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Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito joined with the non profit charity, Hooks for Heroes, today to announce their 3rd Annual Veterans Day Fundraiser which benefits Veterans and First Responders. D’Esposito, a former NYPD Detective and Ex-Chief of the Island Park Fire Department who is also the son of a Vietnam Veteran and grandson of a WW II Veteran, discussed the event with organizers at a press conference at Jimmy Hays Steak House in Island Park, a proud sponsor of the event. Also at the announcement was former honoree Corporal Michael Collier, US Marine Corps.
“I stand here today with fellow NYPD and FDNY officers to support Hooks for Heroes, an organization that gives back to Veterans and First Responders in recognition of their selfless efforts,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “So many of our heroes put their lives on the line for our safety and then suffer injuries while doing so, that it is only fitting that we give back to a cause which raises money to provide them with a relaxing and fun-filled fishing trip.”
“I appreciate Councilman D’Esposito’s support of Hooks For Heroes,” said James Torborg, founder/President of Hooks for Heroes, a US Marine Corps Veteran, former NYPD officer and current FDNY firefighter. “We encourage a positive outlet for these heroes and offer them a day to relax, unwind and have a chance to catch “the big one!”
Hooks for Heroes was founded by Torborg after living the distress and hardships of these occupations first-hand. The founder, an avid fisherman who use fishing as a stress release, created the organization to provide the same experience for local heroes by providing them with free of cost fishing trips to help cope with the physical and mental injuies sustained during their service. Many Veterans suffer from PTSD, and first responders are susceptible as well. Often, physical injuries result in permanent disbailities or terminal illnesses, and Hooks for Heroes mission is for fishing to act as an alternate method of treatment for those heroes suffering with such conditions.
Aside from their annual Veterans Day fundraiser, Hooks for Heroes hosts another annual event, the “Summer Fluke Slam,” held in Point Lookout which includes an all day fishing tournament with live music and entertainment commencing with a winners ceremony.
“Jimmy Hays Steak House is honored to be a sponsor for Hooks and Heroes’ Veterans Day Fundraiser,” added Hugh Raiten of Jimmy Hays Steak House. “It is our duty as business owners and community members to give back to those who protect us.”
This year’s event will honor Sgt. James Soenher, an Army combat Veteran who exemplifies Hooks for Heroes’ mission. The annual Veterans Day fundraiser will be held on Saturday, November 10 from 2p.m.- 6p.m. at the Jetty Bar & Grill located at 832 W. Beech Street in Long Beach, and will feature a full buffet, open bar, Chinese auction, raffles and live music. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information, visit www.HooksForHeroes.org
“It is important to raise awareness about Hooks for Heroes and their mission,” concluded D’Esposito. “We owe our safety and livelihood to our American Heroes, and in honor of Veterans Day I urge everyone to support this great cause by visting the Jetty Bar and Grill on Saturday, November 10.”
From left, United States Army Reserve Ambassador to New York State Gary Port, Director of the Nassau County Veteran Service Agency Ralph Esposito, Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, World War I reenactor Peter Bugala, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Former Commander of the Nassau County American Legion Andy Booth and American Legion Post 1848 member Sal Martella celebrated Armistice Day by planting Red Poppy seeds in a flower bed at Hempstead Town Hall. The flower is a symbol of remembrance for those lost during World War I.
(HEMPSTEAD, NY) November 7th, 2018 – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, along with Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, United States Army Reserve Ambassador to New York State Gary Port, Former Commander of the Nassau County American Legion Andy Booth, Director of the Nassau County Veteran Service Agency Ralph Esposito, American Legion Post 1848 member Sal Martella and World War I reenactor Peter Bugala, honored the rich history of the Town’s strategic effort during World War I with a plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, marking the end of the Great War.
Hempstead Town was home to several camps and airfields that housed, trained and deployed thousands of troops to the battlefields of Europe.
“It’s impossible to tell the story of our Town without recognizing the tremendous affect that World War I had,” Supervisor Gillen said. “The Town’s history and that of the American war effort are intertwined.”
Mitchel Field and nearby Roosevelt Field were two of the largest airbases in the nation during WWI—the first war in which aircraft were used in combat. The First Air Squadron of the U.S. Army—the nation’s first military aviation unit—left for England from Mitchel Field during WWI.
Camp Mills was a crowded city of tents with few amenities, where soldiers had to take precaution to avoid catching the Spanish flu during the epidemic of 1918. It was also the birthplace of the 42nd Infantry Division—the first of its kind, composed of National Guard regiments from 26 different states—known for its distinctive rainbow insignia.
