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Hempstead Town Board Meeting Gets Heated, Gas Station Law

A weekly look-in at news from around the Town of Hempstead.

Felix Procacci at Tuesday's town board meeting. Credit: YouTube
Felix Procacci at Tuesday's town board meeting. Credit: YouTube
The Town of Hempstead board meeting was cut short Tuesday after resident Felix Procacci went over the three-minute span of allotted speaking time.

Procacci was discussing the recent lawsuit settlement between the town and three banned, volunteer animal rescue workers formerly of the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter.

After a warning to stop speaking from Senior Councilman Anthony Santino, Procacci ignored the request and continued speaking. It was at this point that Procacci's mic was turned off and the meeting was ended.

Click here to watch the video of what happened at the board meeting.

Hempstead Town Board Approves Gas Station Generator Law

Supervisor Kate Murray, Senior Councilman Anthony Santino and members of the Town Board passed a new Gas Station Generator Law on Tuesday in an effort to prevent the long fuel lines during major power outages.

The legislation was promoted by the seemingly endless gas lines endured by residents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. While a major part of the problem was getting fuel shipments into local ports and to area gas stations, several fueling stations had gasoline in underground tanks, but had no way to fill up cars because stations lacked the electricity needed to pump fuel into the vehicles.

The new legislation requires gas stations in the township to have back-up generator power capable of operating fuel pumps in the event of a power outage. The officials said the legislation will help mitigate the impact of the type of fuel shortage that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Gasoline stations that pump more than 100,000 gallons a month would be required to comply with the town’s new generator law.

Existing gasoline retailers would have until Jan. 1, 2015, to come into compliance with the new legislation. Newly constructed facilities would immediately be required to build gas stations to the new standard. Similar legislation has gone into effect in Florida and Louisiana.

Deadline Approaching to Nominate Women for Town's 2013 Pathfinder Award

During the month of March, nationally recognized as Women’s History Month, the town’s Pathfinder Award is presented to local women who have excelled in their careers, the arts, education and volunteer activities, among other areas. The town is reminding residents to send in their nominations for women who are deserving of this recognition by the Feb. 5 deadline.

Each nominee will be carefully considered in the category specified by the person or organization making the recommendation. Award winners will be honored at a special ceremony on March 5 before their friends and family.

Nomination forms with an explanation of the various award categories can be obtained by downloading the form at http://www.toh.li//files/pdfs/th_pathfinder-nomination-form.pdf.

TOH Announces New Children's Art Programs in East Meadow

The Town of Hempstead recently announced new and free children's art programs that will take place in East Meadow during the winter season.

Recreation instructors will guide the children in an array of artistic projects. Parents may only enroll their children by calling the individual park. Age requirements vary by location and proof of age is required at the first class.

Parents will have to register for the winter programs by phone or in person at each park beginning on Jan. 28 at 9 a.m.

The classes will meet at the following locations on Saturdays from Feb. 2 to March 23.
  • Salisbury Park Drive Ball Fields: Classes will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for children ages 5 to 10, (516) 997-4534.   
  • Veterans Memorial Park: Classes will take place at 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for children ages 5 to 10, (516) 296-7791.

