Category Archives: Town of Hempstead

Hempstead Town Approves Santino’s 2018 Budget in Bipartisan Vote

Financial Plan Cuts Spending for 3rd Consecutive Year

 

In an October 17th bipartisan vote, the Hempstead Town Board approved Supervisor Anthony J. Santino’s 2018 operational budget, which cuts town spending for the third consecutive year. The financial document reflects Santino’s priorities—cutting costs, reducing staffing levels, trimming payroll and holding managers accountable. In fact, the Supervisor’s 2018 operational budget is slashed by $3.7 million or .88 percent compared to the 2017 fiscal plan, producing a structurally balanced budget.

 

“I am proud to have crafted a 2018 budget that slashes spending and is accountable to taxpayers,” said Santino. “Further, this financial document is structurally balanced, including sufficient revenues to meet expenses, without any reliance on ‘one shot’ revenues or any other fiscal gimmicks.”

 

Additionally, the Supervisor indicated that he believed it was important to lead by example, noting that he had cut the Supervisor’s Office budget and the Supervisor’s Office payroll in 2018.

 

“‘Don’t ask anybody else to do anything that you aren’t willing to do yourself’ is an adage that has guided the work of my administration,” said the Supervisor. “That’s why I have cut my own office’s payroll by almost 6 percent at the same time as I’ve cut overall spending in the town’s 2018 operational budget by $3.7 million.”

 

2018 operational budgetSupervisor Santino has implemented cuts to both his office’s payroll and his office’s overall budget for 2018. The Supervisor is leading by example, cutting his office’s costs at the same time as the entire 2018 operational budget has been reduced.

 

The Supervisor’s 2018 budget continues a tradition of “doing more with less.” In fact, Santino is credited with reforming the 2016 budget that he inherited from a previous administration upon taking office as Supervisor. He transformed a budgeted 2016 operational deficit of $23.5 million into a $5 million operational surplus by slashing discretionary spending by 24 percent and cutting actual overtime costs by 56 percent vs. 2015 (excludes premium pay), among other financial reforms.

 

Santino followed up his 2016 successes by presenting an inaugural budget in 2017 that constituted the township’s first structurally balanced budget (budgeted revenues were equal to expenses) in over 25 years.

 

The Supervisor’s 2018 budget extends his trend of reducing salary costs and shrinking the workforce. In fact, the town’s administration is on track to slash salary costs by $14.6 million in 2017 compared to the 2016 budgeted amount. And, Santino’s 2018 spending plan will further trim salary costs by $200,000 below the 2017 total of $162.5 million. A key component of keeping a tight rein on salary costs lays in “rightsizing” the workforce. In 2018, the Supervisor will cut the number of full-time positions for the second consecutive year. The 44 person workforce reduction in his 2018 proposal represents a 2.3 percent cut compared to the 2017 figure. Indeed, staffing levels have been reduced by 4 percent compared to the headcount of just two years ago.

 

While Santino was preparing the 2018 budget, the town received an impressive “report card” acknowledging the Supervisor’s impressive fiscal reforms. A recently released “fiscal stress” report by New York State’s “fiscal watchdog,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, acknowledged that Hempstead Town’s level of “fiscal stress” dropped from 62.5 percent in 2015, the year prior to Santino becoming Supervisor, to 28.3 percent in 2016, the end of his first year at the helm of town government. The

 

55 percent improvement removes the township from the state’s designation list of municipalities with “moderate fiscal stress” and places it in the most favorable category available, which is entitled “no designation.” The report is a key indicator of the fiscal stability of local governments.

 

“My administration is ‘walking the walk’ while other governments simply ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to fiscal responsibility,” concluded Santino. “We’ve adopted a structurally balanced 2018 budget that cuts spending, reduces payroll costs, cuts discretionary spending, shrinks the town’s workforce and dramatically curtails overtime costs. But, I am most proud of the fact that this budget includes cuts to the Supervisor’s Office budget and the Supervisor’s Office payroll because ‘leading by example’ is the only way I know how to govern.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino Continues Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Collection

It has been three weeks since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and only 16% of the island has power. Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has announced an extension of the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Collection deadline to be held throughout the end of October.

