Friday, September 16, 2005

Where did Democracy go in the Town of Hempstead

From the good folks over at The Community Alliance...

Assault On Democracy In Franklin Square
Ban On Use Of Public Library By Public Official Raises Concern

Just inside the front door of the Franklin Square Public Library there is a rack brimming with brochures. Some promote reading programs and library activities. Others provide information about government initiatives and community events. [There were even glossy flyers, with photos of the Town Supervisor and her Batmobile, encouraging visitors to the Library to come to the Town's Family Festival By The Sea.]

One brouchure in particular, promulgated by the Nassau County Library system, caught the eye. It was entitled, Libraries Open Doors. We wonder whether the Trustees of the Franklin Square Public Library have ever read this piece, taken note of its title, or pondered the plain meaning of these words - Libraries Open Doors. Frankly, we wonder whether the Franklin Square Library Trustees have ever stumbled upon - let alone glanced at - another document, seldom referenced these days, that might also be found in the Library - the Constitution of the United States of America.

On Thursday, September 15th, the doors to the Franklin Square Public Library may have been open to the public, but they certainly were not open to one public official who had been invited and scheduled to speak there - the Chair of the Nassau County Board of Assessors, Harvey Levinson.

Mr. Levinson had been invited by the Franklin Square Public Library - as libraries do - to hold a forum on reassessment and the County's complex tax structure. No shocker here. Public officials are routinely invited to speak - to inform and impart information - on a regular basis. Indeed, just a month ago, Don Clavin, Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, had been invited to speak at the Franklin Square Public Library on "tax-related" topics, and he did so on August 3rd.

About a week before his scheduled appearence, Mr. Levinson was informed by the Director of the Franklin Square Library, Carol Aherns, that the invitation to speak had been, at the insistence of the Library's Trustees, rescinded. Too political. After all, Mr. Levinson is a candidate for public office, challenging Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray, in the November election. [We are reminded that Don Clavin, too, is a candidate, seeking to unseat the Nassau County Comptroller, Howard Weitzman. No politics in his appearance, we surmise!]

The Story Continues at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a work from home site/blog. It pretty much covers work from home related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)