Monday, December 17, 2007

More Special District Shenanigans - South Farmingdale Again

Newsday is all over the little fiefdoms that get away with murder on the taxpayers dime. I missed this one yesterday when I posted about South Farmingdale Water District Commissioner Kurt Ludwig "South Farmingdale Water Commissioner Kurt Ludwig even charged his district $100 a day for attending a national water conference in Toronto with his wife for five days, including a day before the conference actually started.
Ludwig declined to be interviewed for this story."

Of course Ludwig declined to be interviewed. He just got re-elected after a huge push was made to get people to the polls by John Venditto and the N. Massapequa republicans. Ludwigs challenger Craig Heller made the local republicans pull out all the stops to save Ludwig.
Taxpayers must demand that Ludwig answer questions. Ludwig works for the taxpayers and a "no comment" is not sufficient. In the real world, when your boss asks you about your job performance, and you say you don't want to talk about it, you get fired.
Ludwig needs to be fired.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

South Farmingdale Water District Commissioners Soaking Taxpayers

Clever headline, no?
It seems that newly re-elected commissioner Kurt Ludwig who had the N. Massapequa Republican Club organization make a huge effort to get out the vote plays golf and charges the taxpayer for the privilege.
According to a report in Newsday, "On a sunny autumn morning last September, a number of water district commissioners, superintendents, engineers and others gathered for a breakfast meeting followed by several hours of golf at the Timber Point Golf Course in Great River.


A Newsday reporter and photographer observed the gathering, which by all appearances had no official agenda or purpose, other than to play golf. The players appeared convivial and relaxed -- at least five players who hit their balls into the rough picked them up and threw them back on the fairway.

Because the meeting was hosted by the Long Island Water Conference, a professional group of water suppliers, some of the representatives from the water districts playing golf also got paid for the day, records show. The outing was not listed in the group's schedule of monthly meetings."

South Farmingdale Water Commissioners John Hirt and Kurt Ludwig charged their district $100 per diem for attending the golf outing. Ludwig and Hirt declined to comment for this story."

Interesting that Ludwig ran under the banner of "Integrity." Not much "integrity" can be seen from Ludwig.
AND THERE IS MORE!!!

The question that needs to be answered now is what exactly was Ludwig who works full time for the Town of Oyster Bay doing at a golf outing on THURSDAY September 13, 2007.
Was Ludwig being paid by the taxpayers of Oyster Bay AND put in a per diem forom the water district taxpayers for playing golf on a weekday?
That's a double-dip on the taxpayers dime.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Out of State News: I Bet They're Re-Thinking that Whole Recall Thing

News out of California: Schwarzenegger Will 'Declare Fiscal Emergency' In Weeks

I wonder what all the supporters of the Gray Davis recall are thinking now. Arnold has increased spending by 40% since the recall.

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday he will declare a "fiscal emergency" in January to give him and the Legislature more power to deal with the state's growing deficit.
Schwarzenegger made the announcement Friday after meeting with lawmakers and interest groups this week to tell them California's budget deficit is worse -- far worse -- than economists predicted just a few weeks ago.
The shortfall is not $10 billion, but more than $14 billion -- a 40 percent jump that would put it in orbit with some of the state's worst fiscal crisis, those who have met with him said."
A fiscal emergency would trigger a special session and force lawmakers and the governor to begin addressing the shortfall within 45 days.
"What we have to do is fix the budget system. The system itself needs to be fixed, and I think that this is a good year, this coming year, to fix it," Schwarzenegger said in Long Beach, where he was promoting his plan for health care reform.
California is struggling with shrinking state tax revenue from the meltdown of the subprime housing market and the credit crunch on Wall Street.
State spending also has increased by more than 40 percent since Schwarzenegger took office after the 2003 recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis.
Schwarzenegger in August signed a $145.5 billion budget that increased spending 11 percent due largely to the increased cost of bond repayments and special funds. General fund spending for day-to-day operations increased less than 1 percent, from $101.7 to $102.3 billion for the budget year that began July 1.
In August, Schwarzenegger's office projected the state would end its current budget year with a $4.1 billion reserve. Last month, the state's nonpartisan legislative analyst reported that the state would instead end the year in the red, and was on pace to rack up a staggering $10 billion deficit over the next 18 months.
Schwarzenegger and his top aides this week have privately told lawmakers and interest groups that the gap could top $14 billion and warned cities, counties and health and welfare agencies to expect cuts.
Last month, Schwarzenegger ordered agency leaders to draft plans for across-the-board cut as high as 10 percent.
State lawmakers have been criticized in recent weeks for pushing through a raise for themselves, despite the state's fiscal troubles."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ludwig Wins in South Farmingdale Water District

But the lawsuit about the misuse of taxpayer money for a campaign mailing goes before a judge tomorrow.
Heller comments in Newsday "Challenger Craig Heller, a Suozzi ally, conceded he had lost overwhelmingly in his bid to unseat incumbent Kurt Ludwig in the South Farmingdale Water District, but said some 1,100 voters turned out - relatively high for a special district.

"It showed we got word out that there was an election. We were successful in that," Heller said in an interview.
Heller said the relatively high turnout came despite the truncated voting hours in many districts. The two polling places in his district were open from 4 to 9 p.m., meaning people who traditionally vote in the morning might have been disenfranchised, he said."

Murray and the Gang Vote Themselves More Raises

$35,000 in increases over the last 3 years wasn't enough for Kate so she goes back for more...
"Town of Hempstead board members yesterday unanimously approved a total of $55,000 in raises for themselves and other elected officials but did not reach a decision on the fate of the much-criticized Courtesy Hotel after a seven-hour board meeting.


None of the about 200 residents in attendance commented on the resolution increasing the annual salaries of the town supervisor by $10,000; the tax receiver and town clerk by $7,500 each; and the six part-time board members by $5,000 each."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More on South Farmingdale Water District

Letters to the Farmingdale Observer...

SFWD Newsletter Is Waste of Tax Money

I came home from work late last night to find a newsletter in my mailbox from my local water district, the South Farmingdale Water District. What a waste of tax money. Who do these guys think they are? I just received one of these not three weeks ago and I remember because it had the same picture of the water commissioners with Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto. I also happen to know that the election for water commissioner is next Tuesday, Dec. 11. I learned that from a gentleman handing out fliers the other day on behalf of one of the candidates, not from this newsletter. How can these guys get away with sending out a "political mailer" using taxpayer money right before an election and not even inform local residents that there is an election or where to vote on what day? What kind of corruption is this? I work two jobs to be able to afford my home and it's crooks like these that are the reason our taxes are so high. This mailing probably cost thousands to print in full glossy color and for postage. I could use my money back for the holidays or rent or just plain heating oil. I am outraged and I hope you will consider printing my letter so other residents know where their tax money is going. Thank you.