 

“Puerto Rico is still in the early stages of recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria,” said Santino. “Hempstead Town is here to help in any way possible.”

 

Following the success of Hempstead Town’s partnership with the United Mavericks, the two will be teaming up once again to ship the much-needed items to Puerto Rico. The United Mavericks are a group of local businesspeople who spearhead a variety of charitable efforts to assist individuals in need. Recently, the United Mavericks arranged for a transport of relief supplies collected by Hempstead Town to storm-ravaged communities in Florida.

 

If you wish to donate money, please donate through the American Red Cross or a trusted organization. Donations will be accepted up until October 31st. Accepted items that can be donated are the following:

 

  • Extension Cords
  • Shovels
  • Crowbars/Hammers
  • Tarps and Rope
  • Work Gloves/Safety Glasses
  • Bottled Water
  • Laundry Detergent/Dish Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Diapers/Baby Wipes
  • First Aid Kits
  • Baby Formula
  • Garbage Bags
  • Towels/Blankets
  • Mosquito Repellent

 

Collection boxes are stationed at the following locations:

  • Hempstead Town Hall (1 Washington Street, Hempstead)
  • Hempstead Tax Office (200 North Franklin Street, Hempstead)
  • Echo Park (399 Nassau Boulevard, West Hempstead)
  • Newbridge Arena (2600 South Newbridge Road, Bellmore)
  • Levittown Hall (201 Levittown Parkway, Hicksville)
  • Merrick Golf Course Clubhouse (2550 Clubhouse Road, Merrick)
  • Oceanside Park (3800 Mahlon Brower Drive, Oceanside)
  • Hewlett Point Park (130 Hewlett Point Avenue, Bay Park)

 

“The generosity of Hempstead Town residents is unparalleled,” stated Santino. “The families of Puerto Rico remain in our thoughts and prayers.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

This Weekend: Rock Hall Country Fair

Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is inviting all residents to the 32nd Annual Country Fair at the historic Rock Hall. This popular community event is being held on Saturday, October 21st and Sunday, October 22nd from 11AM to 5PM, and features historical presentations, craft vendors and even a Great American Vaudeville Show. All proceeds benefit The Friends of Rock Hall.

 

“The Town of Hempstead Country Fair at Rock Hall offers fun and educational programs for children, families and people of all ages,” stated Supervisor Santino. “I invite all residents to come on down and enjoy the pumpkin patches, animal farm, historic exhibits and much more.”

 

The Country Fair includes a Great American Vaudeville Show on both Saturday and Sunday at 1PM, 2:15PM and 3:30PM. There will also be historical demonstrations, vendors, a harvest tent, antique cars, children’s craft area, great food, a pumpkin patch, an animal farm, pony rides and a display of early American open hearth cooking. There will also be a special exhibit entitled “Trinkets, Treasures and Trade,” during which a Dutch historian and curator will display an array of 17th-century and 18th-century European and Native household, personal and trade items, and cools.

 

Rock Hall, built in 1767 and located at 199 Broadway in Lawrence, is considered one of the most impressive pre-Revolutionary War houses on Long Island. Constructed of wood in the Georgian style, this Colonial house was home to only two families, the Martins and the Hewletts, before being deeded to the Town of Hempstead in 1948. After an extensive restoration process, Rock Hall opened as a museum in 1953, owned and operated by the town and affiliated with the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. Rock Hall is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Admission and parking is free on both days.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino Hosts Town’s Second Italian Heritage Celebration

Town Honors Six Residents Making a Difference in Their Communities

 

Supervisor Anthony J. Santino recently hosted the Town of Hempstead’s second annual Italian Heritage Celebration, recognizing outstanding men and women who have dedicated their lives to promoting the great Italian traditions and culture that have helped make our township such a great place in which to live, work and raise a family.

