Category Archives: Town of Hempstead

D’Esposito Launches ‘Crazy Sock’ Competition to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Camp Anchor

Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito was joined by Supervisor Laura Gillen, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Councilman Dennis Dunne and Town Clerk Slyvia Cabana as he announced that, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of ANCHOR, he will be partnering with John’s Crazy Socks and the participants in the Camp ANCHOR Summer Program to create a 50th Anniversary sock. ANCHOR is the Town’s comprehensive year-round program serving 1,200 children and adults with special needs

 

“The partnership between our Camp ANCHOR, which is an amazing program for those with special needs, and a company run by a young man with special needs is very symbiotic,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “To put these two together to create something that will celebrate our program’s 50th anniversary and help fund other programs for those of differing abilities is just perfect!”

 

“I have down syndrome and down syndrome never holds me back,” said John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks. “Our mission is to create happiness.”

 

Camp ANCHOR, the town’s six-week summer day camp program, serves approximately 700 children and adults with special needs throughout the summer. Camp participants who are ages five years and up enjoy an array of athletic, aquatic and cultural programs, as well as field trips and special events.

 

“There is no other program on Long Island for those with special needs that is as comprehensive as Camp ANCHOR,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “I am so happy to be able to celebrate this program’s 50th anniversary.”

 

Camp ANCHOR participants will create socks during their arts and crafts class and then John will choose a winning design. That design will be announced at a celebration in the first week of August. Families will be asked to pre-order the commemorative socks and the proceeds will go to the ANCHOR Program Fund. ANCHOR Program Fund, Inc., is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that accepts donations to fund special activities and events, as well as the necessary supplies and equipment, for individuals with disabilities participating in programs like ANCHOR. Councilman D’Esposito and John created a special video to announce the program to the partipants at the kickoff.

 

“I love outside-the-box thinking and I think this program is the perfect way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a place that has almost become a second home to the participants,” said Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney.

 

John’s Crazy Socks is operated by John, a young man with Downs Syndrome and his father Mark. The company is built on the mission of showing what is possible when you give someone a chance and demonstrate what people with intellectual disabilities can do.

 

“As a former Camp ANCHOR volunteer, I am especially excited that John is supporting our camp with his amazing socks,” said Supervisor Gillen. “The Town of Hempstead is fortunate to be able to offer Camp Anchor to children and adults with disabilities thanks in part to the creative and innovative thinking from our friends at John’s Crazy Socks.”

 

“No one has bigger hearts than those with special needs and those who work special needs people, and I know that all our Camp ANCHOR participants will put their hearts and souls into creating the perfect design to mark the anniversary of the place that they all love so much,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne.

 

“Camp ANCHOR is one of the best places on earth and I couldn’t be happier to be celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a fun program that will get everyone involved and will actually raise some money for the Camp ANCHOR Program Fund,” concluded Councilman D’Esposito.

 

Visit Councilman D’Esposito’s webpage

Free ‘Pet Fire Rescue Stickers’ Available for Animal Lovers

Carter, a happy and energetic shelter dog who was rescued by Assemblyman Ed Ra, was joined by his adopted “dad” and Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, to “mark his territory” on Pet Fire Safety Day. The officials announced that “pet fire rescue stickers” will be available through their offices at no cost. The decals, which are to be displayed on the front doors of pet owners’ homes, can alert firefighters and other first responders that a pet resides at the house and may need to be rescued in the event of a fire or other emergency. Clavin and Ra also discussed pet safety tips, noting that 1,000 accidental home fires are started by pets annually. The officials and Carter were joined at a press briefing by a representative of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department, as well as animal welfare advocates.

 

“Carter has added a lot of joy to our family since we brought him home from the shelter,” said Ra. “By placing a ‘pet fire rescue’ sticker on my front door, Carter has the best chance to be rescued in the event of a home fire.”

 

In discussions between Clavin and Ra on the issue of Pet Fire Safety Day, the Receiver came up with the idea of producing “pet fire rescue” stickers and distributing them to pet owners at no cost. The officials agreed that the stickers would be an important part of safeguarding pets during emergency fires.

 

“What better way to celebrate our pets on Pet Fire Safety Day than by making ‘pet fire rescue stickers’ available to pet owners at no cost,” said Clavin. “Call our offices today for your sticker—it can be a lifesaver.”