Carrie Frohling

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently received the South Farmingdale Water District Newsletter. And I use the word newsletter loosely. It looked more like a piece of four-color campaign literature.

Generally speaking I don't agree with a lot of what Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi has to say, but on this issue of special taxing districts and 'mini-elections,' I have to say he is right.

These little elections that cause additional tax burdens on the residents of the Nassau County need to stop!

John Capobianco

South Farmingdale Water District Still in the News

From columnist Ellis Henican "South Farmingdale Water District commissioner Kurt Ludwig getting water-boarded for sending out campaign brochures at taxpayer expense. But has anyone asked the obvious follow-up: Why the heck is South Farmingdale Water District commissioner an elected position anyway?"

And in Newsday's Spincycle "As we've said in this space, special-district elections are to politics what craps games, basement bazaars and cockfights are to the economy. Tomorrow comes a cluster of them, and as always, you're on your own trying to find out the where and when. One race with partisan overtones that has attracted interest is the battle in the South Farmingdale water district between incumbent Kurt Ludwig and challenger Craig Heller, who's been on the phone trying to get supporters to the two firehouses that are hosting the election. He's also gone to court fighting mailings made at taxpayer expense touting Ludwig, though a hearing on his show-cause order is not due until Wednesday."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Kate Murray Surprising Hire for Building Department Commissioner

After the last Commissioner for the Town of Hempstead was busted for renovating his house without permits just down the block from Supervisor Murray, Murray said there would be a "NATION-WIDE SEARCH" for a qualified candidate for the $109,000/year job.
After sixteen interviews, the most qualified candidate just happens to be:
- FROM LEVITTOWN!
- and A REPUBLICAN COMMITEEMAN!!!!!
What a freak'n suprise.
Congratulations John Rottkamp for getting job you probably knew you were getting anyway.

Newsday Story About South Farmingdale Water District Shenanigans

S. Farmingdale water district mailing heats up election campaign
BY JOIE TYRRELL

The front page of a recent mailing from the South Farmingdale Water District to its customers touted the assets of commissioner Kurt Ludwig.

It boasted that Ludwig, a North Massapequa resident, not only "hit the ground running his first year in office... he crossed the finish line in first place!"

But Ludwig is running for re-election as commissioner for the water district, and the taxpayer-funded mailer that went out last week just days before Tuesday's election violates campaign laws, says his opponent, Craig Heller.

An attorney for Heller filed suit Friday in Supreme Court in Nassau County asking for the three commissioners of the water district to pay the costs of printing and mailing as well as to prevent them from sending out any other mailings that are political in nature.

"You can't send out a mailer a week before the election and say 'Look at what a great job this guy is doing. Congrats on a great first year. We wish you many more.' If that is not a piece of campaign literature, I have no clue what is," said Steven Schlesinger, the attorney representing Heller, the Democratic challenger.

Ludwig did not return a call seeking comment at his office in the public information office of the Town of Oyster Bay. Leonard Constantinopoli, business manager of the water district, said he had not seen the suit and therefore could not comment on it.

He did say the position is a part-time one, with two public meetings a month and commissioners are paid a $100 stipend per meeting. Their term is three years. They are also eligible for health insurance, he said.

According to the water district's Web site, Ludwig is serving his first term as commissioner for the South Farmingdale Water District.

Schlesinger, who serves as law chairman of the Nassau Democratic County Committee, said Heller has the support of County Executive Thomas Suozzi as part of his effort to consolidate these special districts.

The water district serves 5.4 square miles including South Farmingdale, North Massapequa, some areas of Bethpage and some areas in Seaford.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Scandal at the South Farmingdale Water District

Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman through his recent investigations has found corruption in special taxing districts all around Nassau. From Water to Fire to Sanitation, shenanigans in spending has been found.
Here is the most blatant use of public funds I have seen in a long time. The problem is that these districts have been flying under the radar for so long that they think they can get away with anything. Usually the elections are uncontested so there is no opponent to make some noise about what is going on. In the South Farmingdale Water District, Commissioner Kurt Ludwig is running for re-election after finishing the unexpired term of a former commissioner.
Ludwig who is also an executive member of the North Massapequa Republican Club is the coverboy for the new water district newsletter that has arrived a week before the election.
The cover story reads like a campaign mailing and it might as well be. The South Farmingdale Water District is using YOUR tax dollars in a campaign. Check out the newsletter - click on the image to see a larger version.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If this doesn't look like a campaign mailing, I don't know what does.
The South Farmingdale Water Commissioners should be ashamed of themselves... and quite frankly need to resign for approving this.
Maybe they thought they could get away with it.
Maybe they got away with it in the past.
This time they are not getting away with it.
Comptroller Weitzman needs to open an investigation into the South Farmingdale Water District.

What is the Value of a Petition?

We once again use our WABAC Machine for some research into the value of a Petition signed by voters.
We set the machine to... oh.... August 1999. Back then, the Nassau County Legislature was under republican control with a super-majority the Democrats could not crack. The fiscal crisis for Nassau County was more evident and something needed to be done to stop the bleeding. Deputy Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt and the Gulotta republicans again floated more one-shots that had no long-term solutions.
The Democrats had an idea for a "strict oversight board" for the next budget. Democrat Judy Jacobs complained "'Anything we propose goes into a black hole.''
And the Democrats were ignored.
But they had an idea!
The County Charter says that with enough signatures on a petition, the Legislature will be forced to have a hearing on the issue.
According to the NYTimes story, "
The idea was inspired by a marathon legislative session on Aug. 9, when a new 1 percent real estate transfer tax was enacted late at night, after most of the citizens who wanted to speak out against it had already gone home to bed. Tina Sackman, a financial planner from Manhasset who lasted until after 11 P.M., said the experience left her not only disgusted but despondent at the chances for real change.

Ms. Sackman, a registered Republican who has voted for Mr. Gulotta, and her companion, Scott Nigro, had collected 450 signatures in a few hours the previous Saturday for a spur-of-the-moment petition opposing the transfer tax. ''We had people standing in line to sign,'' Mr. Nigro, a salesman, said. ''They kept saying, 'We have to get Gulotta out.' ''

Now how did Deputy Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt react to petitions signed by the people of Nassau County?
Schmitt says "a petition would not be persuasive... I would have no problem getting 2,000 signatures. What does that say? I could get you thousands of signatures against the Bill of Rights.''

I'm sorry, what did Schmitt say? Oh yeah, he's saying he would ignore the petition and the voters should be ignored.

Now back here in the present, Schmitt is in the minority on the legislature and he wanted to push his reassessment freeze gimmick.
So what does he do?
Why he holds a petition drive!!!!

Schmitt says "We will go over the taxing Democrats' heads and go directly to the people who will tell Presiding Officer Jacobs to do her job and put this sorely needed tax relief measure on the legislative calendar for a public hearing,"

Hmmm... do we have to remind Schmitt how HE reacted to the Democrats petition drive?
In Contrast, here is Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs on the republican petitions "If presented with the legal number of signatures I will follow the charter and this issue will be brought before the legislature by the end of the year."

