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Hempstead sets December review of ban on election mass mailings

Hempstead Town Board members in December will review a proposal to ban government mass mailings leading up to an election — almost two months after the issue was first set to be heard.

Supervisor Anthony Santino set a Dec. 12 hearing on a resolution proposed by Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney to ban mass mailings within 45 days of an election. The hearing will be included on the next Town Board agenda at the Nov. 14 meeting — one week after the election.

The hearing was rescheduled after Town Board members voted to adjourn the original Oct. 17 hearing on the mass-mailing resolution.

Town officials said the legislation was pulled during the meeting because a public notice had not included an explanatory statement about the proposal and an open hearing.

Newsday has found four other laws that were incorrectly published during the past two years that are being reviewed by the town attorney’s office.

Santino was required to reschedule the mass-mailing proposal within 10 days after King Sweeney and Councilman Bruce Blakeman requested a special meeting for Nov. 2. Under town law, there was no time frame that the hearing had to take place.

Santino called governmental mailings an important matter.

“The subject of municipal mailings deserves careful consideration,” Santino said in a statement. “I encourage those who wish to be heard on the issue to attend the December 12th town board meeting.”

King Sweeney criticized Santino for postponing the hearing, which she said should take place as soon as possible.

“I think it’s a shame that the hearing was tabled at the last Town Board meeting and it’s clear that politics are driving these decisions,” King Sweeney said. “This does not need to wait until the next town board meeting. Waiting until December is not for all the people who took time out to attend a meeting promised to address these mailers.”

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