 

The Assemblyman was the sponsor of a resolution that designated July 15th as Pet Fire Safety Day in New York, the same date as National Pet Fire Safety Day. The day was established by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and the AKC is focused on the prevention of fires that can be accidentally started by pets, as well as all measures to safeguard pets and property in the event of a home fire.

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 1,000 house fires are started by pets each year. And, the United States Fire Administration estimates that 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires. The officials recommended the following tips to prevent home fires being started by pets:

  • Extinguish Open Flames – Curious pets will investigate cooking appliances, candles or even an open fireplace. Do not leave pets unattended with an open flame burning.
  • Remove Stove Knobs – Remove stove knobs or protect them with safety covers before leaving the house.
  • Consider Flameless Candles – Pets often knock over burning candles. Flameless candles are a safer alternative.
  • Secure Young Pets – Confine young pets to safe areas when you are not home with child safety gates or other safeguards.

 

The pet fire safety stickers that Clavin and Ra are providing to the public can be customized. Pet owners can indicate the type and number of pets at a house. They can even write the name(s) of a pet(s). Pet owners can call Clavin’s Office at (516) 538-1500 or Ra’s office at (516) 535-4095 to secure stickers. Stickers can also be acquired by emailing Clavin at receivermailinglist@tohmail.org.

 

“Pet Fire Safety Day presents an important opportunity for pet lovers to keep their pets and families safe,” said Clavin. “I want to thank Assemblyman Ra for passing a state resolution declaring July 15th as Pet Fire Safety Day.”

 

Visit Receiver Clavin’s webpage

D’Esposito Reminds Residents About Importance of Pool Safety

In the wake of two recent pool drownings, with one right here on Long Island just recently, Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito is reminding residents of the importance of pool safety so this summer can be a safe summer. Councilman D’Esposito, a first responder, outlined preventative measures, including a cpr demonstration, at a pool safety press conference as part of his campaign to promote life-saving measures. Standing poolside at Malibu Shore Club in Pt. Lookout with Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Malibu Shore Club owner Butch Yamali, and expertly trained lifeguards, D’Esposito encouraged pool owners to be more diligent than ever in safeguarding their backyard pools.

 

“As a former New York City Police Officer and former chief of the Island Park Fire Department, I have responded to one too many pool-related accidents throughout the New York area,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “It takes just a split second for an accident to happen and a tragedy to occur, but by following simple precautions we can ensure the sound of laughter and fun and not distress from homeowners’ pools.”

 

According to the US. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a national average of nearly 400 accidental fatal drownings of children 15 and under a year, with nearly 75 percent of those children younger than 5. There are also thousands of pool-related injuries to children each year.

 

“Summer is time for family-fun, especially for residents with backyard pools,” added Councilwoman King Sweeney. “But with that fun, comes responsibility and simple steps to safeguard our most precious town residents.”

 

In 2008, the Town Board passed a comprehensive law that requires a pool alarm for all swimming pools installed or maintained in unicorporated areas of the town. The alarm must be capable of detecting a child entering the water, and an 85-plus decibel warning must sound within 20-seconds both poolside and at another location on the premises.

 

“Watchful eyes are the best precaution, but an effective alarm is the next best thing to having your very own lifeguard poolside,” commented Councilman Dennis Dunne.

 

D’Esposito urged pool owners to ensure that their pools are protected by physical barriers as town code requires, including a minimum five-foot, non climable fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate (equipped with lock). Further precautions include the availability of personal flotation evices, life rings and a shepherd’s hook, as well as keeping a phone with emergency numbers poolside. D’Esposito also noted that teaching children to swim at an early age is a critical, preventative measure and each summer, the Town of Hempstead teaches thousands of kids to swim at various town pools.

 

In addition, D’Esposito encouraged parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn CPR and noted the CPR is first line of defense in the event of a drowning. “We live on an island, surrounded by water, with many residents having pools in their backyards,” added D’Esposito. “Just as it is a good idea to be trained in Narcan administration just in case you are ever in a position to save the life of an overdose victim, it is just as important to be trained in CPR.” For information on CPR classes in your local community, please contact the American Red Cross on Long Island at (516) 747-3500, visit www.redcross.org or contact your local fire department.