So who actually cares what the voters think?

Is it Schmitt who scoffs at petitions saying he could get thousands of signatures opposing the Bill of Rights or Judy Jacobs who said she would abide by the County Charter and the signers of the petition?

Why, that would be Judy Jacobs of course.

Schmitt is just a hypocrite.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Blast from the Past: 8 years of Peter Schmitt Lying

This is from the October 3rd 1999 NYTimes Long Island section...
"On Tuesday, for example, Mr. Blakeman and Peter J. Schmitt, the deputy presiding officer, boasted that they had discovered the county was spending $1.1 million to print and mail 451,000 calendars celebrating the county's centennial to Nassau residents and vowed to cut the money from this year's budget. Mr. Schmitt said he had learned this by digging through receipts and invoices. And he said that the calendars did not even arrive in homes until March.

But Caroline Smith, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gulotta, disputed Mr. Schmitt's findings, saying the calendars had cost only $108,000. In addition, she said the county had no intention of producing the centennial calendars again this year, meaning they could not possibly be cut from the budget.

By late today, Mr. Schmitt conceded the calendars might have cost less than he had originally thought. He blamed administration employees for misleading him, but nonetheless promised to cut a full $1.1 million from Mr. Gulotta's proposed budget for printing and postage -- calendars or no calendars."

I started to hi-lite the important passages in red but when I was done I realized that I had pretty much turned the whole thing red.

The facts back then meant as little to Schmitt as they do now. After "
digging through receipts and invoices" Schmitt discovered it cost $1.1million to print calenders. But it didn't according to Gulotta's office.
Who does Schmitt blame for his lies?
Gullotta's people of course.

And the spokewoman for Gulotta really must have wanted to lay the sarcasm on but didn't when Schmitt "VOWED" to cut the money for the Centennial Calenders in the next budget.
Because, you know, Centennials happen every year.

Letter to Newsday on Town of Hempstead Raises

" Hempstead pay hikes 'ridiculous'

Twenty-five thousand dollars in raises from 2006 to 2008 ["Supervisor backs pay raise for self, others," News, Nov. 27]?
Where do you find such a job? Oh yeah - Town of Hempstead supervisor!
I don't disagree that raises are important, even for our elected officials, but this is ridiculous. It borders on bribery when the people who are going to approve such a raise are themselves receiving a raise. If the board members don't approve Supervisor Kate Murray's raise, they don't receive their own $5,000 raises.
Our government is supposed to be a system of checks and balances, but this really tips the scale toward the side of corruption.
Someone outside the realm of the Hempstead Town Board should be responsible for approving or denying these raises.
I wish I could approve my own raise!
Christine Gietschier
Westbury"

The Unknown Elections

Some local fire district and water district elections are coming up. It's almost a state secret to find out where and when. If you are lucky you can find a sign if the election is contested. If not, no voting for you.
My water district election is Tuesday Dec. 11th from 4pm-9pm...... Yes, that's 4pm to 9pm.
At my normal polling place?
Nope.
At the North Massapequa Firehouse on N. Broadway.
Confusing Much?
Call your local water district and fire district headquarters to find out when you have an election.

Here is a story in Newsday that mentions the race for South Farmingdale Water District Commissioner.
"TAX TALK: With a cluster of sanitary and water district elections next week, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi is calling a news conference tomorrow on special taxing districts. In one of the elections, lawyer Craig Heller, who's been working on reorganization proposals with the Democratic executive's office, opposes Kurt Ludwig, a public information official for the Town of Oyster Bay, for a commissioner seat in the South Farmingdale Water District. Broader battle lines are forming; the district in a newsletter argues against the prospect of district consolidations, declaring that "hometown rule makes sense."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Back from Short Hiatus

Catching up on a few things before starting to post.
Coming up....

Who are the future of the Nassau Republicans and are they nuts?

Super-secret and poorly attended local elections are less than two weeks away. What's up for grabs?

Joe Belesi: No Class.

Teammurray getting their raises.

And much more.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A "Heartfelt Appreciation" From Schmitt and Dunne? Hardly.

A friend of this blog and outstanding candidate John Clark caught this little copy and paste job from Schmitt and Dunne.
You can really tell when a politician cares because they take the time to do things personally. Seems Schmitt and Dunne typed out the same exact post-election "Thank You" letters to the Anton Newspapers.
Oh wait... they didn't.
Nothing says "Heartfelt" like a form letter.
Great Job Guys!

From the Massapequan Observer...
"I am writing to express my heartfelt appreciation to the voters of the 12th Legislative District for re-electing me as County Legislator. It is an honor to serve as your representative in the Legislature.
In the coming years, our county and communities will continue to face great challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working with leaders of both parties to return this county to the principles of fiscal conservatism by encouraging the passing of my proposed legislation to freeze property reassessment for five years and discouraging the continuation of excessive county spending practices.
I also look forward to working with elected officials, community leaders and residents to preserve the suburban character of our neighborhoods. Together, we must stop the forces of urbanization that threaten our quality of life.
Once again, thank you for affording me the privilege of serving you in the County Legislature.
Legislator Peter J. Schmitt, L.D. 12
Minority Leader"

From the Levittown Tribune.....
"I am writing to express my heartfelt appreciation to the voters of the 15th Legislative District for re-electing me as County Legislator. It is an honor to serve as your representative in the Legislature.
In the coming years, our county and communities will continue to face great challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working with leaders from both parties to return this county to the principles of fiscal conservatism by encouraging the passing of my proposed legislation to freeze property reassessment for five years and discouraging the continuation of excessive county spending practices.
I also look forward to working with elected officials, community leaders and residents to preserve the suburban character of our neighborhoods. Together, we must stop the forces of urbanization that threaten our quality of life.
Once again, thank you for affording me the privilege of serving you in the County Legislature.
Legislator Dennis Dunne, Sr., L.D. 15"

You'd think they would be embarrassed by this.. but they are not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Murray and Company Spend Whopping 8 minutes Discussing Special Districts

Boy, they really want to tackle this problem.
From our friends at the Community Alliance....
"8 minutes. That's all it took to kill off the last remnants of democracy at Hempstead Town Hall yesterday, where marauding Murray and the robber-barons that call themselves a Town Board turned "oversight" into "overlooked," as the supposed "review" of the special taxing district budgets became no more than a mockery.


8 minutes. Yes, that's more time than the Town clowns have spent looking over the shoulders of the special district commissioners in the last 100 years, but less time than the stalwarts of one-party drool take in bestowing citations upon Boy Scouts and basketball teams.

8 minutes. Barely enough time to summon the media, issue a Murraygram, or pose with Bernie Kerik for a photo op.

