Statement From Supervisor Laura Gillen On Nomination Of Old Town Hall To State And National Registers Of Historic Places
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:49:14 +0000
(HEMPSTEAD, NY) March 19, 2018 - "Hempstead is honored that our Town Hall is nominated for placement on the historic registers," said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. "My colleagues and I are incredibly proud to enter this building every day as we serve the residents; it is a powerful reminder of the history behind us and the future for which we strive."
The State Review Board voted unanimously on Friday to recommend Hempstead's 1918 Georgian Revival Old Town Hall for nomination to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Extended Property Tax Challenge Deadline Approaching
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:05:22 +0000

Clavin Releases Video on How to Grieve Assessments to Help Homeowners
“Beat the Clock”

After Nassau extended its deadline for the filing of Property Tax Challenges to April 2nd, residents have been scrambling to “beat the clock” and get their property tax assessment challenges filed with the county. In an effort to assist homeowners, many who have expressed a desire for greater clarity on the assessment process, including property tax challenges, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin has produced a “how-to” video that takes residents through a step-by-step tutorial on grieving assessments. Clavin emphasized that homeowners should take advantage of the extra time provided for challenging their assessment, urging neighbors to view his video and file their grievances immediately. The original property tax deadline had been March 1st, prior to the county granting the filing extension to April 2nd. Clavin was joined by his colleagues in government Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr.

“I am happy that the Nassau County Executive has granted an extension of the deadline in which to challenge property tax assessments,” stated Clavin. “I encourage homeowners to take advantage of the extended deadline, visit our town’s website to view my instructional video and file your property tax grievance before April 2nd.”

The Receiver called the extended deadline “very important” in light of feedback that he has been receiving from the public at the over 30 taxpayer forums that he has hosted. Clavin observed that there has been widespread confusion over the property tax challenge deadline on the part of property owners who have attended the seminars. Further, homeowners have questions about the county’s assessment system, the grievance process, options and strategies with regard to pursuing assessment challenges in successive years, as well as the County Executive’s proposed assessment updates.

“Throughout my series of taxpayer seminars, it has become increasingly clear that widespread confusion exists about Nassau’s Assessment System, the county’s plan to update assessments, the extended deadline for challenging property taxes, as well as options and strategies of which homeowners should be aware,” said Clavin. “I have used the taxpayer forums to answer as many questions as possible on the issue of assessments, and the posting of this new “how-to” video on challenging assessments will help walk people through the tax grievance process. Among other things, the video will help resolve questions neighbors may have regarding how to go about challenging their assessments.”

Residents who would like to view the video guide to challenging assessments can visit the town’s website at The video can also be viewed on the Receiver of Taxes' YouTube channel . Clavin encourages homeowners to call his office at 538-1500 and the Nassau County Department of Assessment at 571-1500 with questions regarding assessment challenges.

“Homeowners have a ‘golden opportunity’ to challenge their assessment as a result of the extended deadline, and I encourage neighbors to follow the video guide to grieving property taxes now,” commented Sweeney. Dunne agreed with his fellow councilmember remarking, “This how-to video guide is clear and easy to follow; I commend the Receiver for helping homeowners challenge their assessment.”

Clavin is continuing to host taxpayer seminars, as residents are still unaware of the deadline extension for filing a property tax challenge. What’s more, the Receiver observed that many homeowners were unclear over the county’s planned assessment update initiative and its prospective impact on property tax grievances. On the heels of a major news report that pointed out substantial property tax assessment inequities among similar homes in the same neighborhoods, Clavin indicated that neighbors need more information on assessment grievance options and strategies to ensure the greatest benefit. In specific, those who challenge assessments annually have, as a group, benefitted from lower assessments and taxes than neighbors who have not challenged their assessments or only challenged every few years, as opposed to annually. Finally, the Receiver also noted that many property owners are surprised to learn that assessment challenges do not require the services of a professional grievance firm.

“The combination of holding more taxpayer forums and releasing the video on challenging assessments constitute a strong effort to help homeowners deal with a very complex issue that is in a state of flux,” said Clavin. “Nassau County’s assessment system is broken, but Hempstead Town is continuing to help neighbors to challenge their assessments and lower their taxes.”

