the Republicans. Boo hoo. Democrats can't win an election in Hempstead Town. Let me cry a river for you. Maybe the Sanitary District should stop picking up your garbage or the Fire Company should let your house burn down. Then who will you cry to?

    Kate Murray gets elected overwhelmingly. Is it because she's doing right by us, or are we just plain stupid?

    Stop bellyaching and endorse candidates who serve us well, not just Democrats who serve themselves.

  10. To respond to your question, Anonymous, "stupid is what stupid does!"

    Not pick up our garbage? Let our houses burn down? My, my. If that doesn't qualify as voter intimidation, we don't know what in the name of Vinny Prisco would!

    Obviously, you mistake telling it like it is, or at least as we see it, for partisan politics. And if you've read our blogposts over the years, you would know that we've endorsed both Democrats and Republicans, much to the dismay -- and often ridicule and ire -- of those who are not so endorsed. [As if an endorsement from The Community Alliance carries much weight, anyway...]

    When we can no longer voice -- or blog -- our opinions in this society, or freely express what is on our minds without fear of recrimination, our nation, let alone our town, is in big trouble.

    No, we may never get jobs at town hall, under either a GOP or Dem administration. [Too bad, because we'd take government by, for and of the people to new heights.] We will, however, continue to stand up, speak out, pat 'em on the back when we think they are right and give 'em hell when we believe they are wrong. That is still the American way, at least as we understand it.

    Opposing viewpoints? Contrary positions? Letters, memos, comments from the elected and/or wannabes themselves? We'll post them right here on The Community Alliance blog.

    After all, we may not agree with what you have to say, but, unlike some who hold court among the high and mighty, we will defend, at all costs, your right to say it. Even if you choose to do so anonymously!