8 minutes. The Town’s equivalent of what it takes to reach political orgasm. Who would think the Town of Hempstead would devote even that much time to millions of taxpayer dollars, most of which are being flushed down the toilet at the water districts, or thrown out with the trash -- along with the Democrats' lawn signs -- by the sanitary districts.

The review of the local taxing authorities by the Hempstead Town Board amounted to little more than the Supervisor's query to the stunned audience, "Any questions?" Sure, we all read the proposed special taxing district budgets online. What more is there to know? Who are we to question?

But wait a minute -- or 8. Didn't Kate Murray win re-election by a resounding 68% of the vote? [Then again, Stalin used to pull down 100% of the vote.] Let's be honest here. This is not a mandate to Murray, so much as it is an acknowledgment that the Borg has total control over the goons who slither from under the floorboards and vote as they are told. As for the rest of us who certainly knew better? Tuesday's pathetic turnout by the electorate gives new meaning to the term, "silent majority."

Yes, it took but 8 minutes for democracy to fall in the Town of Hempstead, and but a moment's time for the Mondelloids to unfurl their "Mission Accomplished" banner, as if there is something to be proud of in proclaiming from the podium that what the people want in Elmont, in Oceanside, in Franklin Square, and in West Hempstead -- among other hovels that pass for hamlets in the Town's unincorporated areas -- doesn't amount to a room full of GOP committeemen.

8 minutes for every Town of Hempstead special taxing district budget to be rubber-stamped. 8 minutes to drive a deadly stake through the very heart of democracy. Frankly, we're surprised it took that long.

In a Town, as in a nation, governed by fear and intimidation, where dissent is taunted as disloyalty, to mock Murray and her ilk of the shallow gene pool is to court exile in the Gulag.

Then again, with the official designation of "blight" in Baldwin, "blight" in West Hempstead, and coming soon, "blight" in Elmont -- not to mention the undesignated and unofficial blight elsewhere in Hempstead Town (just a study waiting for a Victorian-style street lamp) - a few years in the vast wastelands of Siberia is looking pretty good right about now.

Democracy? You've got a better shot at representative government under Musharaff in Pakistan than you do under Murray in Hempstead Town. A government of the people? Don't tell Abe Lincoln, but "by the people" and "for the people" have drawn their last breath in America's largest township.

Democracy dies on the Hempstead Plain. The Eulogy was brief. The remains to be forever interred in the bowels of Town Hall at 1 Washington Street.

In lieu of voting, we hope you sent flowers."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mejias to be Declared Winner... Belesi Wil Not Concede

After all the votes are counted and machines recanvassed, Legisaltor Dave Mejias will shortly be declared the winner in Nassau by just over 200 votes. Belesi refuses to concede.
How far will Mondello try to take this?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sign Stealer Guardino Connected

From Newsday's Matthew Chayes....

"The Republican party political machine runs in the blood of 20-year-old Peter Guardino.

His grandfather, Joseph Colby, became a State Supreme Court justice after serving decades ago as the town supervisor of Oyster Bay. Guardino's father, A. Peter Guardino, was the town's deputy commissioner of human resources and later its labor director. The younger Guardino is a Republican committeeman in Oyster Bay, according to the Republican commissioner at the Nassau County Board of Elections, John DeGrace.

And early Tuesday morning, the scion found himself accused of practicing politics by other means: engaging in a dirty tricks campaign to steal hundreds of campaign signs belonging largely to Democrats.

Guardino makes $41,509 a year working for the Oyster Bay town parks department as an "Equipment Operator 1," according to Phyllis Barry, a town spokeswoman. Barry said Guardino began working for the town in January 2006. She said she did know if any disciplinary action would be taken against Guardino in light of the arrest.

Guardino, of Chestnut Avenue in North Massapequa, was arrested Election Day morning on misdemeanor stolen-property charges after Nassau police officers found about 220 of the signs from different political races in his Chevrolet pickup truck, police say.

Hours earlier, two plainclothes officers said they saw Guardino's truck pull into a Plainview McDonald's with its headlights off at 4 a.m., then saw him yank a Democratic party sign off the restaurant's lawn, police say. Guardino is scheduled to answer the charge in First District Court in Hempstead next week, authorities said.

Before they arrested him, they spent five hours investigating whether Guardino was authorized to remove the signs.

Detectives visited the Plainview Diner on Old Country Road, asking the manager whether an $80 sign for the Nassau County Legislature's presiding officer, Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury), was on diner property before Election Day and whether it was there the morning of Election Day, according to John Papavasilopoulos, the diner's owner.

"We said it wasn't there in the morning," said Papavasilopoulos, who stressed in an interview with Newsday that he supports candidates of all parties and never asked for Guardino to be arrested.

Approached Thursday afternoon outside his Massapequa home, Guardino declined to comment on the charges, referring inquiries to his attorney, whom he declined to name. No attorney for Guardino could be identified."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Presiding Officer is NOT Peter Schmitt

It's Diane Yaturo!!!
Congratulations Presiding Officer Yaturo.
Thank you Judy Jacobs for your incredible leadership.


Why Republican Rhetoric Did Not Work

Every year the republicans trot out an ill-conceived issue to run on. This year was re-assessment and in the final month drivers licences for illegals.
I took a sample of past election results of 2003 the last off-year election. In 2003 there was a county-wide candidate for the Assessors race and that brought voters out. Four years later with no county-wide race, both Democratic and republican candidates saw some big drop-offs in numbers. The Nassau GOP can't say that any of thier issues impacted the races because in some cases the republican drop-off was greater than Democrats. In the end, the percentages were pretty much the same from 4 years ago.
3rd LD
- 2003
Ciotti (R) …….5604
DeAngelis (D)…….4430
2007
Ciotti (R).......5,337

Mirza (D).......3,967

Ciotti Down 267
Democrat Down 463

8th LD - 2003
Muscarella …….8449
DeFelice (D)…….3127
2007

Muscarella (R).......7,633
Uhl (D).......2,347

Muscarella Down 816
Democrat Down 780

9th LD - 2003
Nicollelo (R)…….8494
Tamares (D)…….3822
2007
Nicolello (R).......6,974

Sokol (D).......2,870

Nicolello down 1520
Democrat down 952

12th LD - 2003
Schmitt (R).......9241
Rennhack (D).......3754
2007
Schmitt (R).......8,783
Rennhack (D).......2,712

Schmitt down 458
Democrat down 1042

13th LD -2003
Gonsalves (R)....... 7613
Zimmerman (D).......5075
2007
Gonsalves (R).......6,979

Rossi (D)......3,656

Gonsalves down 634
Democrat down 1419

15th LD - 2003
Dunne (R)……7749
Clark (D)…….3614
2007
Dunne (R).......7,295

Clark (D).......2,841

Dunne down 454
Democrat down 773

16th LD - 2003
Jacobs (D).......9550
Doyle (R).......4464
2007
Jacobs (D).......7,267

Girardi (R).......4,340

Jacobs down 2283
Republican down 124

17th LD - 2003
Mangano (R)....... 8348
Burns-Gleason (D)....... 3789
2007
Mangano (R).......7,352

Guarglia (D).......2,403

Mangano down 996
Democrat down 1386

Historical Numbers for the 14th LD Mejias Re-Election

The 14th LD is a republican district. That can't be argued. Even after the redistricting, the 14th is still overwhelmingly republican. Just by voter registraion, Mejias should have been clobbered each time he ran. That didn't happen and I don't doubt that Dave Mejias was re-elected and the Dems are still in control of the legislature.