 

“The Town of Hempstead has among the highest population of Italian-Americans in the United States,” stated Santino. “From literature, sports, religion, education and medicine to the arts, government, cuisine, business and more, Italian-Americans have been at the forefront of creating and maintaining our national identity. I am proud to honor several men and women this evening who embody the spirit and dedication of Italian heritage here in America’s largest township.”

 

This year’s honorees were: Frank Borrelli, owner of Borrelli’s in East Meadow; Father Joseph D’Angelo, Nassau County Police Chaplain; Angela DeCosimo, past president, Order Sons of Italy in America, Judge Frank A. Gulotta Lodge; Dr. Vincenzo Milione, Director of Demographic Studies with the Calandra Italian-American Institute of Queens College; Michael Pomerico, President of the Freeport Board of Education; and Paul Sapienza, owner of Sapienza Bakery in Elmont.

 

“I am proud of my Italian heritage, and our township’s officials are excited to be celebrating the many accomplishments of those who trace their heritage to Italy,” said Santino. “The story of Italian immigrants is the story of the United States, a nation built upon the successes of people who came to our nation, settled and worked to build a beautiful and strong United States of America.”

 

An inspiring Italian-American themed keynote speech was offered by Cav. Josephine Maietta, President of the Association of Italian-American Educators (AIAE) and “Sabato Italiano” radio host at Hofstra University WRHU 88.7 FM.

 

Eddie Sessa of Franklin Square and Giovanni and Marco Vittozzi of the Josephine Foundation of Westbury provided musical entertainment for the program. Poet Laureate Robert Savino read his poem, Ancestral Roots. Food and refreshments were generously sponsored by Piccolo’s Ristorante of Bellmore and former Italian Heritage award recipient, Tom Valenti.

 

“I would like to thank our keynote speaker, and all of our honorees and entertainers for demonstrating what it means to be an Italian-American in the Town of Hempstead,” stated Santino.”I especially would like to thank Tom Valenti of Piccolo’s Ristorante of Bellmore, for his generosity in sponsoring this great cultural event.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Hempstead Town Responds to Anti-Semitic Racist Graffiti in Baldwin Park

Standing next to a Baldwin Park play structure that has been vandalized with hate graffiti, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Senator Todd Kaminsky responded to the defacing of children’s play equipment in the usually tranquil park. Santino indicated that the town had a “zero tolerance” policy for acts of hate. Further, the Supervisor noted that the town was working with the Nassau County Police Department and intends to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any persons who are found responsible for the vandalism. The officials are also calling on the public for help in identifying those responsible for the defacement. The two were joined by Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad.

 

“Acts of hate have no place in our society, and my administration won’t tolerate hate fueled graffiti or any other inappropriate activities at town facilities,” stated Santino. “Our government will work collaboratively with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice. What’s more, we will prosecute the vandals who defaced town property to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

The officials described some of the vandalism that was scrawled on the park’s playground equipment. The graffiti included swastikas, a hateful term used to refer to African-Americans, as well as other offensive defacement of the equipment. The graffiti appears to have been drawn with permanent marker, and the vandalism was reported to law enforcement authorities by town staff on Wednesday, October 4th.

 

The officials concurred that the graffiti found at Baldwin Park should be investigated as a hate crime under the state’s penal law since it appears to have been motivated by bias. What’s more, the graffiti clearly targets specific groups of people because of race and religious practice. Similar acts have been pursued as aggravated harassment in the first degree under the hate crimes statute.

 

Calling on the public for assistance, the officials asked anyone has any information relating to the vandalism to please call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-8477.

 

“My wife was horrified when she brought our son, Rafe, to Baldwin Park and they were confronted by swastikas and other racist, anti-Semitic, and hateful graffiti. The fact that intolerant bigots would expose our children to such hatred is despicable. We must show that our love for community is stronger than hate mongers’ attempts to install fear where we live and play. We must stand together for love and tolerance and I look forward to continue working with the Town of Hempstead to stamp out hate,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky.