 

“While our first goal is always to prevent a tragedy, it is critical that we are prepared for the worst,” concluded D’Esposito. “We are committed to the well-being of all our residents and for an enjoyable summer filled with fun and laughter in the pool, and we urge you to take the necessary precautions to be safe this summer.”

 

Visit Councilman D’Esposito’s webpage

Hempstead Town Board Adopts Patriotic Legislation As America Celebrates Independence

Offers Active Military Personnel Discounts to Various Parks Facilities

 

During the week that America celebrates its independence, the nation’s largest township is continuing a longstanding tradition of supporting our military. Earlier this week, the Hempstead Town Board voted to memorialize its ongoing practice of offering many pool and beach admission discounts to active military personnel in the Town of Hempstead.

 

Active military personnel will now pay the same reduced rate as veterans, senior citizens, auxiliary officers, police officers and firefighters, saving up to 50 percent at many town facilities. The town has provided this discount to active military for the past two years, and made the policy official by adopting Town Board resolutions.

 

“The Town of Hempstead has offered discounts to veterans for many years, but there are many soldiers who remain on active duty in service of our great nation,” stated Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney. “We are proud to add ‘active military’ to the town’s list of distinguished citizens who are receiving discounts to many local pools and beaches.”

 

Active military personnel will receive discounts to the following Town of Hempstead parks facilities: Echo Park Pool in West Hempstead, Hewlett Point Park in Bay Park, Averill Boulevard Pool in Elmont, Newbridge Road Pool in Bellmore, Oceanside Pool in Oceanside, Veterans Memorial Pool in East Meadow, Rath Park Pool in Franklin Square, Forest City Pool in Wantagh, Town Park Lido West in Lido Beach, Town Park at Lido Beach in Lido Beach, Town Park at Sands in Lido Beach, and Town Park Point Lookout in Point Lookout.

 

“Particularly during the summer months, when our town beaches and pools are up and running, the Town of Hempstead is eager to give active military personnel a place to decompress during a visit home,” said Councilman Ed Ambrosino. Added Councilman Bruce Blakeman, “As we mark our nation’s independence, I can’t think of a better time to give great discounts to our men and women in uniform.”

 

“I am proud to join my colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board in giving back to those who defend America’s freedom throughout the globe,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. Added Councilman Dennis Dunne, “As a veteran of the United States Marines, I fully support this policy of offering reduced rates to our brave servicemen and servicewomen.”

 

To receive the Active Military discount, residents should bring their United States Uniform Services Privilege and Identification Card to the beach/pool on the day of their visit. For more information, please call the Town of Hempstead Department of Parks and Recreation at (516) 292-9000.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

D’Esposito, Miller Urge NYS to Pass Legislation Requiring CO Detectors on Boats

Outline Safety Precautions for July 4th Holiday Week and Summer in Wake of Recent Deaths

 

In the wake of several recent boating accidents, including two deaths believed to be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and New York State Assemblywoman Missy Miller are strongly urging residents to take precautions as they head out on local waterways for the July 4th holiday week and the summer. Councilman D’Esposito and Assemblywoman Miller are also calling on New York State to adopt legislation that would require carbon monoxide detectors on board all new vessels that include sleeping areas, galleys with sinks or enclosed head compartments. If adopted, New York State would be the second state to have such legislation.

 

Recently, at the West Marina in Point Lookout, Councilman D’Esposito and Assemblywoman Miller were joined by Commissioner Tom Doheny, Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways and Hempstead Town’s Bay Constables, as they displayed carbon monoxide detectors for boats, as well as outlined boater safety precautions.

 

“As a former New York City Police Officer and former chief of the Island Park Fire Department, I have responded to many water-related incidents throughout the New York area,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “While many of these accidents are preventable simply by being responsible and ensuring that proper safety equipment is on board, carbon monoxide is a silent and deadly killer. I am proud to support Assemblywoman Missy Miller and her legislation that would require carbon monoxide detectors on new boats.”

 

Assemblywoman Miller is one of the co-sponsors of state legislation (A8970B) that would mandate carbon monoxide detectors on new boats that have sleeping areas, galleys with sinks or enclosed head compartments. The Assemblywoman said the proposed law is criticial to the health and safety of boaters. She indicated that the same justification for home carbon monoxide detectors is applicable to many boats. Miller further observed that the recent tragic death of a couple aboard a boat on Fire Island underscores the importance of the bill that she has been championing.