I've posted some numbers of past races to compare to what we are seeing last night.

1999 is the year that the Democrats swept into control of the Legislature. It was a massacre for republicans but republican incumbant Sal Pontillo survived with a healthy margin of victory of over 1000 votes.
Pontillo (R) 5,994
Gorman (D)4,927
Styne (I) 258

2001 Tom Suozzi headed the Democratic ticket and Dave Mejias in his first run comes within under 600 votes of beating Pontillo.
Pontillo (R) - 7,574
Mejias (D) - 7,019

2003 with County Assessor at the top of the ticket, Mejias beats a candidate with massive name recognition. Mejias wins by 381 votes.
Mejias (D) 6,106 - 52%
Carman (R) 5,725 - 48%

2005 Souzzi up for re-election and PBA along with republicans spend alot of money to unseat Mejias but he takes the win.
Mejias (D) 7,587 - 51.36%
Sabellico (R) 7,184 - 48.64%

2007 an off-off year election with no top of the ticket county-wide still sees Mejias win in a district where his party affiliation is in the minority. The numbers tightened up this year but the republicans out-did themselves throwing money into the race. The Belesi people went sign crazy putting Belesi signs deep into the 12th LD and over in the 15th LD.
DAVID L MEJIAS (D).......6,182
JOSEPH V BELESI (R).......5,960

Mondello Suffering from Delusions

Mondello tells the New York Times “While the results are still coming in, it is clear that New York’s Republican Party has come a long way in the past 12 months,”

How is losing two special elections in Nassau, a party switch from Westchester, losing the Town of Islip and just keeping the status-quo in the Nassau Legislature coming a long way?????

Town of Hempstead Election Results

Winners in Red.

SUPERVISOR TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD
KATE MURRAY (R)......66,043
KEVIN GORMAN (D).......30,729

TWN OF HEMP COUNCILMEMBER 2ND DST
N SCOTT BANKS (D).......5,455
EDWARD A AMBROSINO(R).......10,035

TWN OF HEMP COUNCILMEMBER 3RD DST
JAMES DARCY(R).......10,314
GARY M CARLTON(D).......5,104

TWN OF HEMP COUNCILMEMBER 5TH DST
ROBERT S YOUNG(D).......6,906
ANGELINA M CULLIN (R).......12,199

TOWN CLERK TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD
MARK A BONILLA (R).......59,560
STEPHEN E TURMAN(D).......32,771

RECEIVER OF TAXES TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD
DONALD X CLAVIN JR (R).......61,201
GEOFFREY N PRIME(D).......32,067

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Town of Oyster Bay Election Results

Winners in Red.

SUPERVISOR TOWN OF OYSTER BAY
JOHN VENDITTO (R).......32,166
JOSEPH M TERINO JR (D).......15,083

COUNCIL MEMBER TWN OF OYSTER BAY
JOSEPH D MUSCARELLA (R).......29,435
ANTHONY D MACAGNONE (R).......28,333
KEITH A SCALIA (D).......17,464
ROSE MARIE WALKER (R).......28,087
CAROL A GORDON (D).......16,580
JAY S CHERLIN (D).......16,213

TOWN CLERK TWN OF OYSTER BAY
STEVEN L LABRIOLA (R).......30,026
MATTHEW T MENG (D).......15,692

RECEIVER OF TAXES TWN OF OYSTER BAY
MARIE F MCCORMACK (D).......18,332
JAMES J STEFANICH (R).......27,640




Nassau County Legislature Election Results

UPDATE: for 2008 election results please go here.

The ED's counted are 100% but the republicans won't concede the 14th LD.
Winners are in Red

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 1ST DISTRICT
KEVAN M ABRAHAMS (D).......4,283
DARREN R BRYANT (R)...... 828

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 2ND DISTRICT
ROGER H CORBIN (D)......3,619
DARROL A LOPEZ (R).......1,076

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 3RD DISTRICT
ALI A MIRZA (D).......3,967
JOHN J CIOTTI (R).......5,337

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 4TH DISTRICT
DENISE A FORD (D,R,I,C,W).......9,859

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 5TH DISTRICT
JOSEPH K SCANNELL (D)......5,225
CHRISTIAN BROWNE (R).......4,204

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 6TH DISTRICT
FRANCIS X BECKER JR (R).......6,870
OMAR G JORGE (D).......3,026

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 7TH DISTRICT
JEFFREY W TOBACK (D)......4,861
HOWARD J KOPEL (R).......4,165

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 8TH DISTRICT
MICHAEL A UHL (D).......2,347
VINCENT T MUSCARELLA (R).......7,633

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 9TH DISTRICT
RICHARD J NICOLELLO (R).......6,974
ERIC M SOKOL (D).......2,870

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 10TH DISTRICT
JUDI BOSWORTH (D).......6,273
HARRY A DEMELL (R).......2,801

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 11TH DISTRICT
WAYNE WINK (D).......6,088
LEE TU (R).......3,360

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 12TH DISTRICT
PETER J SCHMITT (R).......8,783
JOHN E RENNHACK (D).......2,712

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 13TH DISTRICT
JOHN J ROSSI (D)......3,656
NORMA L GONSALVES (R).......6,979

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 14TH DISTRICT
DAVID L MEJIAS (D).......6,182
JOSEPH V BELESI (R).......5,960

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 15TH DISTRICT
JOHN M CLARK (D).......2,841
DENNIS DUNNE SR (R).......7,295

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 16TH DISTRICT
JUDITH A JACOBS (D).......7,267
JOSEPH B GIRARDI (R).......4,340

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 17TH DISTRICT
EDWARD P MANGANO (R).......7,352
NICHOLAS M GUARIGLIA (D).......2,403

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 18TH DISTRICT
DIANE V YATAURO (D).......6,549
ELIZABETH A FAUGHNAN (R)....... 5,032

COUNTY LEGISLATOR 19TH DISTRICT
DAVID W DENENBERG (D).......7,449
JOHN P PODOLSKI (R).......3,120

Arrested Sign Stealer on News12

Here is their story...

