Murray a no-show at Nassau Lighthouse project meeting

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There was an empty chair at a meeting held Monday by the Lighthouse Development Group and the Nassau County executive on the fate of the proposed 150-acre mixed-use development around the Coliseum. It was reserved for Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. Suozzi and the developers say Murray was a no-show at the meeting that had been arranged by local labor union officials between Thursday and Sunday night. But town officials insisted Murray had said she was unavailable even as she said she would meet with the principals at another time. Both the developers and County Executive Thomas Suozzi said her absence is evidence of a pattern. "After 31/2 months and at least six attempts to get a 'process' meeting on our project, we were confident that the seventh would be the charm," said Lighthouse president Michael Picker. "We were very disappointed." Suozzi said he found it hard to believe that Murray hadn't agreed to Monday's meeting. "Why would the developers and members of their team, me and members of my team - all busy people - have shown up after having changed their schedules if they didn't think Kate Murray was going to be there?" he said. "There have been too many instances of her saying [that] she can't go to a meeting, it's not proper - and now, she can go but it's not the right time?" Suozzi said Murray had also refused to attend a meeting he tried to arrange in March. Hempstead Town officials have said it's improper for the supervisor to meet with applicants "to discuss the project" of which she will sit in judgment. Murray did meet with developer Charles Wang in January, and officials said she would meet with him again on the approval process, which he has criticized. Long Island Federation of Labor president John Durso acknowledged Monday that Saturday afternoon Murray said she would "make herself available" for a meeting, but did not commit to attending Monday's meeting - though he "was under the impression" that she would. Hempstead Town spokesman Michael Deery said that Murray reached out to Lighthouse principals Monday afternoon to set up a new meeting. By 6 p.m., he said, they hadn't called her back.

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