Robert Demarco January 30, 2013 at 05:02 PM
We do!!
Robert Demarco January 30, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Exactly!!
Frank T January 30, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Chris I think your allotted time on this topic is over. Ok now everyone walk out on Chris.
Thomas Nathan January 30, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Felix facilitates discussion between about 8 people on a website. He sometimes seems more interested in getting credit to himself (I went to 53 straight meetings) rather than ensuring the information gets out there. His focus on this lawsuit shows his worry about the minutae that is relatively meaningless. So the town settled a lawsuit where the attorney from the other side almost received more money than all three plaintiffs combined - big deal. We saw with his focus on the possible consolidation of Sanitation District #2 what he thinks are best for others does not agree with what he thinks is best for where he lives. If Felix wants results he should find real issues that people care about not just minutea and incessant details that the vast majority of people are not worried about.
Lorraine DeVita January 30, 2013 at 05:32 PM
I tend to dissagree with your statement as well your comprehension of what is being accomplished. To me it isnt so much about the the minutea as you state, its about bringing to light as in the the fable "the emporers new clothes" that the emporer truly "doesnt have any clothes on". To me what Felix is making note in his posts is the fact We the taxpayers truly should look at the bill of goods being sold to us. Instead of blindly accepting something becaseu :"thats the way its done " when we all clearly understand that the WAY is not in our best interest nor in some cases is it Kosher - so we turn a blind eye. MZ Murray et all have thier own little fifedom here in the TOH. Its a sweet deal for them, their friends, business partners family and those who are hanging onto coattails. What happens to the rest of us? Would you tell your Child to turn a blind eye to something th t just isnt right becaseu "Thats the way it is done"? would you condone any of these shannigans of misuse of power if it was anywhere else? One day all this game playing / back slapping etc will come back to bite US the taxpayer in the pocket. IMHO ETHICs and INTEGRITY are questionable in the TOH on all levels. When you chose to ignor questions from the people who you represent. when you chose to disregard concerns , then that leaves me questioning your transparency , integrity /ethics leaving me to beleive you have something to hide. The elephant in the "closet" isnt the republican symbol
Lorraine DeVita January 30, 2013 at 05:36 PM
The elephant in the "closet" is the acceptance that we KNOW something is wrong we just chose to ignor it. By ignoring it, we can claim deniability.. Feliz is pointing out we cant DENY it any longer ..
Lorraine DeVita January 30, 2013 at 05:38 PM
TERM LIMITS - is one viable solution tha thas never been addressed. lol nor will it.
Robert Demarco January 30, 2013 at 05:57 PM
This "minutae" is costing the taxpayers alot of money.
Chris Wendt January 30, 2013 at 06:06 PM
We have term limits. The regular general elections. Don't like your representatives? Vote them out of office. Of course, that will still and always require those same two things: 1. Viable candidates who can win election and do the job, and, 2. A majority of actual voters who will come out and mark their ballots for the challengers you put up to unseat the incumbents. I'd be dipped if I had to accept Gary Port as the Presiding Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead because of some arbitrary and capricious "term limit" set on Kate Murray. In the last election, Murray outpolled Port by more than two-to one! (71,000 to 35,000 total votes, respectively). See http://www.lipolitics.com/blog/2011/11/11/hempstead-results-2011/ Let's get real about this. The Democrats had nothing and thus got nothing in the last Town election: no viable candidate and no voter support. And you people want to get in through term limits?
Thomas Nathan January 30, 2013 at 06:37 PM
@Robert Ok since you mentioned it - how much is the minutae costing us? Let us know the number.
Felix Procacci January 30, 2013 at 06:51 PM
The Town spent about $600,000 on the Law suit. They could have offered a judgment and pay the plaintiffs 2 years ago (and saved a lot of money) but the defendants probably wanted to avoid having a judgment in their name. The charge against the defendents is the violation of the Constitutional Rights of three residents. The plaintiffs could have gotten the same money two years ago if that is all they wanted. They wanted justice, and that is what they got. Newsday did not report the story accurately or completely (this is typical of Newsday stories from Town Hall). Two years ago a lawyer for the Town told everyone at a TB meeting that the Animal Shelter had only killed 15 dogs in 6 months. Antonnews wrote the story, Newsday DID NOT (a Newsday reporter was at the meeting). See : http://www.antonnews.com/threevillagetimes/news/14339-residents-and-activists-lambaste-toh-board-on-animal-shelter.html if everyone sticks to the facts, and demands the truth from their government we can disagree on issues of opinion, but make better decisions by knowing the facts.