 

“Let’s not allow another boating tragedy like the one that has taken the lives of a couple in Fire Island to occur,” said Miller. “We can prevent future carbon monoxide poisoning deaths on the water through education and with legislation that requires carbon monoxide detectors on boats.”

 

D’Esposito detailed general boating safety tips and discussed the key safeguards to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while aboard a boat. Utilizing carbon monoxide detectors and avoiding running a vessel while sleeping aboard are crucial safety tips in avoiding CO poisoning. Additionally, no boater or passenger should be in an enclosed area of a moored or docked vessel with a boat engine running.

 

Councilman D’Esposito and Assemblywoman Miller also urged local boaters to be on the lookout for suspicious and potentially dangerous activity on the waterways this summer. Town of Hempstead Bay Constables will be out on patrol to look for boaters under the influence of alcohol, as well as enforcing basic navigation, conservation and marine safety laws and ordinances. Other boating safety tips include familiarizing yourself with local boating laws and regulations, wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, having a radio on board, making a “float plan” to let another person know where you will be sailing and for how long.

 

Town officials also urge residents to take boater safety classes. The Bay Constables offer safe boating courses for young adults and adults.

 

“The Town of Hempstead is committed to the well being of all boaters enjoying our local waterways, and we urge all residents to be safe this summer,” said Councilman D’Esposito. Concluded Assemblywoman Miller, “I am grateful to Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and the Town of Hempstead for supporting this important legislation to keep boaters safe in New York waters.”

 

Visit Councilman D’Esposito’s webpage

Tax Receivers Tell Homeowners, “Don’t be Scared by ‘Tax Foreclosure’ Letter”

Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, joined by North Hempstead Receiver Charles Berman and Oyster Bay Receiver James Stefanich, is responding to dozens of scared homeowners who have called the officials’ offices after receiving an ominous letter from a law firm that warns property owners that “a third-party has paid your taxes…” and “…time is limited, and you need to take immediate action to keep your home.” The officials stated that the letters unduly and unnecessarily alarm homeowners, many of whom are not in imminent danger of having their homes foreclosed, seized or otherwise taken from the rightful property owners. At the same time, the three Receivers provided no-cost information and advice to property owners who have received the “tax foreclosure” letters and may be seeking information on their property tax status and looking for advice on how to satisfy any past-due property tax payments.

 

“My office has received several calls from homeowners who were on the verge of tears, worried that their homes were going to be snatched from them after they received a very alarming letter from a law firm warning them that they must take immediate action to keep their homes,” stated Clavin. “My office has researched the properties of those who have called my office and many are NOT in any imminent danger of losing their homes. I think it is wrong to scare people in this way, and that is why we are sharing important information on this matter with area homeowners.”

 

Clavin, Berman and Stefanich said that property owners who have received the alarming letter should first call the Nassau County Treasurer’s Office to determine if there are past due taxes that have accrued. The Treasurer’s Office can provide exact amounts of any arrearage and furnish directions on making payments. They also can explain how certain tax liens that may exist can be satisfied upon payment of past due taxes to the Treasurer.

 

“Many times, resolving the issue of past-due taxes can be as simple as arranging for the payment of those taxes and any applicable penalties to the Nassau County Treasurer,” stated Berman. “I urge any homeowners who have received a ‘foreclosure letter,’ like those that have alarmed area neighbors recently, to call the Nassau County Treasurer to determine if there are past-due amounts and to arrange to bring property tax payments up to date if necessary.”

 

The officials also mentioned that other resources are available to homeowners who may have questions related to tax liens, including the issues of mortgage default and bank foreclosure, among other areas of concern. Included in the list of resources are:

 

  • Nassau County Treasurer’s Office – Contact for information on the payment of past due taxes. Call (516) 571-2090 or visit the office at 1 West Street, Mineola, NY Residents can also access the Treasurer’s Office through Nassau County’s website (www.nassaucountyny.gov).
  • Nassau County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service – A free-of-charge service that provides lawyer referrals for a full range of legal issues. Call (516) 747-4832.
  • Org – A service for low and moderate income individuals that offers local free legal aid programs, answers questions and assists with legal problems. Visit online at lawhelp.org.
  • New York Legal Assistant Group (NYLAG) – Offers various programs in local communities, providing free legal services to those in need. Visit NYLAG at nylag.org or call (212) 613-5000.
  • HOPE NOW – A non-profit entity that has housing counselors who can offer advice on options that can avoid foreclosure. Call (888) 995-HOPE.
  • New York State Department of Financial Services Homeowner Resource Center—Provides guidance for homeowners facing foreclosure. The office can be reached at (800) 342-3736.

