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Rally to Roll Back the Raises

Organization Questions Town Procedure in Granting Raises

The Roll Back the Raises Campaign held a rally in front of Town of Hempstead Hall to lobby town officials to roll back the raises the town board granted themselves and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

Sporting signs in protest of the raises, members of the campaign protested the way in which the raises were granted and the fact that they were granted during a difficult economic climate. One sign said, “7 to 10 Percent Raises in This Economy – Are You Serious?”

“People can’t take it anymore. They have had enough,” said Bob Young, one of the organizers of the Roll Back the Raises Campaign.

Spokespeople for the Town of Hempstead have maintained that the elected officials for the town work extremely hard and have been fiscally responsible.

Asked Derek Donnelly, another of the organizers of the Roll Back the Raises Campaign, “If they think they’re so deserving of it, why don’t they put it up for a referendum right now?”

Members of the Roll Back the Raises Campaign feel town officials acted illegally in granting themselves raises.

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the town board granted a $10,000 or 7 percent raise to Murray and $4,500 or 7 percent raise to each of the six council members in addition to a $10,000 or 10.4 percent raise to Town Clerk Mark Bonilla after holding a hearing at town hall.

According to attorney Steven C. November of Merrick, who wrote an opinion for the Roll Back the Raises Campaign on the procedure the town used for public notification for the raises, he believes the raises should be nullified because the town didn’t follow proper procedure with respect to public notices filed for the raises.

A Town of Hempstead spokesperson said the town did everything legally with respect to how the raises were granted.

Members of Roll Back the Taxes hope to gather support when they attend the next Town of Hempstead Board meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at Hempstead Town Hall.