 

“Our town is home to people who endured the horrors of Nazi death camps, as well as those who were the subject of oppressive civil rights abuses based on their race,” said Santino. “This type of graffiti has no place in a free democratic society. We will do everything within our power to put an end to hate crimes in our communities.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino Salutes Hempstead Town’s Bravest at Town Hall During 2017 Firematic Awards Ceremony

Supervisor Anthony J. Santino honored Hempstead Town’s “Bravest” during the annual Firematic Awards Ceremony held at Town Hall. The Town of Hempstead’s annual Firematic Awards Ceremony honored a group of first responders for acts of heroism, years of dedication and other commendable achievements in the arena of fire service.

 

“First responders embrace their roles as those who put their lives on the line to save the lives of others,” Santino said. “Though we’re here tonight to salute members who have been nominated for recognition by their fire departments, we are also indebted to all of the brave men and women who give up their time to protect the safety and wellness of their fellow neighbors.”

 

Firematic Service Award recipients represented the communities of Baldwin, Bellerose, East Rockaway, Inwood, Levittown, Mineola, Rockville Centre, Uniondale and Wantagh. The recipients were recognized for exemplary service to their fellow neighbors and their communities. Some were recognized for heroic rescues and courageous deeds, while others were saluted for decades of service to their respective departments and communities.

 

The 2017 Town of Hempstead Firematic Award Recipients:

  • Honorary Chief Norman Abrams of the Baldwin Fire Department has dedicated more than 71 years to fire service in Nassau County, and has served as a member of the First Aid and Rescue Squads for the Baldwin Fire Department since 1953. He continues to serve as a dedicated educator of up and coming firefighters.
  • Peter Varol has been a member of the Bellerose Fire Department for the past 25 years. During that time, he has twice served as Department President, and is currently the Senior Safety Officer and liaison to the Fire Chief’s Council of Nassau County Safety Officer Association.
  • Using the lifesaving overdose drug, Narcan, Firefighters Josiyah Green and Edward Barnett of the Inwood Fire Department saved the life of an infant who had ingested a narcotic left out in the open.
  • Serving three terms as Chief of the East Rockaway Fire DepartmentEx-Chief Elvie Hickam has provided his community with top-notch leadership and versatility as a first responder with experience in both medical and fire response.
  • Responding to a medical emergency, Firefighter/EMT Kristen Fourquet, Firefighter/EMT Brandon Fourquet, Firefighter/EMT Kyle Stephens and Fire Medic Lisa Fourquet of the Levittown Fire Department helped a patient struggling to breathe after what appeared to be liver failure. The crew administered CPR and other treatments to keep the patient breathing in the ambulance. The patient’s condition was stabilized and experienced a full recovery.
  • While a bee sting can be a nuisance to some, it can be deadly to those who are allergic. Ex-Chief Kenneth Rochon of the Levittown Fire Department encountered a victim suffering from anaphylactic shock as a result of a bee sting. Rochon administered an epi-pen injection to the victim and was successful in saving the victim’s life.
  • Firefighter Mathew W. Sanderleafof the Mineola Fire Department grew up watching his dad as a volunteer for the Elmont Fire Department. Though he didn’t immediately become a firefighter when he became an adult, he ultimately followed through on his childhood dream and became a firefighter at the age of 51. He is an invaluable asset in the Mineola Fire Department, serving as Recording Secretary and as a member of the Color Guard and the Anniversary Committee.
  • Honorary Chief Robert Dunwoodyof the Rockville Centre Fire Department has served since 1972, first as an EMT, then as a lieutenant and now as a captain. Known as a walking encyclopedia of firefighting and Rockville Centre knowledge, Honorary Chief Dunwoody remains active as an interior firefighter and helps share his experience to younger members of the department.
  • While watching his son’s lacrosse game, Ex-Chief Cameron Peek of the Uniondale Fire Department sprang into action when a fellow spectator went into cardiac arrest. Making use of the park’s AED and his years of CPR training, Peek was able save the man’s life.
  • Chief James Bloomfield of the Wantagh Fire Department’sdedication to the department and community is unparalleled, having been an integral member of the department since 1996. Assigned to Ladder 1, it’s only fitting that the Chief was the “one” to climb the Wantagh Fire Department’s ladder of leadership and dedication.