 

“There are resources and information available for those who have fallen behind on property tax payments or people who have related concerns,” said Stefanich. “We don’t want to see anyone become frightened by a ‘foreclosure letter.’ By contacting the Nassau County Treasurer, you can resolve many tax delinquency situations.”

 

“It is not right to send homeowners a letter that frightens them by stating, ‘…time is limited, and you need to take immediate action to keep your home,’” said Clavin. “We are asking homeowners not to be scared if they receive such a letter. Rather, we are suggesting that homeowners contact the Nassau County Treasurer if they believe that they have past due taxes and want to resolve any amounts that may have fallen in arrears.”

 

Visit Receiver of Taxes Clavin’s webpage

Fighting for Free Speech – Bi-partisan Proposal Would Guard against Censorship After Town Administration Removes Elected Official’s Press Release from Government Website

A week after Hempstead Town’s administration removed an official press release authored by Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin from its website, a bi-partisan coalition of town Council Members are joining the Receiver to propose legislation that would protect free speech and guard against unwarranted censorship. Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, along with several other members of the Town Board have joined forces to ensure that elected officials can place press releases on the town’s website and social media outlets without securing approvals from the administration or other town officials. The legislation would also prohibit a recurrence of an incident whereby the town’s administration removed a Clavin press release from the township’s website. At the press announcement, town officials stated that their proposal “drew a line in the sand” in support of the First Amendment.

 

“Freedom of speech is at the core of our democracy, and it is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America,” said Clavin. “A bi-partisan group of Hempstead Town officials is coming together to protect the right of free speech and take steps to guard against censorship.”

 

The proposal that Clavin and his colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board are championing would provide all Hempstead Town elected officials with direct access to the township’s website and social media channels, providing them with the ability to post press releases, videos and other content that is related to activities, proposals, statements and other undertakings done in the course of their work on behalf of the residents whom they are elected to represent. The content can relate to local, county, state, federal or other governmental issues or other topics of interest or which promote the general welfare of the town’s residents. Further, the legislation would prohibit any town official or his/her staff from overseeing, approving, disapproving, removing, altering or otherwise editing the press releases, videos or other related content of the town’s elected officials.

 

“I am a champion of the First Amendment,” proclaimed Goosby. “I have lived through the experience of people trying to diminish my voice, and I will never accept inappropriate limits on free speech, and will continue to be a staunch fighter against government censorship.”

 

“A commitment to openness and transparency demands that all town elected officials have equal and unrestricted ability to place their press releases on the township’s official website for viewing by the public,” stated King Sweeney. “I have fought for commonsense reforms in our government and am proud to support local legislation on this issue.”

 

Clavin said that the need for the “free speech and censorship” legislation at the town level came out of an unfortunate experience that he recently confronted with a governmental press release that his office produced. The Receiver held a press conference on Monday, June 11, 2018, which announced a successful campaign by Clavin, some county legislators and a group of angry senior citizens, calling upon the Nassau County Department of Assessment to reverse its decision to halt the mailing of important property value notices to Nassau homeowners. The notices provide important information, and the contents are the basis upon which many homeowners decide whether or not to challenge their property taxes. The press conference was accompanied by a press release, a key part of the effort to advise the public of the fact that they will continue to receive vital property tax information from county government.

 

The Supervisor’s administration approved the press release and posted it to the town’s website. However, almost as soon as the press release appeared, it was stricken from the town’s website by the administration’s staff on June 14, 2018.

 

“No town elected official should have the power to approve, disapprove or remove the posting of news releases from Hempstead Town’s governmental website,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. “I am happy to be working with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and my colleagues on the Town Board to present legislation that safeguards free speech and protects against censorship.”

 

“Giving residents access to more uncensored information from their public officials is at the core of good government,” said Councilman Ed Ambrosino. “I fully endorse a plan to allow all town elected officials to communicate with taxpayers without censorship by any government official or staff.”