For a full listing of Clavin’s upcoming taxpayer forums, visit the Receiver’s page on Hempstead Town’s website

King Sweeney, Town Board Members Condemn Nassau County’s Million-Dollar Little League Fee Hike
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 21:56:17 +0000

Members of the Hempstead Town Board today condemned the decision by Nassau County to abandon its long-standing policy of waiving usage fees for little league organizations, calling the move a massive and unaffordable fee hike on that will decimate Little Leagues and cause participation to fall due to increased costs on league families.

“Nassau County’s decision to unilaterally impose over a million dollars in fees on little leagues is an affront to hard working taxpayers across Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead. Little leagues are at the very essence of community cohesion all across our nation. They bring families and neighbors together and provide young kids the opportunity to compete and make lifelong friendships – while being kept active in a healthy activity and away from drugs,” stated Councilwoman King Sweeney.

As reported in Newsday, the decision by the County administration, pursuant to a memorandum from the administration justifying the suspension of all fee waivers for ballfield usage as a way to help solve the County’s fiscal crisis, would represent approximately one million dollars in fees that will charged to little leagues. As of March 1st, the Seaford Little League received a bill for $16,000 from the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums.

“The idea that Nassau County thinks it can solve its financial problems on the backs of hardworking men and women who volunteer their time to run little leagues is the height of absurdity,” stated Councilman Bruce Blakeman. “What the County is doing here is passing its financial problems on to the little leagues, who will have no choice but to pass those costs on to their membership,” said Councilman Edward Ambrosino. Councilman Dennis Dunne added, “This will mean fewer kids on the teams and leagues taking their operations elsewhere.”

The imposition of these mandatory fees would add to the burden on Nassau County taxpayers, already widely reported as paying the highest taxes and fees in the nation. Indeed, these fees were imposed unilaterally and without any warning or input from league officials. Town Board members also questioned the impact of this policy on children in underprivileged communities at a time when the opioid crisis has reached new heights.

“As a former NYPD Detective, I know firsthand the importance of providing activities for our youth as a way to stay off the streets, away from drugs, and build their future. Undercutting our little leagues in this way will only make our streets less safe in Nassau County,” stated Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. “The solution here is not for Nassau County to pass the buck on to league families. I join with my colleagues on condemning this outrageous plan,” said Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin. “We call upon the County Executive to do the right thing and rescind this ill-conceived policy. Our kids deserve to have the opportunity to play baseball and softball that’s affordable for all the people of Nassau County,” added Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.

The Councilmembers further noted that Hempstead Town continues to be a little league-friendly township, welcoming league organizations from across the municipality to play in Town parks while waiving most fees for their use of fields, lighting and equipment.

“The Town of Hempstead will not stand idly by while Nassau County decimates our community little leagues with this latest short-sighted money grab. If the County Executive does not act to stand behind these leagues, we will,” concluded Councilwoman King Sweeney.

Town Of Hempstead Seeks Additional Animal Care Experts For Shelter
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 11:56:42 +0000

For RFPs and RFQ click here


(HEMPSTEAD, NY) March 12th, 2018 – In an effort to improve the management and the quality of care and services at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, Supervisor Laura Gillen has released two requests for proposals, as well as a request for qualifications to identify and assess potential regional and national animal care organizations willing to partner with the town on handling one or more shelter functions.

“Our priority, first and foremost, is the care, well-being and safety of the animals and shelter workers,” said Supervisor Gillen. “I am committed to addressing any and all issues at the shelter, and welcome input from the Town Board and all of the many dedicated volunteers and employees who serve our growing shelter population.”

Among the proposals Supervisor Gillen has put forward for consideration are bolstering behaviorist services in order to more quickly and efficiently assess animals and move them into forever-homes, as well as a proposal for additional off-site veterinary services. The Town also issued a request for qualifications from private animal care providers of services that may include adoption and rescue.

Gillen has also proposed adding extra security cameras in the shelter to ensure the public that the best care and treatment of animals is being provided.

“My administration is proactively reaching out to every stakeholder who believes in providing the very best care for our pets in order to move forward with common-sense solutions that can improve shelter functions.”