Robert Demarco January 30, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Thomas: don't know the number, and you know that I don't know the number. I do know that I see waste all the time, and I am not going to regurgitate any of these items here. The next time you get a flyer with pictures of Murray and your local Councilman, ask yourself how much it cost to produce, and understand that it was probably designed by the daughter of one of the Councilmen. That in itself is typical TOH nepotism. And that piece of information was brought to our mattention by Felix.
S.M. January 30, 2013 at 07:50 PM
How can anyone defend the ToH with their "suspect" agenda? Kate loves the photo op and her baby goats. How do I know this??? I saw it in one of her colorful mailings presumably made by one of her graphic designers on staff making roughly $60,000 a year after daddy cashed in a favor. Lets now explore Her Majesty's McMansion...obviously she had no issues with the town on variances etc...just ask her neighbors.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Here is a little tip, repeating something many times does not make it anymore important, hence maybe why the mike was turned off, WE GOT IT ALREADY!
Thomas Nathan January 30, 2013 at 08:29 PM
@Robert you dont know the number and yet you say it costs us a lot of money. We know the budget for the mailings. But again how can you tell us it costs a lot when you have no clue what it even is. How about instead of the dollar amount you just tell us the items then
Felix Procacci January 30, 2013 at 09:07 PM
The purpose of going to Town Hall and putting this video on YouTube was to inform residents about the Judgment (that Newsday didn't report accurately). It was also to show how the Town Board was unfair to the Town Clerk. I know you may not believe me, but I am NOT disgruntled nor do I resent anyone. You are RIGHT, I do not go to Town Hall to facilitate discussion with the Town Board. That used to be the reason, but the Town Board would not discuss things like reducing mailings (use email instead), sending SALT TRUCKS out on WARM SUNNY days in April to pick up leaves, explain the $3.5 million dollar Animal Shelter Admin Charge, and a whole lot more. They did not want to discuss or even explain the reasons why they support these programs that to me (and many other taxpayers), appear to be a waste of TAXPAYER MONEY. If they would answer questions, I would welcome the opportunity for the discussion. One other thing you should know about the Open Meetings Law, it DOES NOT require government officials to answer questions (AND THEY KNOW THAT). Trying to facilitate a conversation with the Town Board about the Judgment, or any wasteful program is just a waste of time (I would NOT learn anything nor would anyone else in the audience, I have tried it, it doesn't work). Like I said in a previous comment, let us focus on the facts, discuss the facts, NOT OPINIONS (that has shown to be a waste of time).
Robert Demarco January 30, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Well, thereis the usual stuff that they do, the photo ops, with a Town photographer, the mailings, the patronage and nepotism, the 9 people at the Animal Shelter making over $100K. Then there is the TOH Safety Patrol, who are basically unarmed security guards, making $70K. Then, I live by a park, and I see guys on Sundays cleaning up and cutting the grass, no doubt on overtime. That's basically some things that I know about or observe. You cannot deny the fact that the TOH circumvents the civil service system to provide jobs for favored people, who no doubt provide sewrvices to the Party. I don't know why you are trying to pin me to the wall on this, except perhaps you are a beneficiary of the largesse.
Brent M. January 30, 2013 at 10:48 PM
anyone else notice. the new "SMOKE SHOP".. that opened up on Hempstead turnpike across from McDonalds.. next to Pawn SHop and Tattoo SHop.. and Spiritual Advisor.. so lets see.. you can go get your Palms Read, which tells you to PAWN your gold , then take some of the money you PAWNED your belongings with to get a TATTOO in a crappy shop & end it with buying a new BONG from the SMOKE SHOP.. and you dont have to walk more then 40ft to do ALL of these things!!!! EAST GHETTO!!!
Thomas Nathan January 30, 2013 at 11:41 PM
@ Robert - again you provide your opinion with no support. Like was said before we all know the budget for mailings so thats out of the minutea category. But you bring up another interesting topic which I doubt you will dread when I ask you the natural follow-up question. Please point out the positions where TOH has gone around the civil service process.
Robert Demarco January 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM
I can give you two examples: one from a very long time ago and one recent. Back when D'Amato was TOH Supervisor, I knew a woman who took the exam for some clerical position, got on the list, and could not understand why she was not called. Upon making inquiries, she was told that if she knocked on some doors for the Party, she would get called. She reluctantly did, and ultimately got a position. Long time ago, but still relevant. How about all those mailings? Gary Hudes' daughter is a graphic designer for TOH, but I am sure that you think this is a coincidence, and that she was the only person qualified.
