It was supposed to be a feel-good news conference Wednesday as two of Nassau’s new Democratic state senators, Kevin Thomas of Levittown and Anna Kaplan of Great Neck, along with Democratic Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, announced a $215,000 state grant to do a study of affordable housing in the town.
But Senior Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, also a Democrat, was having none of it.
When Goosby took her turn at the microphone — in front of a foreclosed house designated for rehabilitation in Hempstead Village — she announced with sarcasm in her voice, “I am the senior councilwoman and this is my district. Unfortunately we didn’t learn about this until about six o’clock last night. Thank you all for not including us. We appreciate it.”
According to a video of the event posted on Color News Long Island’s Facebook page, Goosby went on to say that Hempstead Village has been targeted too often by outsiders who don’t want “affordable” homes in their own neighborhoods.
“Every time an affordable home comes up, it comes to the Village of Hempstead and one of the reasons we have so many problems is because of the monies that are given to those who come from the outside who want to build homes only in this area …," Goosby said. "All affordable houses, they want to put in this neighborhood.”
She continued, “We are very upset about that and very upset that we were not included. The monies should be coming to the mayor and the Village of Hempstead.”
Goosby said Village Mayor Don Ryan, who attended the event, “knew nothing about this until like six o’clock when I called him. Someone was kind enough to let me know so I rang the bell. Because we needed to be here when someone is talking about where we live and where we pay our taxes. Our taxes are higher than anyone else.”
Goosby concluded, “I am so sick and tired of everybody deciding that they know what’s best for us.”
Gillen, who already had spoken, stepped to the microphone at the end of the news conference in an effort to bring back the good feelings.
“This is a good thing,” Gillen said. “What’s happening here is a great thing. We asked our colleagues in state government to do a study of the Town of Hempstead. This is a housing study that will look at our needs across the town, not just in the Village of Hempstead … We are at the beginning of the process.”
Gillen concluded, “Today is a great day.”