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Hempstead Town extends time for early retirement program

The Hempstead Town Board has approved modifying a memorandum of agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association that would extend the time for town employees to take advantage of an early retirement incentive program.

The town board voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve the revised agreement offering additional compensation to union members who leave town service between Jan. 10 and Feb. 28, instead of the Feb. 24 deadline. The revision also includes employees on leave of absence or medical leave, town officials said.

Under the agreement, employees would be paid 1 percent of their base salary for every year of membership in the New York and Local Retirement System, up to a maximum of 20 years. The town workforce has nearly 2,000 employees.

Felix Procacci of Franklin Square said at the meeting that the town violated state law by not providing the details of the resolution on the town website prior to the meeting. "It should be on the website prior to the meeting," he said.

Procacci unsuccessfully ran for town supervisor as a Democrat last November.

Supervisor Kate Murray said in response, "This is a technical correction from a resolution that was passed."

At the meeting, the board also approved 5-0 a salary of $100,439 for Patricia Horan, a former acting animal shelter director who almost two years ago was reassigned after the release of a video that purported to show animal shelter employees taunting a kitten about to be euthanized. Records show her total compensation in 2012 was $103,567 on a base pay of $97,959.

Horan, who was formally appointed in June 2012 to a job supervising a town custodial staff in the Department of General Services, is an engineering helper, a noncompetitive civil service post that doesn't require an exam. The appointment was retroactive to Dec. 11.

"She is well paid for what she is doing and now she is getting an additional increase," Procacci said about Horan, who has worked for the town since 1985.

Murray said she would not discuss specific personnel actions.

"I disagree with that characterization of who might or might not be overpaid," Murray said. "It is a question of how many years you have in the system."

At the meeting, the board appointed Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad of Salisbury as registrar of vital statistics at a salary of $23,000, on top of the $106,500 a year he earns as town clerk. Ahmad, a Republican, became the first South Asian elected to public office in the town by winning the clerk race in November.

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