More than four million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during the War. Of that, over 100,000 soldiers would die in combat or from diseases, including approximately 86 from the Town of Hempstead.
In addition to the plaque, Supervisor Gillen and the Town officials planted Flanders Poppy seeds, the flower is recognized as a symbol of respect and remembrance of those who died in the War. The field poppy, hardy yet delicate, was a common part of the landscape on the Western Front during the Great War.
These the vibrant red flowers, improbably growing in the cracks of a war-torn battlefield, caught the eye of a soldier named John McCrae inspiring the world's most famous War Memorial Poem – “In Flanders Field”.
“It is our hope that these poppies will serve as a link and a reminder to our past,” Supervisor Gillen said. “As well as to the great sacrifices made by those who we may have never met or known.”
(Hempstead, NY) Nov 2, 2018 - Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, the chief fiscal officer of the Town, lauded the Town’s recent credit upgrade from Moody’s to ‘Aa2’ based on “conservative budget management.” The full letter upgrade is the first of its kind since 2014. In June, S & P upgraded the Town’s outlook from ‘A+’ to ‘AA-‘ with a positive outlook. The report cites the Town’s efforts in continuing to build reserve funds, of which Supervisor Gillen budgeted $8.4 Million dollars for in Fiscal 2019.
According to Moody’s, “The positive outlook reflects conservative budget management, which includes budgeting for surplus operations.”
This year Supervisor Gillen stopped hundreds of thousands of dollars in raises and positions from coming forward for a vote, as well as implemented numerous internal controls on spending and overtime costs. These policies include several levels of review and oversight before purchases of any item over $5,000 can be made in the Town.
"I'm delighted that Moody’s has recognized my administration’s conservative fiscal approach with an upgrade in the Town’s Credit Rating Outlook," said Supervisor Gillen. “I am emboldened to continue asking the tough questions and acting as the fiscal watchdog that this Town so desperately needs.”
Hempstead Town’s Council Members received some great news from a major Wall Street credit rating agency on the heels of the members’ successful bipartisan adoption of their 2019 tax cut budget. A mere two days after the Council Members adopted a 4.4 percent tax cut budget in place of the town Supervisor’s tax hike proposal, Moody’s Investors Service, the respected Wall Street credit rating agency, boosted the town’s credit rating to Aa2. The upgrade from Aa3 to Aa2 places the township solidly in the upper echelon of ratings. Superior credit ratings ensure taxpayers that their government is responsibly managed and results in lower interest costs on municipal borrowings, thereby providing savings to taxpayers. At a press briefing on the credit rating upgrade, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney was joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilmen Anthony D’Esposito, Ed Ambrosino, Bruce Blakeman and Dennis Dunne.
"When it comes to financial prudence and accountability, the proof of the pudding is in the eating," said King Sweeney. "The bond rating increase today represents a clear endorsement of the fiscally responsible budget put forward by the Council Members. Not only did we gain a bond rating upgrade, we avoided the significant tax increase embedded in the Supervisors original budget.”
In granting the credit rating upgrade, Moody’s acknowledged, “Financial management is strong as evidenced by growing reserves and formally adopted policy to maintain fund balance equal to a minimum of four months expenses.” Further, the Wall Street agency upgraded the town’s financial outlook from stable to positive. The positive outlook is indicative of confidence in the township’s financial stability and future budgetary performance. Moody’s commented on the positive outlook, stating, “The positive outlook reflects conservative budget management, which includes budgeting for surplus operations.”
“Earning the respect of Wall Street is no small accomplishment,” announced Goosby. “The Council Members have been putting taxpayers first, and this upgrade reflects that.”
“By producing honest budgets and employing transparent fiscal policies, the town Council Members are making a positive statement for our taxpayers,” said D’Esposito. “The town Council Members are demonstrating that you can craft a tax cut budget and still demonstrate the type of fiscal accountability that Wall Street demands.”
“I am proud to have been part of the team of Council Members that has made transparent, forthright and responsible budgeting a top priority,” said Blakeman.
“The Council Members in Hempstead Town are committed to conservative fiscal policies, and this rating upgrade is evidence of our sound and sensible fiscal policies,” stated Ambrosino.
“Families have to budget their money carefully to make ends meet, and they deserve the same type of financial accountability from their local government,” added Dunne.
The Aa2 rating represents the opinion of Moody’s credit raters that the township’s financial obligations “…are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.” Further, the rating places the town in Moody’s Prime-1 or P-1 category for short-term debt. The label recognizes the municipality’s “superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.”