Belesi Won't Concede

Even with a re-canvassing and Schmitt's hopeful comments on News12 that an election worker somehow transposed numbers, Mejias pulled out a win.
It's close and the reps spent an ungodly amount of money on a intellectually weak candidate but the seat is still Democratic.

Schmitt Breaking Election Law

It looks like Schmitt is electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place.
Big no-no.
But we know that Schmitt doesn't worry much about the law.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

No Live-Blogging Tonight

Gonna be at Dem HQ tonight.

Republican hack Peter Guardino Arrested with 220 Stolen Signs

Here is the full story I mentioned this morning. This schmuck is a commiteeman from my area. I wonder how many of my signs were in his truck...

From Newsday:

Man charged in theft of 220 campaign signs
BY WILLIAM MURPHY
6:29 PM EST, November 6, 2007

A man whose pick-up truck was stacked with 220 political signs from a variety of Democratic candidates was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with possession of stolen property, Nassau County police said.

Peter Guardino, 20, of North Massapequa, was given a desk appearance and released after being charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, police said.

Two plainclothes officers saw the pick-up, with its headlights off, drive into a fast-food parking lot on Old Country Road in Plainview about 4:05 a.m., police said.

Guardino got out of the vehicle and pulled a political sign from a grassy area, police said, and officers then approached him and saw the other signs in the truck.

Police said they established that one of the signs had been taken from the Plainview Diner. They arrested Guardino about 9 a.m. after the management of the diner filed a formal complaint that no one was authorized to remove a sign for Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury), the presiding officer of the legislature, from the diner's property, police said. The value of the sign was put at $80.

Guardino could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sign Stealer Caught and Arrested

More info to come but as of right now, a republican operative who also works for one of the towns has been arrested and charged.

The Election Day Goons Are Out

As of 3am this morning, I had 100+ signs all over the district. At 714am, most of them were gone. Incredibly, republican signs right next to whee mine were are still there.
What are the republicans in the Massapequas so scared of?

The Goons are congregating at Paddy's Loft on Hicksville Road right now.

VOTE!

Today is election day and it is important to exercise your right as a citizen to choose who you want to represent you.

With that said, locally we need to return all the Democratic Legislators. The slim majority we have now is all that stands between us and bankruptcy for the county. Peter Schmitt and the republican candidates support plans that will make matters worse not better.
I am running against Peter Schmitt in a very uphill race because the truth about his plans need to be told. Nassau County can't afford Peter Schmitt.

Legislator Dave Mejias needs your support in the 14th LD to make sure that Joe Belesi the Peter Schmitt puppet doesn't ruin the county.

Legislator Diane Yaturo will defeat TOBAY council-woman Beth Faughnan. And then Faughnan needs to lose in TOBAY in 2 years.

Elsewhere, please cast your ballots for great candidates for legislature Omar Jorge, Mike Uhl, Ali Mirza, John Rossi and John Clark.

In Oyster bay, it's time we had real government and not wishy-washy, finger in the wind "leaders" like John Venditto. Joe Terino and his team are the future.

In Hempstead, just throw the corrupt bums out. Kate Murray is part of a system that bleeds taxpayers dry while lining the pockets of politically-connected friends and family.

Judges? I know Ed Dane and he is a Judge we need on the bench.
Rhonda Fischer? Don't vote for her. She's part of the republican machine.

It's raining out but get out there and vote. The future of our great county depends on it.

I'll have updates during the day when I can get in front of a computer.

John

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mejias Files Complaint with DA Against Schmitt

From Newsday Spin Cycle's Dan Janison:

"
Democratic Nassau Legis. David Mejias, in a letter dated Oct. 21 from his law office, complains to Democratic District Attorney Kathleen Rice and to the county ethics board that Republicans had a county employee photograph him and other Democrats specifically to place the images in attack mailings.

The complaint is directed at Minority Leader Peter Schmitt's deployment of county photographer Michael Tamborino on Sept. 24 when the Legislature was in session. "On Oct. 10, 2007," he states, "the pictures taken during that legislative session were used in partisan political literature/propaganda," Mejias says.

One ad displays a photo of a nut and bolt, with the proclamation "this is a machine product." It is juxtaposed with a photo of the gesturing Mejias and the punchline: "So is this." Another piece uses the same purportedly county-provided photo and accuses Mejias of "playing politics and costing property taxpayers a fortune." Both were included as exhibits in Mejias' complaints.

Mejias, a recent resident of Farmingdale, faces Republican challenger Joseph Belesi at the polls tomorrow in a widely-watched race. There was no immediate response from Schmitt's office.

"Peter J. Schmitt may believe that his use of Michael Tamborino, a county employee, during working hours (and using a county-woned camera and film) for the advancement of his partisan political beliefs is appropriate and proper," Mejias wrote. "Clearly, it is not." He cites a section of local law barring use of county resources in furtherance of professional or political interests.

To the board, Mejias requests public censure for Schmitt, a forfeit of pay and a fine."


Newsday Endorses Me (John Rennhack) for Legislature

12TH DISTRICT

Republican Peter Schmitt, 57, of Massapequa, has taken to his role as minority leader of the legislature with vigor. Perhaps too much vigor. While the job is to lead the loyal opposition, Schmitt has too often been an obstructionist, reflexively rejecting anything the Democratic majority proposed. He stands for everything that we found disappointing about the old, sclerotic Republican Party.


Democrat John Rennhack, 37, of North Massapequa, is a television broadcast satellite manager who wants to use technology to open up legislative operations to the public. And he would push Nassau to go green. Both are worthy ideas. But his anti-Republican rhetoric as an outsider and Web site operator has, unfortunately, sometimes been over the top. He needs to reject the hyper-partisanship that has characterized his opponent. With that caveat, Newsday endorses Rennhack.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Venditto Ignores Residents in Syosset

From Guest Blogger Keith Scalia, Candidate for Oyster Bay Town Council....

Over the past several years, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and the Town Board have approved the expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars on preventing the Taubman group from building a mall on the former Cerro Wire site. As recently as last week, Supervisor Venditto stated that he "won't be intimidated" by developers that are "corporate America profiteers" and "money-grabbers" that intend "bully" him. Moreover, www.venditto.com states that Supervisor Venditto will "continue to oppose development that erodes the unique character and quality of life we enjoy in our communities." While the supervisor and town board have done their due diligence for the residents of Birchwood, they have been inattentive and thoughtless in another community that lies a half mile from the Cerro Wire site.

The Syosset Mobile Home Park is a peaceful, close knit community of seventy families that consists of senior citizens, veterans, young families, and children. It has had a quiet history in the Town of Oyster Bay for over eighty years. On April 2, 2007 the park was sold to a developer, STP Associates, LLC., and the residents were devastated and blindsided by the sale. STP Associates, LLC has indicated that they would like to close down the park in order to develop the parcel and advised residents to take their homes and get off their land. Unfortunately, many of the residents' homes cannot be moved for a number of reasons. Moreover, residents will receive no compensation should they leave their homes behind. The residents of the community have invested their life savings into purchasing, furnishing and refurbishing their homes and are now facing the reality of their families becoming homeless or dependent upon public assistance.