The Town of Hempstead animal shelter is the largest animal shelter on Long Island and one of the largest municipal animal shelters in the country. The shelter system currently cares for 134 dogs and 72 cats.

Governor’s Office Of Storm Recovery And Town Of Hempstead Supervisor Gillen Unveil New Design Plans To Protect Thousands Of Homes From Storm Surge And Flooding
Fri, 09 Mar 2018 16:11:34 +0000

$3.7 Million Project Includes Creation of New Bulkheads, Wetlands and Berms in Brook Road Park

State and Local Officials Join Local Homeowners Affected by Superstorm Storm Sandy in Unveiling Critically Needed Shoreline Resiliency and Flood Prevention Projects


(VALLEY STREAM, NY) March 9, 2018 – Officials from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery joined Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and State Senator Todd Kaminsky at Brook Road State Park to unveil final flood prevention and resiliency measures to protect thousands of homes from storm surge and tidal flooding in South Valley Stream. The $3.7 million community-driven GOSR Community Reconstruction project includes the installation of new vinyl bulkheads in Brook Road Park, along with the creation of tidal wetlands, a pedestrian boardwalk, and elevated berms along Hook Creek. Construction should begin in late Spring and will take approximately 12 months.

“Building our infrastructure safer, stronger and smarter is a top priority before the next disaster strikes,” said Supervisor Laura Gillen. “Hardening and raising our manmade and natural bulkheads with vinyl, as well as extending the height of our natural shoreline along Hook Creek, will help protect thousands of lives and millions of dollars’ worth of property. We’re thankful to Governor Cuomo and his office for providing the Town with the needed resources for this critical project.”

“The shoreline improvements in Valley Stream are vitally important to the community on several levels,” said local Councilman Bruce Blakeman.  “The structural enhancements will decrease our flood risk, while the new designs to Brook Road Park and its pathway will increase the aesthetics and provide the community with a wonderful refuge.” 

“More than five years from superstorm Sandy, flooding is still a major problem in South Valley Stream. This game-changing project will go a long way toward dealing with that issue, while at the same time providing greater recreational opportunities for residents there. Shovels will be in the ground in the next few months, and I am proud to work with Supervisor Gillen to move this critical project forward,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky.”

Laura Munafo, Deputy Director, New York Rising Community Reconstruction for Long Island, said: “This project grew directly from community engagement and a thoughtful, collegial process that brought forward feasible concepts that could benefit the town as a whole. This is what Governor Andrew Cuomo envisioned when he created the Community Reconstruction process. This investment right here, right now, is critically important: we will never forget what Sandy did to us and every time the winds and waves pick up, as they have twice in the last two weeks, we are reminded of the work we need to finish to keep New Yorkers and their communities safer and more resilient.”

Flooding during Superstorm Sandy affected more than 1,600 residential properties and 24 commercial properties in South Valley Stream, overtopping bulkheads and inundating homes in Mill Brook and North Woodmere. Since the storm, stream banks in South Valley stream have continued to erode, leading to more frequent flooding in the area. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery awarded approximately $3.7 million for the critically needed shore hardening and flood mitigating projects in Brook Rd Park and along Hook Creek. The plans unveiled today call for raising the elevation of banks around Jamaica Bay up to approximately seven feet to protect homes and businesses that continue to be at high and extreme risk of catastrophic flooding. Officials are also hopeful that the new flood mitigating improvements will help local homeowners save money on flood insurance premiums, which have skyrocketed since Superstorm Sandy.



Governor Cuomo mandated that GOSR’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program be locally driven and inspired, enabling residents and business owners to become actively involved with their communities’ recovery. This flood prevention and drainage initiative grew from this process to empower residents in making funding and project recommendations. Statewide, more than 650 New Yorkers served on 66 NYRCR Committees that have collectively proposed approximately 700 local projects. Funding for both planning and project implementation comes from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), as part of its Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program.

Photos From Today

Hempstead Town Makes Initiating A F.O.I.L. Request as Easy as a Click of a Button
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 06:44:42 +0000

Hempstead Town will be the first Town in Nassau County to enable residents to submit FOIL requests online with the simple click of a button, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney announced today. King Sweeney was joined by Supervisor Laura Gillen, Senior Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin as she detailed the advancement.