 

“I am proud to honor these first responders for their bravery, heroism, dedication and commitment in serving and protecting the residents of our great township,” concluded Santino.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Oct 7: Low-Cost Rabies Vaccinations, Free Pet Adoptions

Town Animal Shelter, L.I. Veterinary Medical Association Team Up to Provide Low-Cost Rabies Vaccinations, Free Pet Adoptions; All Residents Invited to Shelter’s Fall Festival Event on October 7th

 

It’s not every day that residents can get a $10 rabies vaccination for their pet … in fact, it’s only one day out of the year! Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is inviting all pet-owning residents to visit the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter on Saturday, October 7th from 10AM to 4PM for the shelter’s annual Rabies Clinic and Pet Fair. Rabies vaccinations are just $10, and are being provided in partnership with the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association.

 

The Rabies Clinic will be taking place in conjunction with the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter Fall Festival, which will include Fall- and Halloween-themed fun, games and activities for the whole family. Residents, especially children, will enjoy pumpkin carving, face painting, arts and crafts, raffles, great food and drinks, candy and much more.

 

All pet adoption fees are being waived during this event.

 

“It’s no ‘trick’ … the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter will be providing great “treats,” for local residents, including free pet adoptions, $10 rabies vaccinations for pets and fun for all during this community event,” stated Supervisor Santino. “The town also thanks the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association for its continued dedication to this annual event, providing low-cost shots for local pets.”

 

Rabies vaccinations will be administered by the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association, and the fee is $10 (CASH ONLY). Limit is three pets per household. Dogs must be leashed, cats placed in carriers. All residents must pre-register their pet by calling the shelter at (516) 785-5220. In order to receive a vaccination, dogs must be licensed and proof must be provided. If residents need to purchase a license for their dog, the price is $10 for spayed/neutered canines, and $18 for non-spayed/neutered.

 

The shelter strongly urges that all residents have their pets vaccinated, as rabies is easily transferable among animals and, in many cases, can be fatal.

 

Residents looking to adopt a new pet on October 7th will not pay for adoptions, spaying/neutering, vaccinations or microchipping ($10 rabies vaccination only applies to pets that already have homes, not dogs or cats adopted on October 7th). Shelter staff will be on hand to assist prospective adopters, and neighbors can also visit toh.li/animal-shelter to browse photos and information about cats and dogs available for adoption, or contact the shelter at (516) 785-5220.

 

The Hempstead Town Animal Shelter is located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh. For more information, please contact (516) 785-5220.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino, Hempstead Town Team with ‘Mavericks’ to Deliver Donated Supplies to Hurricane Victims

In response to catastrophic hurricanes that have rocked residents in the southern United States and the Caribbean, Hempstead Town officials have sprung into action, collecting relief supplies. Today, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino was joined by a group of “Mavericks” to load up trucks full of collected items bound for Florida. Also attending the event were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, as well as a group known as the United Mavericks.

 

The United Mavericks, a group of local businesspeople, have arranged for the trucks to deliver the relief supplies to storm-ravaged communities in Florida that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

 

“Town of Hempstead residents truly stepped up to the plate for their fellow Americans impacted by these devastating hurricanes,” Santino said. “Thanks to the generosity of the United Mavericks, we can now ensure that these supplies go to victims in need to assist them as they work to rebuild their homes and their lives.”

 

The United Mavericks comprise a group of local businesspeople who spearhead a variety of charitable efforts to assist individuals in need. Members consider the group a “secret,” preferring to remain behind the scenes. But for today anyway, the group’s “secret” is out, and Hempstead Town thanked the United Mavericks, founded by businessman Nick Valastro and supported by several well-known members, including 9/11 responder Bob Gayer, attorney Rick Collins and NHL great Bobby Nystrom.

 

“So many have been impacted by these recent hurricanes, and it’s great to see all of the generous neighbors who kindly donated much needed supplies,” Goosby said. “Thank you to the United Mavericks for helping us deliver these vital supplies to the disaster victims who truly need it.”