Thomas Nathan January 31, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Robert - your civil service example does not show how they skirted civil service at all. The woman took the test and was not called. Civil service ALLOWS a process where you dont call someone. You are allowed passes on the list you dont have to explain. Maybe you dont like the reason she was passed up but in all honesty civil service allows it. So strike one, As for the mailings - we have talked about it ad nauseum and all know the budget for the mailings is approx $2m so its not a minuteau item. As for the hiring someones daughter. Happens all the time by every politician on every side of the spectrum. Show me she is unqualified or overpaid and thats another issue.
Carmela Soprano January 31, 2013 at 12:13 AM
There's a database of salaries and names for TOH employees. There's also a database for overtime for all public employees in New York State (NY City is excluded). It's in Newsday on line. TOH leads all towns on Long Island with overtime.
S.M. January 31, 2013 at 12:45 AM
What is the budget for the mailings??? Enlighten me! Can we also get the budget for the care and management of the mini goats?
Jon L. February 01, 2013 at 07:02 PM
So, let me get this straight. Because I disagree with they way Town Government is run, I should run for office? I think that the complaints of many here are legitimate, what is wrong with commentary on how government can be run more efficiently? The elected officials should be responsive to constituent criticism. It is another way to get more votes but in the case here in the People's Republic of Hempstead re-election is already paid for by way of patronage jobs and backroom political deals. Do you think the founding fathers of this country had an idealistic sense of what Government should be? It is commentary that feeds a revolution. That is why we have free association, a free press and yes government shall not restrain the right of free speech. It's supposed to be idealistic... (sorry for my late reply, busy working, less time for commentary)
Chris Wendt February 01, 2013 at 07:15 PM
@ Carmela Soprano re: "TOH leads all towns on Long Island with overtime." You do realize that the Town of Hempstead, New York is the largest township in the United States of America, right? So, TOH leading the rest of Long Island in anything would be some big surprise, why?
Robert Demarco February 01, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Mr. Nathan: You conveniently left out the part about the woman getting the job after doing some work for the Party. That was the important part of my example. Obviously, not everyone who takes a test gets called. As for the Councilman's daughter getting the graphic designer job: yes, it happens all the time, but that does not make it right. You seem to enjoy sitting in the belltower and picking off all of the commenters on this thread.
Chris Wendt February 01, 2013 at 07:55 PM
@ Robert Demarco re: "...I knew a woman who took the exam for some clerical position, got on the list, and could not understand why she was not called. Upon making inquiries, she was told that if she knocked on some doors for the Party, she would get called. She reluctantly did, and ultimately got a position." I challenge your use of the word "reluctantly". She had obviously come to understand how the patronage system works (in Hempstead Township, in Nassau County, in New York State, in the United States, and around the planet, Earth), got on board the gravy train, and got herself that job. If you are shocked by this, if this is some big revelation to you, then I question why you are posting comments here at all? Are you really that much of a neophyte, or some rigid idealist? Nah, of course you aren't, because your example went all the way back to Al D'Amato's tenure in the ToH, decades ago. Only the names have changed, Mr. Demarco. Only the names.
Thomas Nathan February 01, 2013 at 07:58 PM
@Robert I am glad your friend was hired but your argument really has nothing to do with the point you were trying to make. Your point was about circumventing civil service when in reality they did not. Why they did not call her or why they hired her is really irrelevent to your point.
S.M. February 01, 2013 at 09:05 PM
The budget for the mailings somebody??? Please! Surely you must know this Chris..you know everything about anything. Since we're on the topic of O.T., how much OT does a graphic designer or a mini goat maintainer (don't know what else to call them) do in a year??? Just wondering because these truly are necessary positions in local gov't.
Chris Wendt February 02, 2013 at 01:44 AM
@ S.M. re: "...how much OT does a...mini goat maintainer (don't know what else to call them) do in a year?" The official position title is Goatherd. The amount of overtime depends upon the activity of the wolves, which, unfortunately are nocturnal pack hunters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjSjB-3xPVM

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