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Hempstead Town Board Hires Private Firm to Help with Redistricting

A weekly look-in at news from around the Town of Hempstead.

The Hempstead Town Board on Tuesday approved a $5,000 contract with Schenectady-based Skyline Demographic Consultants Inc. to help with the town's upcoming redistricting.

The board voted 4-0 to approve the contract with Skyline, which would analyze population data to be used by the town attorney's office in redrawing the six-district map.

The town board would vote on the new map, spokesman Michael Deery said. The board will propose a map before a redistricting hearing on March 19, Deery said.

But the Town of Hempstead Democratic Committee said that the Republican-controlled town board should discuss the potential new map with a bipartisan committee before it is voted on.

"Not only should Republicans, Democrats and all the political parties have access to the process, but groups concerned with fairness and good government should all be included and participate, a nonpartisan commission must be formed and must hold public hearings in each district about the proposed map," said Bob Young, first deputy leader of the Town of Hempstead TOHDC in a release.

District maps are redrawn every 10 years as required by law, to account for demographic changes. The town's population of nearly 760,000 grew by 0.5 percent from 2000 to 2010, but the minority population grew much faster in areas such as Elmont, Valley Stream and Freeport, advocates and redistricting experts said.

Hempstead Town Extends Building Department Fee Waiver Program for Sandy Victims Rebuilding and Repairing Homes

Months after Hurricane Sandy left behind unprecedented damage across Hempstead Town, many victims are still rebuilding their homes and restoring their lives. Some neighbors are still awaiting important storm-related insurance and relief checks needed to fund home repairs.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and the town board have extended a helpful program through June 1, 2013, that includes a waiver of all building department permit fees for Sandy victims faced with house reconstruction or storm-related repairs.

Initially established in the wake of the Superstorm, under the direction of Murray and the Town Board, all Hempstead Town Building Department fees are waived for Sandy-related structural repairs that conform to original dimensions and specifications, commonly referred to as “in-kind” repairs/replacement. 

Additionally, all fees have been waived for temporary housing trailers and storage pods during construction. Furthermore, the town has eliminated a requirement for homeowners to obtain a variance prior to increasing their home’s foundation to comply with FEMA flood height standards. 

The waived building department fees will save residents up to $2,500 for a permit. Building permits are required for all structural repairs and alterations to structures within the Town of Hempstead.

Hours for the Hempstead Town Building Department’s Plan Examiners remain extended. Until further notice, the planning examiners are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary for storm-related damage permit applications. However, residents can make an appointment to minimize waiting times for meeting with officials by calling (516) 812-3073.

Additionally, the town has eliminated a requirement for homeowners to obtain a variance prior to increasing their home’s elevation to comply with FEMA flood height guidelines (building department permits are required).

Hempstead Town Animal Shelter Holding Photo Contest

If you have adopted or rescued a pet from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter (at any point), the town is inviting you to share your adopted pet's tale as part of the shelter's Happy Tails Contest. If your pet's story (and accompanying photo) is chosen, it will be featured at the Town Animal Shelter.

The contest begins March 1, 2013 and ends on March 15, 2013. All stories must be accompanied by a photo of your adopted pet.

Rules: All pets must have been adopted, rescued, or adopted from a rescue group who obtained the animal from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter.

Image Format: Set your camera to the highest resolution and high pixel (suggested: 300 dpi at a minimum size of 8x10). Please send original digital files (jpeg only) via email as an attachment to animalinfo@tohmail.org. Emails are only able to handle a maximum of 20 MB per email.

Hempstead Town Animal Shelter Earns Perfect Marks in Two NYS Inspection Reports

The Hempstead Town Animal Shelter recently earned perfect grades from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which recently handed down its Municipal Shelter and Dog Control Officer inspection reports.

The Wantagh-based town Animal Shelter graded “satisfactory” – the highest rating possible – in all 30 categories associated with the inspections, with no deficiencies found.

Click here to read more on the animal shelter's rating.

Felix Procacci February 24, 2013 at 01:24 PM
The Town Board is INCAPABLE of being FAIR, it is NOT in their DNA. See the following video where the Town Board walks out on a speaker for going over the 3 minute time limit. Other speakers at this meeting went over the 3 minute time limit, without getting such treatment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xMVJ7Qb5_M&feature=youtu.be
S.M. February 24, 2013 at 02:46 PM
That video is just pathetic. What a shame. Shame on you Joe Ra. You're a better person than that.
paul February 24, 2013 at 06:17 PM
I just can not get past the first paragraph: "The Hempstead Town Board on Tuesday approved a $5,000 contract with Schenectady-based Skyline Demographic Consultants Inc. to help with the town's upcoming redistricting." I did some research: Who is Skyline Demographic Consultants Inc? SKYLINE DEMOGRAPHIC CONSULTANTS INC 3050 SKYLINE DRIVE, SCHENECTADY, NY 12306 Comes back to a private home in the middle of no mans land. Means nothing yet, many people work out of their homes. Not saying a website is necessary for a business but their is none that I can find. Is the company called Skyline Demographic Consultants Inc or should it be called Skyline Political Organization Inc. Who is this David Schaefer with the company???? Note: don't be fooled by the word Skyline in the name it is the name of the street the address is located.... Sounds more like a made up company. Where are their references? Did the TOH check them out or is this another political scam? Smells rotten really really rotten.. Please prove me wrong......
paul February 24, 2013 at 06:24 PM
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-schaefer/1a/46a/135 Just saying....... Maybe I will run against Kate........
phil from lynbrook February 25, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Good idea, provided you are qualified. What is your platform other than anti Kate Murray? Many people say they will run, but don't. Result, we are stuck with the same old crew. I wish we could find good alternatives
Thomas Nathan February 25, 2013 at 09:16 PM
@phil It is easier for people to sit on boards like this and complain and point out what they think is wrong instead of standing up and trying to be part of the solution.
Ivan Ivanovich February 25, 2013 at 11:41 PM
It's 5000 of payola to some Albany insider, who will just print a google map
Ivan Ivanovich February 25, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Sounds like u just gave Fred brewing ton another case to win u incompetent fools
Chris Wendt February 26, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Then there's this, from the Albany Democrats: "Assembly Democrats have retained a $400-per-hour consultant to analyze and review the redistricting of state and federal legislative boundaries, according to the state Comptroller’s Open Book website. The majority inked a contract worth up to $143,000 with Allan Lichtman, a profesor of history at American University in Washington, earlier this year. The contract ends in 2014. Lichtman’s compensation is not to exceed $100,000, but he also receives $3,000 in travel expenses and $40,000 in out-of-pocket expenses." I mean, as long as we're talking spending money on political hacks.
Chris Wendt February 26, 2013 at 01:45 AM
The house at 3050 Skyline Drive appears to be for sale: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3050-Skyline-Dr-Schenectady-NY-12306/32478072_zpid/ It had a 65% property tax reduction between 2010 and 2011, which sounds almost like some catastrophic loss had occurred. I wonder if anyone actually lives/works in that house, or is it a complete sham address?
paul February 26, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Of course it all appears to be a SCAM.... TOH is short for SUCKERS..... and DUMMIES.......
paul February 26, 2013 at 04:13 AM
My platform would be one of reality with understanding of where we are today and looking toward the future. Using a commonsense approach to realize that one must invest wisely in the future in order to have a better today....

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