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Monday, March 30, 2015
Election 2013
Kate Murray, Felix Procacci vie for Town of Hempstead supervisor
Felix Procacci and Kate Murray are vying for the Town of Hempstead supervisor's post this year.

The race for Town of Hempstead supervisor pits two 51-year-olds — one a longtime politico and attorney, the other a former electrical engineer turned computer programmer — against each other in a race that centers on two key issues — the town budget and the environment.

The current supervisor, Kate Murray, of Levittown, faces a challenge by self-described open-government advocate Felix Procacci, of Franklin Square. Murray, who served as town clerk for a year and as a state assemblywoman for three years before winning the two-year supervisor’s post five times, is backed by the Nassau County Republican Party.

Procacci is a registered Republican running on the Democratic line. The Nassau County Democratic Party, he said, approached him to run for supervisor because of his outspoken calls for greater town efficiency and transparency and, at times, his blistering attacks on the Murray administration. Procacci said he has not received financial support from the Democratic Party and is financing his grassroots campaign with $22,000 of his own money. Procacci noted that he has attended every Town Board meeting for the past three years.

The budget and taxes

Calling herself Hempstead’s “chief financial officer,” Murray said she has presided over consistently balanced budgets that do not depend on long-term debt to finance expenditures — the town borrows $40 million to $50 million a year, but quickly repays it. She added that the town has reduced property taxes while maintaining services.

The key to budgeting, Murray said, is “maintaining a lean and efficient workforce.” Between 2004 and 2014, she said, the town will have cut its workforce by 2.5 percent through attrition, saving the town $5 million annually in a nearly $420 million budget.

“Right-sizing” town government, she said, is the best way to balance the budget at a time when the town’s mortgage-recording tax revenues have declined since the economy collapsed from 2007 to 2009. During the real-estate boom in 2005, when home sales soared, the town collected $45 million in mortgage-recording taxes. Last year the town collected $13 million.

“With declines like that,” Murray said, “obviously that presents budget challenges.”

Comments

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fprocacci

This article is completely incorrect. Scott Britton whitewashed all my comments. He didn't mention one thing about ethics. That was one of the major reasons I told him I was running for office. We had a lengthy conversation just on that.

I mentioned that Kate Murray is really not an environmentalist because of her mailings and her refusal to go green and use email. Also because she has a program to patrol streets for debris using 5 ton dump trucks. I also mentioned the excessive use of equipment in the Sandy cleanup, ie using 5 trucks and 8 workers, with only 2 performing any work.

I mentioned after Sandy hit, the Town patrolled the same streets night after night with dump trucks doing no work while residents suffered on the South Shore. I mentioned, in detail, all the wasteful spending, and how they said they could not contribute more money to veteran programs.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 | Report this
fprocacci

For 10 years now, residents of the Town of Hempstead have been receiving numerous town mailings (about 25 per year) often touting the accomplishments of our Town Supervisor, Kate Murray. One accomplishment, she can’t help but mention (over and over) is her fiscal record.

It is long past due that town residents have a factual account of her (Supervisor Murray’s) actual fiscal record. Since 2003, when Supervisor Murray was appointed, the property tax levy has increased from $182.528 to $264.49 million (or 44.9 percent), bond debt increased from $238 to $317.35 million (or 33 percent), and the town has had three consecutive years (2010 to 2012) of deficits totaling $36 million. Why hasn’t any of these facts showed up in a Kate Murray’s mailings?

Supervisor Murray always claims she cares so much about town residents, but between 2006 and 2009, while Charles and Michael Scarlatta took $1 million in compensation out of Oceanside’s Sanitary District 7, Supervisor Murray, who could have voted against those compensation increases, did nothing!

She, along with the rest of the town board voted for the increases, essentially robbing Sanitary District 7 residents, and made statements to the press that the town had no control. This was not true. At the very least, she could have opened her mouth and told residents in one of her more than 20 yearly mailings. Instead, she chose to keep quite, and deny responsibility.

In November 2012, the state comptroller’s audit of the Hempstead Animal Shelter discovered unaccounted for funds and high operational costs. This report verified what I had found in my own investigation, a year earlier (in 2011).

In the town’s 2014 budget, there are additional anomalies, that Supervisor Murray would not explain. For example, there are three graphic artists budgeted at a total cost of $290,151 and three engineering helpers budgeted at a cost of $234,199. I requested the names and salaries of these employees via a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request on Sept. 5 of this year, and still haven’t received the data. Last year I filed an ethics complaint against two town attorneys for not complying with FOIL. To date this file remains empty, and all I received is a letter from the town’s ethics officer, Susan Jacobs, that there was no wrong doing. Her letter did not include any explanation, or any details of the investigation. After 16 months of investigation, there was no evidence collected to substantiate the results of the investigation.

Reforming town government requires transparency. Town board meetings need to be broadcast online, and all town contracts need to be published online, along with their budgeted cost, the day after they are ratified. There needs to be accountability.

I have attended every town board meeting since Aug 2010 and can say with complete certainty that Supervisor Murray opposes any form of transparency that will give residents a comprehensive understanding of how town government spends taxpayer money.

Felix Procacci

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | Report this
fprocacci

Despite Scott Brinton's correction, THE STORY IS STILL WRONG.

KATE MURRAY COULD SAY ANYTHING AND SCOTT WILL WRITE IT WITHOUT CHECKING THE FACTS.

THE HERALD PUBLISHED (IN PRINT) THE ENDORSEMENT ARTICLE FOR KATE MURRAY TWICE (2 times)

(WITHOUT CORRECTING THE ERRORS I TOLD SCOTT BRINTON ABOUT).

KATE MURRAY SUPPORTS WASTEFUL POLICIES LIKE

(1) SENDING OUT 25 MAILINGS PER YEAR

(2) USING 5 TONS TRUCKS TO PATROL (EACH DAY) THE SAME STREETS TO LOOK FOR DEBRIS in the streets.

(3) USING 10 TON PAYLOADER TRUCKS TO PICK UP LEAVES

These are not policies supported by environmentalists, these are policies of the Kate Murray government.

Policies that waste natural resources and TAXPAYER money.

But the Herald doesn't know any better, they even support a less qualified candidate (Nasrin Ahmad) over who they (in the Herald's own words, classify as an "overqualified candidate" Jasmine Garcia Vieux.

Friday, November 1, 2013 | Report this
fprocacci

If you want to read an ACCURATE account of Kate Murray's fiscal irresponsibility see : http://fivetowns.patch.com/groups/town-of-hempstead-news/p/kate-murrays-fiscal-record

Saturday, November 2, 2013 | Report this
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