Supervisor Venditto and the town board have turned a blind eye on the hundreds of residents that live in the Syosset Mobile Home Park. Abusive tactics by STP Associates has forced some residents to make the dreadful and unthinkable decision of abandoning their homes. Town Code has not been enforced and countless phone calls to the TOB Building Department regarding demolition of homes without proper permits have been ignored and unreturned by officials. Moreover, sewer lines remain uncapped and exposed creating a number of health issues for the remaining families.

When it has come to preventing development at the Cerro Wire site, Councilman Chris Coschignano has stated that "equality of life is the paramount issue" and "the Town Board held firm to protect it." However, when it comes to protecting the quality of life for the residents of the Syosset Mobile Home Park, Supervisor Venditto and the town board has stated that they need to "remain neutral." If Supervisor Venditto is the "hardworking, creative and dedicated leader" and "great proponent of family and community" that he claims to be, he must attend to the pressing needs of this great community with the same vigor that he has done with the Birchwood community.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Venditto Opponent Terino Gets Newsday Endorsement

Newsday points out Vendittos lack of a spine...

"
After 10 years of slow motion on crucial development issues, it's time for change

Republican John Venditto has been supervisor of Oyster Bay Town for the past 10 years and in that time, he says, he is proud that he's done things "the Oyster Bay way." By that, he means that change has come incrementally, in a manner designed not to change the suburban nature of the town. Venditto, 58, of Massapequa, has vehemently opposed such projects as the Avalon housing development in Oyster Bay village, the multi-use project proposed by Charles Wang for Plainview and the luxury mall proposed by the Taubman company in Syosset. He has, in fact, fought repeated court orders to allow the mall to proceed. In all three cases, he says the projects are too dense for the town's character. And in all three cases, he has sided with the traditional NIMBY opposition to anything new.

Venditto says he recognizes the need for change and has supported senior and now next-generation housing proposals. But his accomplishments are tiny compared to the problem. He also says he's straightened out the town's finances in his years in office, and championed more environment and open-space programs. For that he deserves credit.

His opponent, Democrat Joseph Terino, 38, of Syosset, is a former Nassau assistant district attorney now in private practice. He's critical of Venditto for his slow pace and lack of creative thinking about problems such as affordable housing and redevelopment of downtown areas like Hicksville. While he thought the Avalon project was too dense as proposed, he says the only way to lower taxes in the town is through intelligent planning and redevelopment. He says he would accept the court order on the Taubman project but negotiate for less density. Venditto laughs at this, saying Terino will never achieve the reduction in the size of the mall he claims.

Venditto has been too complacent on the big issues facing the town. Terino promises a more dynamic but still sensible approach to growth and redevelopment. It's time for a change in Oyster Bay. Newsday endorses Terino.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Meet Democratic Candidate John Clark

John Clark is working to unseat Dennis Dunne Nothing in the 15th Legislative District.
Check out John's website below....

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TOBAY Election News: Seen in Massappequa Park

Councilman Muscarella hit the Massapequa Park LIRR station tuesday morning handing out the usual palm cards plus a little blue band-aid holder.
A band-aid isn't going to solve the real problems in the Town of Oyster Bay.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Oh Geez, Young Republicans Don't Learn Their Lessons

A few years ago I pointed out that then executive vice-president of the Nassau County Young Republicans Alex Vassallo wrote scathing (and factually challenged) letters to the Long Island Press and Newsday without bothering to mention his position with the republican party. That is called being dishonest. See here and here. I also caught their First Vice-President doing the same here. Both young men went on to become Presidents of the Nassau County Young Republicans.

Two weeks ago the Long Island Press did a cover story about Long Island "Citizen Journalists" and featured Peter King Watch as one of the sites.

Last week, a letter appeared in the Press bashing the site and me...
"Zinging King Watch
Dear Editor,
I have to question your recent article on one of the “citizen journalists,” the gentleman who runs the blog King Watch [“Citizen Journalists: Long Island Blogs,” Oct. 4]. Journalism used to be something revered, but people like [the bloggers on] King Watch, along with those who covered the King/Mejias election for Newsday last year, showed their true colors-that they are interested in substantive issues but would rather make cheap political points by relentlessly attacking the congressman’s son and daughter for alleged ties to lobbyists. They even went to far as to allege both his children influenced his decisions without a shred of evidence. I am sorry, but this is not what my definition of journalism is and the last thing we should be doing is encouraging such behavior. Dissent is a part of political discourse and while it’s a fallacy to believe in the term “clean election,” the spew that came from King Watch was shameful and uncalled for. We all know that there are certain things that Mejias couldn’t say directly, so rather, he had his hatchet man at King Watch do it for him - that’s not journalism.
Sincerely,
Michael Kaplan, Freeport"

I read that and chuckled.
Why?
Because Michael Kaplan is trying to pull a fast one.

Here is my letter in this weeks Long Island Press...
"This is in response to the letter about my website Peter King Watch featured in the Oct. 4th issue. Letter writer Michael Kaplan takes issue with my website alternately calling me a “gentleman” and a “hatchet man.” Here comes the inconvienent truth; far from being “relentless,” the posts on my site about Sean Kings lobbying ties consisted of four posts out of hundreds. My site deals with issues and facts that Kaplan and King cannot refute or rebut. I work for no one but myself and post what I feel needs to be known by voters. Simply put, the facts.
What is most disturbing is that Kaplan stands on his soapbox pontificating about what he believes is journalism and tries to make what he himself calls “cheap political points” without disclosing his own background. Michael Kaplan is the past president of the Nassau County Young Republicans, interned for Peter King and now works for King’s committee in Washington . He boasts of being called “Mike the Machine” by King on his MySpace page. If Kaplan wanted to be honest he would have included that information which would put his attack on me and King Watch in better perspective."

So we have the former president of the YR's and a current employee of King making like he's just a regular guy writing a letter to the editor.

Meet Democratic Candidate Omar Jorge

Omar Jorge is running for the Nassau County Legislature to unseat Fran Becker.
Please visit his site for more information. Click on the link below....

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A Response to the New Republican Commercial

Meet Democratic Candidate John Rennhack

More information about my campaign at the link below..


Meet Democratic Candidate John Rossi

John Rossi is running for the seat currently held by republican Norma Gonsalves.

Visit John's website....

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nassau County Young Republicans Update

The Nassau County Young Republicans have updated their site with the bios of their executive board and I still stand by my prediction that 2nd VP Kathleen Hunker will be president by January. Although current president Andy Stream just recently took office, history shows that the Nassau YR Presidency is harder to keep filled than the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. The Nassau YR's have had four presidents in two years.