 

“As Long Islanders, we know all too well from our experience with Superstorm Sandy that there are essential supplies that are needed by these hurricane victims,” D’Esposito said. “We’re thrilled that these supplies are going directly to victims thanks to the generosity of neighbors and the United Mavericks.”

 

“Our township has once again demonstrated its kindness toward others in need,” Dunne said. “I’m proud to be here as we see that charitable spirit used to help fellow Americans.”

 

While hurricanes have recently devastated communities in Texas and Florida, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been slammed by back-to-back hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Without power on most of the island and limited supplies and necessities, Santino has transitioned the town’s relief collections to focus on the residents of Puerto Rico. In fact, the town has established hurricane relief collection boxes at the following sites, up until October 10th :

 

Collection boxes will be stationed at the following locations:

 

  • Hempstead Town Hall (1 Washington Street, Hempstead)
  • Hempstead Tax Office (200 North Franklin Street, Hempstead)
  • Echo Park (399 Nassau Boulevard, West Hempstead)
  • Newbridge Arena (2600 South Newbridge Road, Bellmore)
  • Levittown Hall (201 Levittown Parkway, Hicksville)
  • Merrick Golf Course Clubhouse (2550 Clubhouse Road, Merrick)
  • Oceanside Park (3800 Mahlon Brower Drive, Oceanside)
  • Hewlett Point Park (130 Hewlett Point Avenue, Bay Park)

 

If you wish to donate money, please donate through the American Red Cross or a trusted organization. Accepted items that can be donated are the following:

 

  • Extension Cords
  • Shovels
  • Crowbars/Hammers
  • Tarps and Rope
  • Work Gloves/Safety Glasses
  • Bottled Water
  • Laundry Detergent/Dish Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Diapers/Baby Wipes
  • First Aid Kits
  • Baby Formula
  • Garbage Bags
  • Towels/Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Mosquito Repellent

 

“Hempstead Town residents have pitched in to help the victims of Florida and Texas, and now they are helping our island neighbors in Puerto Rico,” Santino said. “Thank you to all of those who have helped assist our donation drives for disaster victims.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino’s 2018 Budget Slashes Spending in Supervisor’s 2nd Consecutive Balanced Budget

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has presented his second budget as Chief Executive of America’s largest township, continuing his rehabilitation of the municipality’s finances by cutting costs, reducing staffing levels, holding managers accountable and slashing the 2018 budget in a manner that demonstrates the highest level of respect for taxpayers. What’s more, Santino is “walking the walk” in his 2018 balanced budget by cutting the Supervisor’s own office budget, as well as his office’s payroll. Moreover, the 2018 operational budget proposed by the Supervisor on September 29th comprises a $3.7 million or .88% spending cut in comparison to the town’s 2017 financial document.

 

“There is a wise adage that cautions, ‘don’t ask anybody else to do something you wouldn’t do yourself,’” said Santino. “I fully embrace this philosophy in my approach to budgeting, and that is why I have cut my own office’s payroll by almost 6% at the same time as I’ve cut overall spending in the town’s 2018 operational budget by $3.7 million.”

 

Where Your Tax Dollars Go

In detailing his 2018 budget, Santino described Hempstead Town government as the best value for the tax dollar. In fact, the township provides the lion’s share of local services, excepting public education and police protection, while constituting only 9₵of every property tax dollar for homeowners. Those who live in incorporated villages pay just over 2₵of their tax dollar to Hempstead. The following chart details the allocation of resident’s property tax dollar:

 

Santino 2018 Budget

 

What Are You Getting for Your Tax Dollar?

Programs, services and facilities under the town’s jurisdiction include several beaches, pools, parks, two golf courses, four public marinas, nature preserves, a colonial-era museum, a camp for children with special needs, a senior enrichment department that services 191,000 mature residents, a water department, a highway department that maintains 1,200 miles of roadway, a sanitation department, a bay constables division, public safety offices, a bustling building department and a Town Clerk’s Office which handles a host of licensing duties and maintains public records.