 

“As a veteran, I am keenly aware that brave men and women have fought and died to protect our right to free speech,” stated Councilman Dennis Dunne. “Our freedoms are being taken away one step at a time, and I am committed to fighting for the preservation of the First Amendment at the town level.”

 

After the “disappearing press release” incident, Clavin wrote a letter to his colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board, dated June 15th, asking for the Council Members to take legislative action that would grant all elected officials full access and the ability to post their press releases on the township’s website.

 

“I agree with United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s statement, ‘The First Amendment, I think, is the jewel of our Constitution,’” concluded Clavin. “By providing full access to the township’s website for elected officials, we are protecting free speech in America’s largest township.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Councilman Ambrosino, ‘Dogs Of War’ Rock Out to Support Local Veterans

Town of Hempstead Councilman Edward Ambrosino invites neighbors to attend a benefit concert performed by the “Dogs of War,” a 10-member classic rock band that features Ambrosino, Nassau County Legislator Vincent Muscarella, Nassau County Legislator Laura Schaefer, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and other local government officials. The concert is being held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 at Mulcahy’s of Wantagh.

 

Band members include Ambrosino (piano/guitar), Muscarella (guitar/vocals), Schaefer (vocals), Saladino (drums), Jonathan Crist (guitar/lead vocals), Patrick Owens (bass/vocals), Mark Ambrosino (drums/vocals), Mike Martino (lead guitar/vocals), Jeb Ambrosino (lead guitar) and Jack Vitale (percussion).

 

“As elected officials, it’s our duty to serve the people of our communities, but our mission on June 21 is to entertain them so we can give back to veterans who have done so much for all of us in protecting our freedoms as Americans,” Ambrosino said. “I invite everyone to come to Mulcahy’s for a fun-filled night with friends, rock ‘n’ and Dogs of War.”

 

The band performs a variety of classic rock and R&B hits, including favorites from The Allman Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band and much more. The band has been hosting this benefit concert for several years to support local veterans.

 

Admission is $25, and the band’s goal is to sell at least 500 tickets, with proceeds benefitting local veteran organizations. Mulcahy’s of Wantagh is located at 3232 Railroad Avenue in Wantagh. For information of how to purchase tickets, call Mulcahy’s at (516) 783-7500 or visit http://dogs.of.war.ticketbud.com . Tickets can also be purchased at the event.

 

The ‘Dogs of War’ was created in honor of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have served our nation,” We’re excited for their next gig and hope it brings smiles to their fans and much-needed support to our local veterans.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Clavin Declares Victory as Nassau Assessor Reverses Plan to Halt Mailing Property Value Notices to Homeowners

Declaring victory for government transparency and local homeowners, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin announced that Nassau’s Assessment Department has reversed its plan to halt mailing Nassau neighbors’ property value notices, the foundation upon which residents’ taxes are based, after the Receiver and angry senior citizens assailed the county’s policy decision. Additionally, Clavin thanked the Nassau County Legislature’s Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello for drafting legislation that will mandate that the “Notices of Tentative Assessment” continue to be mailed to property owners. The Assessment Department’s poorly thought-out scheme to cancel mailing home values would have forced homeowners to seek the data on the Internet, creating a significant hardship for many senior citizens, the economically disadvantaged and others who lack access to computers and on-line service. Joining Clavin at the press announcement were Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello, Legislator Laura Schaefer and a group of grateful senior citizens from Wantagh.

 

“Nassau’s assessment system is broken, and the only thing worse than a dysfunctional tax system is trying to keep homeowners’ property values a secret,” said Clavin. “I am happy that the Nassau Assessment Department has reconsidered its plan to halt the mailing of homeowners’ property values to Nassau residents. This is a victory for government transparency. I want to also thank Nassau County Legislature’s Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello and the majority legislators for crafting legislation that will mandate the mailing of ‘Notices of Tentative Assessed Value.’”

 

On June 1, 2018, Clavin mailed the Acting Nassau County Assessor, demanding that his department abandon a plan to curtail the long-standing practice of mailing residents an annual Notice of Tentative Assessed Value. The Receiver observed that the scheme to restrict access to property value information to the Assessment Department’s website would place senior citizens, those with limited incomes and others without Internet access at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to making important decisions based on home values. Further, Clavin said that the maneuver, which would only continue mailing tax assessment updates to those who made written requests through the U.S. Postal Service, would be a serious defeat for transparency and accountability, thereby further eroding trust and confidence in the county’s much maligned assessment system. Finally, Clavin called the timing of the effort “totally misguided” as Nassau’s Assessment Department is poised to embark on a major property tax assessment revaluation project.

