Government O. Civic Activists 1
The People taking their government Back? Is it possible? Score 1 for the grassroots who can no longer pay the extraordinarily high property taxes. Justice Lance Clarke, a spokesman for one of the groups (and former Mayoral candidate) said, “If we don’t do something, Hempstead will be out of business.” A group of about 12 civic associations have banded together to collect petitions for the purpose of reorganizing the Town of Hempstead. Hempstead is the largest town in New York and this would be a significant move by the people to change their government. Government is supposed to work for the people, not the other way around.
Earlene Hooper, deputy speaker of the State Assembly, has joined with the grassroots to explore a possible reorganization. The assemblywoman said at a Board meeting on July 5th, “I am a taxpayer, and I cannot afford to live here.” She went on to say that “The village charter does not lend itself to leadership, good constituent services and creativity.”
Most agree it is not a left-right issue but Democratic Mayor Wayne Hall is opposed and claims Clarke still wants to be Mayor and that is the issue.
Under the Citizen Empowerment Act, grants for up to $100,000 are available for municipalities to study different ways to reorganize the government, but they must come up with 10% or 2,560 signatures of the registered voters in the village. Clarke said there are 200 signatures in only 2 1/2 weeks which included a holiday.
There are two issues to be considered, Clarke said, one includes dissolving the village government and becoming a hamlet and a ward of the town or becoming a city with a piece of the tax pie. Read here: Newsday