“An open government is exactly what the residents of Hempstead Town deserve to have,” said Councilwoman King Sweeney. “By making it easier for people to submit their freedom of information requests without ever leaving their home, we are becoming even more accessible, transparent and responsive to our constituents.”

The Freedom of Information Law, commonly known as FOIL gives the public the right to view and/or obtain certain government records. Previously, those wishing to make a FOIL request had to e-mail or mail a request to the Town’s FOIL officer and there may have been some question as to what information was required within the request.

With the Town Board’s new update, by the end of the week there will be a form that those requesting information can fill out right on the Town’s website. Once all the proper information is provided, the person can hit submit at the bottom of the page and the form will be directly transmitted to the proper person to handle the request.

“Making government more accessible and transparent is key to restoring the taxpayer’s trust in the Town of Hempstead,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “I am greatly encouraged by this initiative, and look forward to working cooperatively with the Town Board as we continue to advance common sense - good government.”

“We are always looking for ways to make our government more user friendly for constituents and this will do that,” noted Senior Councilwoman Goosby.

“Times are always changing and we need to keep up with those changes,” said Councilman Ambrosino. “We are now in an age where an entire generation laughs at the use of ‘snail mail’ and it is important that our information is available to those people as well,” added Councilman Blakeman.

“I am proud that Hempstead Town is at the forefront with this important initiative which is the hallmark of good government,” said Councilman D’Esposito.

“This paper-less submission process for FOIL requests is also more environmentally friendly,” noted Councilman Dunne.

“There are only a couple of other Towns on Long Island who provide this easy access to their records,” concluded Councilwoman King Sweeney. “I am proud to help lead the way in an effort that I hope all Towns will follow.”

Visit the FOIL Request page.

Councilman D’esposito Shines Light On Women-Owned Businesses
Fri, 02 Mar 2018 15:37:00 +0000

Tours Council District in Honor of Women’s History Month

Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito is touring communities in his district recognizing women business owners as part of his initiative to spotlight outstanding women during Women’s History Month. March is Women’s History Month and highlights the contributions of women to events in history and society.

“I am proud to recognize women business owners for their significant contributions to local commerce – the lifeblood of our communities here in the Town of Hempstead,” stated Councilman D’Esposito. “These women demonstrate leadership coupled with a passion for their business as well as good old-fashioned hard work, and they deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments.”

According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), more than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015. In addition, one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.

“Small business ownership is the backbone of our local communities, contribute to our local economy and, quite often owners live in nearby communities,” added Councilman D’Esposito. “Women-owned businesses are becoming a familiar fixture in our downtowns and it is important to shop local to support our small businesses and our neighbors as well.”

On Saturday, March 3rd, Councilman D’Esposito is visiting 11 women-owned businesses within his district including:

  • Doris the Florist, owned by Doris Graitzer, 233 Long Beach Road, Island Park
  • Turn of the Screw Books and Wine owned by Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieron, 110 N. Park Avenue, Rockville Centre
  • Jilian Circus owned by Jillian Weston, 219 Merrick Road, Oceanside
  • Emile’s Candies owned Jackie Brown, 229 Merrick Road, Oceanside
  • Dance Express owned by Jaime Azcona, 1032 Broadway, Woodmere
  • The Pampered Professional owned by Bonnie Seidler, Kami Feldman, Kerri Weiss and Shaun Cohn, 1208 Station Plaza, Hewlett
  • The Sweet Peace Specialty Cakes owned by Allison Shapiro Winterton, 26A Atlantic Avenue, Lynbrook
  • Sweet & Savory Café owned by Antoinette Burrows, 821 Merrick Road, Baldwin
  • Villa Maria owned by Maria Zaino, 81 Main Street, East Rockaway
  • Tap to Pointe Dance Center, Inc. owned by Sara DeGennaro, 75 Church Street, Malverne
  • Renewable Recycling Inc. owned by Christine Kiourtsis, 3419 Hampton Road, Oceanside

“In celebration of all women who have forged a path for future generations of women, I am honored to spotlight these exceptional women business owners,” concluded D’Esposito. “Their businesses serve as great models for our next generation of entrepreneurs.” For more information on Councilman D’Esposito’s tour, please visit his Facebook page and his Twitter account @ANTHONYDESPO.