 

Almost immediately, Nassau County Legislature’s Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello and Legislator Laura Schaefer responded to Clavin’s call for action. The legislative duo has drafted legislation that will mandate the mailing of the Notices of Tentative Assessed Value to the county’s property owners, leaving no discretion to the county’s Assessment Department on the matter.

 

“I want to thank Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention,” said Nicolello. “I am proud that we can help Nassau homeowners by crafting legislation that will mandate the continued mailing of crucial home value data to Nassau homeowners. Our neighbors deserve unrestricted access to this information in the interest of government transparency and accountability.”

 

“I was pleased to stand with Don Clavin and senior citizens on June 1st to demand that the Nassau County Assessment Department provide complete transparency on its assessment of residents’ properties,” stated Schaefer. “Mailing property value information to homeowners is the right thing to do. Access to home values is critical to making important decisions on issues such as challenging property tax assessments.”

 

The Receiver and several seniors noted that most residents were unaware of the Nassau Assessment Department’s plan to curtail the mailing of the home value notices. Clavin said that this fact came as no surprise to him since the information regarding the termination of mailed assessment valuation notices was “buried” in the January 2018 Tentative Assessed Value notification. In fact, the words “…the Department of Assessment will no longer produce mail Notices of Tentative Assessed Value…” were buried in a 400-word document in which residents were solely focused on information concerning their latest “tentative assessed value.”

 

While the “seemingly secret” notification that the mailing of home values would be discontinued resulted in significant frustration, the “taxpayer-unfriendly” method of dealing with exceptions to the new policy was equally exasperating. The County Assessor didn’t advise readers to whom their requests to continue receiving assessment value notices by mail should be addressed. It also failed to offer convenient alternatives, such as Internet or phone-based options, to request the maintenance of Notices of Tentative Assessed Value by U.S. Mail.

 

“I strongly believe that the county Assessment Department’s decision to halt the mailing of home values to residents and the complicated and difficult steps required to receive an exception to this policy were part of an intentional effort to limit access to information,” said Clavin. “It would have especially hurt our most vulnerable residents the hardest—senior citizens, the poor and others without Internet access. Thankfully, Rich Nicolello has taken steps to ensure that the County Assessor will never again be able to restrict access to property value information for Nassau homeowners.”

 

“As Nassau County embarks upon a major property revaluation, it’s more important than ever that homeowners have greater access, not less, when it comes to their property values,” concluded Clavin. “By working together, we can enhance government transparency, openness and accountability.”

 

Visit Receiver Clavin’s webpage

Clavin Calls On County Assessor To Be Transparent On Home Values

Tells Nassau, “Don’t Stop Mailing Assessments To Homeowners”; Plan Penalizes Seniors, The Poor & Others Without Internet Access

 

“Keeping homeowners informed about property assessments is the foundation of a transparent, accountable and forthright property tax system,” announced Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin as he called upon Nassau County’s Acting Assessor to abandon a plan to curtail the long-standing practice of mailing residents an annual Notice of Tentative Assessed Value. Clavin, who was joined by Nassau County Legislator Laura Schaefer and a group of annoyed senior citizens at a media briefing, stated that the scheme to restrict access to property value information to the Assessment Department’s website would place senior citizens, those with limited incomes and others without Internet access at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to making important decisions based on home values. Further, Clavin says that the maneuver, which would only continue mailing tax assessment updates to those who made written requests through the U.S. Postal Service, would be a serious defeat for transparency and accountability, thereby further eroding trust and confidence in the county’s much maligned assessment system. Finally, Clavin called the timing of the effort “totally misguided” as Nassau’s Assessment Department is poised to embark on a major property tax assessment revaluation project.

 

“Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Nassau County taxpayers regarding the Assessment Department’s chronically broken reassessment system, the county is planning to halt the mailing of Notices of Tentative Assessed Values to homeowners,” stated Clavin. “What’s worse, the overwhelming majority of property owners have no idea that the Assessment Department has this taxpayer-hostile initiative up its sleeve. I have written to Nassau County’s Acting Assessor and have strongly urged him to reverse the plan to curtail the mailing of important property value information to residents.

