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So what's this all about? It's all about Kate Murray, Town of Hempstead Supervisor and self-promoter extraordinaire! Murray can be found on every mailing TOH sends out, in every commercial about TOH and in every ad about any event taking place with TOH sponsorship. Local grassroots organization Community Alliance started the "Murray-Mail-Meter" which has estimated mailings from Murray this year until June 22nd as $194,400.00. The organization describes their tabulations; "As a convenience to Town of Hempstead residents, The Community Alliance will keep a running tab on mail sent by TOH Supervisor, Kate Murray. No, not the Parks & Recreation Summer Schedule, or other useful material, at least tangentially related to Town business, but rather, the “this would be campaign literature paid for at my own expense if I wasn’t Town Supervisor” stuff we find in our mailboxes on a weekly (we’re being conservative) basis.
In the interest of fairness, we’ll just go back to May 1, 2005. The Murray-Mail-Meter will show only the cost to TOH taxpayers in terms of postage, calculated at 16.2 cents per mailing to approximately 200,000 households. [We leave to the imagination – attempts to FOIL documentation having been stonewalled – the costs associated with either material (just how much is a sheet of 8 ½ by 11 ½ glossy paper these days?) or production (God bless those elves who work so tirelessly for a mere $100,000 a year in that hollow tree buried deep beneath Town Hall)."
In the recent Long Island Press story Politicos Gone Postal about this, Community Allince President Seth Bykofsky calls thier estimate "conservative."
There is more to come on this with FOIL requests flying and questions about in-house operations to churn out purely political mailings on the taxpayers dime.