 

Cutting Costs, Reducing the Workforce, Declaring War on Overtime

Santino’s 2018 budget endeavors to run government more like a business, focusing on the “bottom line,” cutting costs, making the workforce leaner and more efficient and declaring war on runaway overtime costs.

 

Indeed, Santino is credited with reforming the 2016 budget that he inherited from the previous administration upon taking office as Supervisor. The Supervisor transformed a budgeted 2016 operational deficit of $23.5 million into a $5 million operational surplus by implementing aggressive cost control measures. Slashing discretionary spending by 24% and cutting actual overtime costs by 56% in 2016 versus 2015 (excludes premium pay) were part of Santino’s fiscal reform agenda in 2016.

 

Crafting his inaugural budget as Supervisor in 2017, Santino produced the first structurally balanced spending plan (budgeted revenues were equal to expenses) in over 25 years. The spending plan had no reliance on “one-shot” revenues or other fiscal gimmicks. The effort caught the attention of Wall Street credit analysts. In March of this year, the town earned its third consecutive upgrade in its financial outlook from independent and non-partisan credit raters. Wall Street credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s observed “…the town has begun to restore fiscal stability and to work toward stabilizing its financial position and improving and restoring reserve levels.” The rating agency went on to note if the town continued to maintain structural budget balance, it could earn a credit rating upgrade.

 

The Supervisor’s 2018 budget continues his trend of reducing salary costs and shrinking the workforce. In fact, the town’s administration is on track to slash salary costs by $14.6 million in 2017 compared to the 2016 budgeted amount. And, Santino’s 2018 spending plan will further trim salary costs by $200,000 below the 2017 total of $162.5 million. A key component of keeping a tight rein on salary costs lays in “rightsizing” the workforce. In 2018, the Supervisor will cut the number of full-time positions for the second consecutive year. The 44 person workforce reduction in his 2018 proposal represents a 2.3% cut compared to the 2017 figure. The following chart illustrates a 4% reduction in staffing levels of just two years ago:

Santino 2018 Budget

 

 

The Supervisor has dubbed overtime costs “public enemy number one” during his tenure as the town’s top administrator. At the end of 2015, prior to Santino becoming Supervisor, total overtime costs amounted to $5.5 million. At the end of 2017, overtime costs will be constrained to $3 million. The Supervisor will again hold overtime costs to $3 million in 2018.

 

Santino 2018 Budget

 

“In brief, I cut spending in the 2016 budget, which I inherited; I slashed the 2017 budget by $14 million below the 2016 amount; and my 2018 budget represents a further $3.7 million reduction from the 2017 spending plan,” said Santino. “Residents have called for accountable budgeting, and I have received their message.”

 

The Bottom Line—Cutting the Budget Again; Maintaining Structural Balance

Santino’s proposed 2018 budget cuts $3.7 million or .88% from the 2017 amount, producing a sound and sensible $418.6 million spending plan. Expenses in the budget are reduced over 2017 figures in the areas of pension and workers compensation costs, as well as personnel costs.

 

“This 2018 budget proposal continues my commitment to ‘doing more with less,’” stated the Supervisor. “Cutting overtime, trimming the workforce, reducing payroll and holding managers accountable is ‘part and parcel’ of delivering high-quality government services at the lowest possible cost.”

 

State Comptroller Recognizes Santino’s Reform

At the same time as Santino was preparing his 2018 budget proposal, Hempstead Town’s dramatic financial turnaround caught the attention of budget watchers, including New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In a just-released “fiscal stress” report by New York State’s “fiscal watchdog,” Hempstead Town’s level of “fiscal stress” has dropped from 62.5% in 2015, the year prior to Santino becoming Supervisor, to 28.3% in 2016, the end of his first year at the helm of town government. The 55% improvement removes the township from the state’s designation list of municipalities with “moderate fiscal stress” and places it in the most favorable “fiscal stress” category available, which is entitled “no designation.” The report is a key indicator of the fiscal stability of local governments.