 

During the press briefing on the “assessed value notification” issue, Clavin recounted his experiences with local taxpayers to underscore the need for more information and better communication on the part of the Nassau County Department of Assessment. The Receiver detailed his practice at tax forums of asking property owners if they were aware of the County Assessor’s plan to stop mailing the updated annual assessment information on their homes. In response to his inquiries, Clavin indicated that virtually nobody in attendance was aware of this fact. What’s more, the overwhelming majority were not aware that they received notification. Clavin said that these facts came as no surprise to him since the information regarding the termination of mailed assessment valuation notices was “buried” in the January 2018 Tentative Assessed Value notification. In fact, the words “…the Department of Assessment will no longer produce mail Notices of Tentative Assessed Value…” were buried in a 400-word document in which residents were solely focused on information concerning their latest “tentative assessed value.”

 

“The Nassau Department of Assessment needs to do much more to communicate its intention to stop mailing ‘Notices of Tentative Assessed Value’ to homeowners,” stated the Receiver. “Residents are unaware of the plan, and offering more information, not less, is critical if the County Assessor hopes to restore any trust in its troubled assessment system.”

 

“Unfortunately, the Assessment Department did not advise the County Legislature of its plan to halt the mailing of important property value data to Nassau’s residents,” stated Schaefer. “In support of transparency and accountability, I am calling upon the County’s Acting Assessor to continue mailing this information to homeowners.”

 

The Receiver is also concerned over the Assessment Department’s methodology in curtailing Tentative Assessed Value mailings to homeowners. While the predominant business model and government practice with respect to “opting-out” of mailings involves customers and/or taxpayers making an affirmative request to go paperless, the County Assessor is simply cutting taxpayers off from mailed communication unless the taxpayer specifically requests to continue receiving mailed notifications in writing via U.S. Mail. Indeed, the Receiver’s new e-Billing initiative allows taxpayers to affirmatively “opt-out” of mailed notifications, selecting to receive personalized email notifications.

 

“Nobody else in business, government or industry merely curtails the mailing of important notices to customers,” stated Clavin. “Businesses, public utilities and governments all give the customer the courtesy of requesting that they formally take action to switch from ‘snail mail’ to email. Sadly, the county’s Assessment Department is not even replacing its U.S. Mail notification with emails.”

 

In fact, the obscure “mail cancellation” notification that was provided to residents in January of 2018 did not advise readers to whom their requests to continue receiving assessment value notices by mail should be addressed. It also failed to offer convenient alternatives, such as Internet or phone-based options, to request the maintenance of Notices of Tentative Assessed Value by U.S. Mail. And, residents will have to navigate an arcane website to access their Notices of Tentative Assessed Value rather than receiving an email. Clavin contends that the “user-unfriendly” steps required to continue receiving U.S. Mail assessment information, coupled with the lack of comprehensive public notification, appears to be a conscious effort to limit access to information, and he indicated that it will especially hurt senior citizens, the economically disadvantaged and others without Internet access.

 

“One can only conclude that this entire initiative was done purposefully in an effort to limit access to information that homeowners need and deserve,” said Clavin. “This maneuver will hit the most vulnerable the hardest—senior citizens, the poor and others without Internet access. This is a cruel and unwelcome initiative.”

 

Clavin said that the timing of the plan to curtail mailed Notices of Tentative Assessed Value could not be worse, considering the county’s new property tax assessment revaluation project is about to commence.

 

“As Nassau County embarks upon its new revaluation update, it is more important than ever to restore confidence and trust in Nassau’s assessment system,” said Clavin. “Limiting access to assessed values does just the opposite. I am calling upon Nassau’s Acting Assessor to please restore mailed Notices of Tentative Assessed Values, allowing those who choose to ‘go paperless’ the ability to expressly take steps to ‘opt-out’ of mail notification.”

 

“Let’s work together to enhance government transparency, openness and accountability,” concluded the Receiver. “By restoring mailed Notices of Tentative Assessed Values, alongside a comprehensive property revaluation project, we can earn the public’s trust and gain their confidence.”

 

Visit Receiver Clavin’s webpage