I’m not completely dismissing the chances of Executive VP Stephen Canzoneri but his path through the YR’s show him as always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

More to come.....

Monday, October 08, 2007

Macagnone Made Me Laugh

Anthony Macagnone, TOBAY Councilman, former Democrat and current Venditto-Head gave me a chuckle... or at least one of his minions did. Walking through Farmingdale I saw a "Re-Elect Macagnone" sign that said "Keep Oyster Bay Working."
Too bad that sign was posted on the window of an EMPTY STOREFRONT.
Another empty slogan from an empty politician posted ironically on an empty storefront.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Belesi Geographically Challenged

What's with the Belisi for Legislator signs on lawns well outside the 14th LD boundry?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Kate Murray's Fake Tax Freeze

From our friends at The Community Alliance....

"Remember when Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray promised a "freeze" of all Town taxes? That famous "hold the line" on property taxes?

Well, she didn't do it for 2007, did she?

All the smoke-and-mirrors -- or "gimmicks," as Kate calls them -- and the tax levies for the Town of Hempstead still went north.

Take a look at your 2007 statement for the General Tax Levy. [If you can't find yours, or burned it in disgust, click HERE to view the representative tax bill on the website of Residents For Efficient Special Districts (RESD).]

Leave aside, if you dare, the Town's so-called "special districts" (fire, water, sanitation), over which Supervisor Murray continues to claim the Town has no control. [No, the Town Attorney simply serves as counsel to one or more of such districts as a matter of convenience and coincidence.]

Anyway, let's look at the Town's 2007 levy versus the Town's 2006 levy, shall we? [All figures rounded -- up or down -- to nearest million.]

Town Highway, repairs & improvements (like we've seen any of that):
2006 Levy -- $52 Million
2007 Levy -- $54 Million

Town Lighting District (We guess they do leave the lights on for us):
2006 Levy -- $8.6 Million
2007 Levy -- $9 Million

Town Refuse Collection District (and you thought the Sanitary Districts collected refuse):
2006 Levy -- $46 Million
2007 Levy -- $48 Million

Town Park District:
2006 Levy -- $33 Million
2007 Levy -- $34 Million


Give or take, that's $5.4 million in additional taxes (over 2005) right there. And we haven't even factored in that "sidewalk assessment."

So much for a tax "freeze." We wonder what "line" Kate Murray was holding? [For her sake, we hope there's a life preserver at the end of it.

But wait!

What if, as the Republicans on the County Legislature have foolishly suggested, we "freeze" the assessment? Won't that "freeze" property taxes as well.

Ah, not exactly.

In every instance where the Town raised the tax levy, there was an increase in the tax rate -- a tax rate set, not by the Assessor, but by the Town of Hempstead!

"Freeze" the Assessment, as the County GOP suggests, and the taxing authorities -- be they County, Town, School, or Special District, will have no alternative but to INCREASE THE TAX RATE.

If Paul has to get paid, Peter's pocket is going to get picked. Period!

Back in March, Supervisor Murray talked of a tax "freeze" for 2008 (click HERE to read the Town's press release). The proposed 2008 Town Budget is now on the table. [Nice photo of the sun setting over the Town of Hempstead.]

The promise: Hold the line on taxes, with a proposed "freeze" of all levies at 2007 levels. [As if that was a bargain for the Town's homeowners.]

And what, pray tell, did Kate Murray do with that $50 million surplus inhereted from her predecessor, Rich Guardino? We didn't receive any refund checks, did you?

Maybe its not the "freeze" we should be worried about, but rather, the thaw -- and the flood of rising taxes -- that will surely follow."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Michael Uhl, Democratic Candidate for the Nassau Legislature

"Incumbency Has Its Privileges; Michael Uhl Has The Internet
Open any local paper – maybe even the one you’re reading right now – and you are likely to find a photograph, or three, of your elected officials.
Your county legislator shows up – often with his own photographer -- at a pancake breakfast or pasta dinner, barely saying more than “hello,” and voila, a photo opportunity.
Such is the power of incumbency, and the ability of those in office to get their names – and pictures – in the papers on a weekly basis.
“It hasn’t been about the issues,” said Michael Uhl, candidate for County Legislature in the 8th Legislative District. “It has been about the photo opportunity and name recognition, and that’s what we’re hoping to change.”
Change, indeed. Campaigning on a platform of across the board reform, from consolidating special taxing districts to breaking down the partisan roadblocks that stymie the best of intentions in the legislature, Michael Uhl is looking beyond the photo op to the 21st Century “webolution.”
“Not only have we created a presence on the web with a traditional website,” says an enthusiastic Uhl, “we’ve also launched a blog, or web log, where residents can read about and discuss the issues that matter most to them.
While Michael Uhl’s website – www.uhlwin.com – offers the standard fare of bio, issues, news, and links, The Uhl Blog, as it is called -- http://uhlwin.blogspot.com/ -- takes a more cutting edge approach.
Sometimes lighthearted and often over-the-top, The Uhl Blog offers unique perspectives, as well as the opportunity for residents to post comments, participate in polls, and to literally direct the issues in the campaign.
“If we’re going to bring change to Nassau County ,” declared Uhl, “and reform a system that is driving homeowners off the island and taxpayers into debt, we need to engage the voter in the debate, and not belittle the electorate with the meaningless photo op.”
“The real opportunity,” said Uhl, “is for residents to take back government so that it works for them, not for the benefit of the political parties, or for the career politicians who woo voters at pancake breakfasts, but do little to address substantive issues that are our bread and butter.”
The 8th Legislative District encompasses Garden City, Garden City South, Stewart Manor, West Hempstead, Franklin Square and portions of Elmont and Floral Park ."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

There's a New Nassau Blog: Becker Blunders

Not sure who is behind it but we welcome Becker Blunders to the web.
Nassau County Legislator Fran Becker flies under the radar but this site is now exposing what the Becker Family is up to.
The first post gives us an intro to what we should be expecting:
"I'm Tired of Fran Becker
I've created this page to educate the public on the ways that Francis X. Becker, Jr. is destroying the Village of Lynbrook and Nassau County. Fran has been skating on the reputation created by his grandfather and father for way too long and it's time that Lynbrook woke up and voted for a change.

In 12 years, what has Fran Becker done for us? Are our streets better? Is our Village safer? Are we proud of our downtown and commercial areas? The answer to all these questions is NO!! Well I'm tired of Becker's horrible job and think it's time for a change.

I don't care who is running against Fran, but on Election Day I'm going to vote for the other guy. It's time for a change and it's time to show the Becker family that they don't run Lynbrook. WE THE PEOPLE RUN LYNBROOK AND ITS TIME TO TAKE OUR VILLAGE BACK!!"
Check out www.beckerblunders.livejournal.com