 

Quality of Life in Hempstead

While Hempstead Town is achieving impressive financial and budgetary success, the town is also partnering with the private sector on life-enhancing initiatives. The partnerships are minimizing the fiscal impacts felt by taxpayers. This summer, 25 free sunscreen dispensers were placed at local pools and beaches in an effort to combat skin cancer. The full cost of the initiative was underwritten by South Nassau’s Communities Hospital. Also this summer, a spectator’s life was saved at a local sporting event thanks to one of 50 new Automatic External Defibrillators that the town acquired through the generosity of Mercy Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital. Enhancing literacy, the town is partnering with local libraries, placing “little library boxes” at area parks and pools.

 

Come See The 9/11 Memorial Park

This year, Hempstead Town unveiled a stunning 9/11 Memorial Park at Town Park Point Lookout. “While budgets help fund our work in government, projects like the 9/11 Memorial Park serve as sentinels of our values and priorities,” said Santino. “I encourage neighbors to visit the site with friends and family.”

 

“Walking the Walk” For Taxpayers

“A lot of government officials ‘talk the talk,’ but in Hempstead Town my administration is ‘walking the walk’ with a structurally balanced 2018 budget proposal that continues to cut spending, reduces payroll costs, cuts discretionary spending, shrinks the town’s workforce and drastically curtails overtime costs,” concluded Santino. “Perhaps the most personally rewarding feature of this budget, however, is that it includes cuts to the Supervisor’s Office budget and the Supervisor’s Office payroll because ‘leading by example’ is the only way that I know how to govern.”

 

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Supervisor Santino Honors 35 Police Officers During Hempstead Town’s 2017 Police Service Awards Ceremony

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino honored 35 police officers for their outstanding service during the Town of Hempstead’s 2017 Police Service Awards ceremony at the Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion at Hempstead Town Hall. Police officers from the villages of Freeport, Garden City, Hempstead, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre and the Nassau County Police Department were recognized for their respective acts of heroism in the line of duty.

 

“While we live, work and raise our families here in the Town of Hempstead, our dedicated police officers are patrolling the streets to ensure that our quality of life is protected,” stated Santino. “I am proud to present these 35 police officers with the town’s Police Service Award in recognition of their heroic and selfless acts.”

 

The following police officers were honored during the town’s 2017 Police Service Awards ceremony:

 

  • Officer Michael Cerlini and Officer Ronald Curaba, Nassau County 1st Precinct
  • Officer John Blanthorn and Officer John Flinter, Nassau County 2nd Precinct
  • Officer James Hurtt and Officer John Hirschberger, Nassau County 3rd Precinct
  • Det. Sergeant Hector Bourren, Detective Larry Brue, Detective James DePierro, Detective Jason Lopez, Detective Robert Lashinsky, Detective Peter Sikinger, Detective Damien Suarez, Detective Thomas Willdigg and Detective Dennis Wunsch, Nassau County 3rd Squad
  • Officer Joseph Monez, Nassau County 4th Precinct
  • Detective Vincent Loguidice, Nassau County 4th Squad
  • Sergeant Edward Grim and Officer Eric Williams, Nassau County 5th Precinct
  • Detective Mike Kamperveen, Nassau County 5th Squad
  • Officer Joseph Giattino, Nassau County 7th Precinct
  • Officer Rafael Morales and Officer Hector Rentas, Nassau County Bureau of Special Operations
  • Detective Milton Aponte, Nassau County Homicide Squad
  • Detective William Casey, Detective Richard Raupp, Detective Samuel Rozzi and Detective Richard Westhoff, Nassau County Narcotics/Vice Squad
  • Detective Patrick Franzone and Officer Matthew Koutsogiannis, Freeport Police Department
  • Officer John Russell, Garden City Police Department
  • Officer Steven Cohen, Hempstead Police Department
  • Det. Sergeant William Straub and Detective Robert Harrison, Lynbrook Police Department
  • Sergeant Paul Pope, Jr., Rockville Centre Police Department

 

“I am proud to honor these police officers for their bravery, heroism, dedication and commitment in serving and protecting this great township,” concluded Santino. “Thanks to their selflessness and dedication, Hempstead Town remains a safe community in which to live, work and raise a family.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website