Hempstead Town Battens Down the Hatches for Upcoming Nor’Easter
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:06:25 +0000

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Councilman Bruce Blakeman visited West Marina in Point Lookout today to check on crews who are readying Hempstead Town for the upcoming nor’easter.

“Unfortunately, many of our communities are extremely vulnerable during major storms such as the one currently predicted,” said Councilwoman King Sweeney. “We can’t change the vulnerability but we can check to ensure that these areas are well prepared for the upcoming storm.”

It is expected that coastal areas will face strong winds and higher than usual tides converging during the major March storm.

Councilman Blakeman noted that it is important for residents to stock up on non-perishable food, water, flashlights and batteries in the event that there are power outages. He also stressed the importance of following any evacuation orders that may be issued for coastal areas. “Hopefully, this storm won’t be too bad and if we are all prepared we will get through it just fine,” said Councilman Blakeman.

“Our crews are hard at work getting our low-lying areas ready for the foul weather we are expecting to arrive this evening,” added Councilman D’Esposito. “Our Town workers are always diligent in their efforts to anticipate what areas might require some extra attention before any major storm.”

Hempstead Town Conservation and Waterways crews checking boats at the Town’s marinas to make sure they are securely tied, calling owners to remind them that they boats would be safer on land, and bringing equipment to higher ground. Highway crews are checking storm basins, filling up trucks and making sure chainsaws are ready in the event that trees fall in roadways and need to be removed. The Parks Department are shoring up beaches and paying particular attention to areas that have been breached in the past.

“Our biggest challenge is coastal flooding during these storms but our employees are out there and ready to respond whatever this storm brings us,” concluded D’Esposito.

D’Esposito Expands Life-Saving Narcan Program
Mon, 05 Feb 2018 13:57:56 +0000

Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito will host a Narcan Training Session at the East Rockaway Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1. The training, which is being run by D’Esposito, an NYPD Detective and Ex-Chief of the Island Park Fire Department, is a continuation of the councilman’s extremely successful Save-A-Life Program.

“Opioid abuse continues to devastate families in every community on Long Island and across the country,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “Training local residents to administer Narcan can save a life. Through this program, training those who are on the front lines, we can help beat the scourge of heroin and other opioids and give those who are battling this terrible affliction a second chance.”

Narcan kits can quickly reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose and will combat opioid deaths. The training includes identifying an overdose victim, administering the Narcan kit, and contacting emergency officials. By supplying communities with this information and Narcan kits, the town is taking crucial steps toward combating fatal overdoses. The 1,000th Narcan kit was distributed by the Town in January.

The 1,000 training kits have been distributed to emergency services personnel, community members and even Hempstead Town public safety officers, bay constables and parks and recreation staff. Hempstead Town staff members have specialized qualifications and experience in dealing with medical emergencies through its Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) squad. The unit, based at the town’s oceanfront beaches, includes EMTs and advanced paramedics who respond to a host of safety and medical calls at the township’s beaches. These professionals can deal with issues such as heroin overdoses, and they also have the training and credentials to interact with local hospitals and ambulance corps. In 2016, Town Lifeguards used Narcan to revive an overdose victim.

According to published reports, in 2018 there were already 46 non-fatal heroin or opioid overdoses and 6 fatal overdoses in Nassau County and projections show as many as 600 opioid deaths occurred on Long Island in 2017. Additionally, opioid overdose deaths were at an all-time high in 2016 on Long Island, with 190 opioid deaths in Nassau County alone. Emergency responders on Long Island say they saved more than 700 overdose victims with Narcan in 2016.

“As a law enforcement official, I have seen firsthand the horror of drug abuse,” concluded D’Esposito. “The prevention of these tragedies is extremely important to me. If we can save one life, then this program will be a success. My hope is that with more education and by spreading the word of the dangers of drug abuse, we can eliminate the need for this type of program.”

The Narcan Training Session will be held at the East Rockaway Library located at 477 Atlantic Avenue, East Rockaway at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2018.