All Things Political: Republican Town Council majority of Hempstead = malfeasance

All Things Political: Republican Town Council majority of Hempstead = malfeasance

The Republican Town Council majority of Hempstead clearly showed at the last Town Board meeting, they have little respect for residents, don’t take the time to learn what’s happening in town government, and only take a casual glance at the agenda before a board meeting.

If you can stomach it, please take the time to watch from 1:02 to 1:24 of the Sept. 24, taped legislative session:

These five items of note were tabled by the Republican Town Council Majority, indefinitely, in fear that Supervisor Laura Gillen would accomplish positive changes that benefit taxpayers before Election Day:

-Siemens Energy Performance Contract
This EPC went through an exhaustive bipartisan RFP process, involving thousands of hours of work over the last year and a half, and has already cost the town several tens of thousands of dollars in outside legal counsel.
Siemens is also out of pocket several hundred thousand dollars after investing money in preparation to be awarded the bid in good faith.
This contract had projected $11.381 million in guaranteed electricity savings, and over $5.7 million in positive cash flow, over 20 years. The energy savings would have been so significant, the following projects would have been paid for with no out of pocket cost to taxpayers, and saved the equivalent carbon emissions from about 300 passenger cars a year:

5,463 conversions to LED lighting
16 high-efficiency pool pump motor replacements
One 75kw Cogeneration system at Echo Park
19 high-efficiency transformer replacements
Computer management software for 1,158 terminals

-Novus Agenda: this contract is an attempt to digitize the clerk’s office, create greater transparency, and get rid of the 72 typewriters needed to run the office. Upgrading technology is a no-brainer and would have saved time and money.

-Real Estate Brokerage Services: to help dispose of excess Town property such as sliver lots, and parking lots the town maintains at taxpayer expense on behalf of commercial property owners. Local businesses and homeowners have indicated they are willing to purchase the lots at a fair price, which would put these lots on the tax rolls.

-311 call center: would have enabled residents to have a single point of contact phone number, similar to what the Town of North Hempstead currently operates with great success, to access Town information and file complaints.

-Asset Recovery: a service provider who would locate and recover for a 15 percent fee and no out of pocket costs, long-forgotten town-owned assets, all at no cost to the Town. This would shed light on squandered or possibly even plundered Town resources.

Several vendors have made it clear; they will no longer invest time and money bidding on projects in the Town of Hempstead. That’s because they’ve been through the bidding process, and come out as the winning bidder, only to have the Republican Town Council majority deny approval.

The Town Board’s actions will result in significant financial losses for sure. Taxpayers bear the brunt of this malfeasance, through higher costs as a result of less competitive bidding. For example, a Uniondale Streetscaping project costing over $1.1 million received only one bid after going through two RFPs.

Town of Hempstead residents should be livid! If you live in the Town of Hempstead, please speak out, and contact your councilperson. Town of Hempstead residents deserve better!

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