The rating is based upon fiscal performance under the current Council Members’ budgets, not the current Supervisor. At the same time, King Sweeney stated that the 2019 tax cut budget that has been passed by all of the town Council Members, instead of the current Supervisor’s tax boosting Tentative 2019 Budget proposal, will justify the confidence of Moody’s and other Wall Street credit rating agencies.
The Council Members’ budget slashes taxes by over 4.4 percent compared to the Supervisor’s proposal or 3.5 percent when contrasted with the township’s 2018 spending plan. At the same time, the town Council Members’ Adopted Budget axed a massive $12 million in spending increases contained in the Supervisor’s plan. Finally, the Council Members’ sound and sensible Adopted Budget restores $8.4 million to the town’s reserves, commonly referred to as the “rainy day” fund, thereby justifying the confidence of Wall Street credit raters.
“The Hempstead Town Council Members have earned the respect of credit raters on Wall Street and have won the trust of neighbors on Main Street,” concluded King Sweeney. “We are eager to continue our sound and sensible policies that show the highest regard for taxpayers with honest, forthright and transparent budgeting.”
Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, along with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilmen Bruce Blakeman, Ed Ambrosino, Anthony D’Esposito and Dennis Dunne passed a bipartisan tax cut Hempstead Town Budget for 2019 in response to the tax hike tentative budget presented by the Hempstead Town Supervisor on October 3rd. In fact, the Council Members’ budget slashes taxes by over 4.2 percent compared to the Supervisor’s proposal or 3.5 percent when contrasted with the township’s 2018 spending plan. At the same time, the town Council Members’ Adopted Budget axed a massive $11.6 million in spending increases contained in the Supervisor’s plan. Finally, the Council Members’ sound and sensible Adopted Budget restores $8 million to the town’s reserves, commonly referred to as the “rainy day” fund.
“All of the township’s Council Members, both Democrat and Republican, understand that our homeowners deserve and need tax relief,” stated King Sweeney. “That’s why we unanimously passed an honest tax cut budget in response to the tax boosting plan preferred by the Supervisor. What’s more, our budget axes over $11 million in excessive spending offered by the Supervisor, and our adopted budget restores $8 million to Hempstead’s budget reserves.”
One of the issues that the town Council Members highlighted during the budget process was the need for fiscal transparency and forthrightness. In fact, the Supervisor lashed out at a member of the Town Board for pointing out the fact that her tentative budget raised town taxes by $2 million. The Supervisor stated, “…he either did not read or does not understand my tentative budget,” in response to Councilman D’Esposito revealing the .74 tax increase contained in Gillen’s proposal. Fact checkers have confirmed that the Supervisor’s 2019 Tentative Budget levies $275.2 million in property taxes, up from the $273.2 million figure for 2018.
“Transparency and honesty are at the core of earning the public’s trust,” stated D’Esposito in discussing the Supervisor’s Tentative Budget proposal. “The public has a right to know the facts about the Supervisor’s Tentative Budget. If she wishes to hike taxes, that is her prerogative, but it just is not right to try to market an increase in the tax levy as a tax cut. Taxpayers are too smart to fall for that type of rhetoric, and they deserve better.”
The 2019 Budget passed by King Sweeney and her colleagues reduces property taxes by approximately $11.6 million or 4.2 percent compared to the Supervisor’s tentative tax levy proposal for 2019. What’s more, the town Council Members observed that the 2019 Budget that they approved reduces municipal spending included in the Supervisor’s 2019 Tentative Budget by $11.6 million or 2.6 percent. The Council Members’ Adopted Budget shrinks the town spending contained in the Supervisor’s Tentative Budget substantially at a time when consumer prices have risen by 2.7 percent over the most recent 12-month period. In specific, the Supervisor’s plan proposed $275.2 million in property taxes compared to the Council Members’ more conservative $263.6 million amount. And, the Council Members’ Approved Budget trims the Supervisor’s $444.1 million in spending to a sensible $432.5 million figure.
“We’re taking the responsible approach to municipal budgeting,” said Goosby. “We are giving homeowners an honest and genuine tax cut budget of which they can be proud.”
Among the “taxpayer-friendly” budget cuts included in the Council Members’ adopted plan is the elimination of “vacant positions” in the town budget. Moreover, the town will no longer budget full-year funding for positions that are vacant at the start of the 2019 calendar year. And, positions which are anticipated to become vacant during the year will be reflected through pro-rated cost savings. This area alone constitutes $9 million in cost savings. Indeed, this time-tested budgeting practice is on target to meet the $12 million savings figure contained in the 2018 Budget. Further, King Sweeney and her colleagues will slash town legal fees by $450,000, calling upon the Town Attorney’s Office to handle more legal cases “in house” while reducing the reliance on outside legal counsel. Elimination of weekly newspaper advertising for the town’s legal notices could also offer savings of $500,000. Instead, the town will rely on one newspaper for the publication of notices along with online publishing on Hempstead’s website. Joining with a private sector partner to manage, oversee and enforce Workers’ Compensation cases for town employees is anticipated to produce $1 million in savings. Other efficiencies in the Council Members’ Adopted Budget include cost savings in the township’s Water Department, postage and mailing, as well as the elimination of outside printing for the town’s calendar and Parks Department brochures. Further, the officials are calling upon departmental managers to produce operational efficiencies that will result in cost savings.
At the same time as the Council Members are axing taxes and spending in their 2019 Adopted Budget, their spending blueprint will add $8 million to town reserves, insulating the town from unanticipated budget costs, an economic downturn and prospective revenue variances.
“Strict adherence to conservative budgeting principles is at the core of the Council Members’ Adopted Town Budget,” stated Ambrosino.
“I know that this budget will earn the respect and the trust of neighbors on Main Street, because it couples a genuine tax cut with significant reductions to the spending contained in the tentative budget proposal,” said Blakeman.
“Some budgets rely on the use of budget reserves to achieve balance,” stated Dunne. “But the Council Members’ Adopted Budget actually adds $8 million to the town’s ‘rainy day’ fund, making this a ‘rock solid’ spending plan.”
The town Council Members dealt directly with a comment on their adopted tax cut budget which was printed in news reports concerning the Supervisor’s tax hike plan. In specific, the Supervisor called the Council Members’ budgeting of savings associated with anticipated retirements, “speculative.” Indeed, the practice is routinely utilized and roundly accepted in government and private sector budgeting. In fact, the town is on pace to realize its projected $12 million in savings through employee retirements in the current year’s budget. The Council Members likened the Supervisor’s comments on the budgeting of retirement savings to failing to budget for snow removal because there is no guarantee regarding how much snow may fall in a given year.
“The budgeting of savings associated with anticipated retirements is the responsible thing to do for our taxpayers,” said King Sweeney. “We should be returning monies to local taxpayers to the greatest extent possible. Not budgeting savings associated with retirements is as absurd as not budgeting for snow removal based on the notion that it may not snow.”
The Council Members addressed serious areas of concern in the Supervisor’s Tentative Budget, such as the document’s failure to budget for a town Compliance Officer, a key element of the municipality’s ethics reform agenda. Also absent in the Supervisor’s Tentative Budget proposal were monies for the town’s EMT Division, a group of critically important lifesavers. Furthermore, the Supervisor’s funding of only $500 for promotional programs at the animal shelter would have resulted in overcrowding at the facility and the euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats. Accordingly, the Council Members adjusted that amount to $10,000. What’s more, the insufficient amount contained in the Supervisor’s budget for animal care/medical supplies is increased from $125,000 to $140,000 in the Council Members’ Adopted Budget. Additionally, critically important maintenance of town marinas will benefit from a $35,000 adjustment over the Supervisor’s proposal. Finally, the scourge of drug addiction, which has been felt heavily in the veterans’ community, among other sectors of our population, will be dealt with head-on by the Council Members. The Board Members are proposing $210,000 to fund an Opioid and Drug Abuse Counselor and staff members within the town’s Veterans’ Affairs Office.
What’s more, the lean spending plan will revolutionize the way in which town residents interact with government and are served. A new Office of Residents’ Concerns will be at the center of a streamlined inquiry management and response network. A 311 tracking and communication system will accommodate efficient inquiry management and response via the town website, text messages and social media outlets, in addition to traditional telephone calls and in-person requests. The transformative service effort will ensure that no resident inquiry will ever again be lost in the “bureaucratic vortex.”
“Our 2019 Adopted Budget is the result of a bipartisan effort to provide real tax relief to homeowners, rein in government spending and transform the way in which our government operates,” concluded King Sweeney. “Our 2019 Adopted Budget reverses the tax hike contained in the budget presented by the Supervisor, dramatically curtails her spending increases and provides for lean, efficient and accountable government services.”
Town Hall closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day.
Town Hall closed in observance of Thanksgiving.
Town Hall closed in observance of Election Day.
Town Hall closed in observance of Veterans Day.
Last day to pay First Half 2018-2019 School Tax without penalty.
Town Hall closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day.
Town Hall closed in observance of Thanksgiving.
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