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Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla Budgets $600K in Payments from Hempstead Animal Shelter in 2011

Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla budgeted $600,000 in payments from the Hempstead Animal Shelter in 2011 (a 1600 percent increase over the amount budgeted in 2003 when he took office).

Last year the New York State comptroller said he would audit the financial operations at the Town of Hempstead's animal shelter. Thomas DiNapoli says his office has received hundreds of complaints about the shelter's financial management in recent months. One of these complaints included payments made by the Animal Shelter to the Town Clerk's office.

FOILed documents show that $600,000 was budgeted in 2011 for services to be performed by the Town Clerk's office for the Hempstead Animal Shelter.  In 2003, this amount was $36,700.  That's an increase of over 1600 percent in only eight years.

These documents also show that the only task performed by the Town Clerk for the Animal Shelter is dog licensing (cats are not licensed).

Newsday has reported that the shelter had an animal intake of 3,498 animals in 2010. If all these animals were processed by the Town Clerk for dog licenses, the cost for each animal would be $171 per animal (regardless of whether it was a dog or cat, or previously licensed). The license charged to the public for a dog that is not spayed or neutered is about $10.

The Town Clerk's budget for 2011 is $4,389,962, $4,258,962 (or 97 percent) of this is for salary and wages.

The $600,000 paid by the animal shelter to the Town Clerk represents 13 percent of the Town Clerk's budget. That means, on average, about 1 in 8 employees in the Town Clerk's office spend all their time processing dog licenses. Looking at the entire Animal Shelter budget of $6.5 million for 2011, licensing represents 9 percent of the entire budget.

Does anyone believe that the Town Clerk really spent $600,000 on dog licenses in 2011?

I have personally asked the Town Clerk, Mark Bonilla, at Town Board meetings, what his department does with the $600,000 received from the Animal Shelter. In each case he did not respond.  His department even refused to answer a FOIL request for the details of that expenditure.

I've also asked Town Comptroller Kevin Conroy and Supervisor Kate Murray; They also refused to give me an answer to this question.

All supporting documentation (from the Town of Hempstead), including the Administrative Charge budget for the animal shelter from 2002 to 2011, the Town Clerk's 2011 budget, and the Town Clerk's responsibility to the animal shelter has been uploaded with this article.

Felix Procacci

Franklin Square

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Laurie Lat March 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM
wow this makes me so angry. Transparency that's what we need. we MUST clean this place up, it's really disgusting. the more I read the more I hate Kate Murray. How can she condone this? Awful, just awful.
Lucille March 23, 2012 at 01:03 PM
It would be nice if now some one from Town or the STATE level (at this point) would answer this question! I have not missed a Town Board Meeting since November of 2010! I have witnessed Felix asking this question both through FOIL documents and at the Town Board Meetings! It's amazing to me how evasive, arrogant and out right insulting the Town Board, Town Officials and Supervisor Kate Murray have been to Felix just because he has a question THEY DO NOT WANT TO ANSWER! Lucky for the residents in our community, Felix has proved to have the same tenacity and perseverance as the banned rescuers. The town has tried everything possible to make Felix go away. They have even gone to the extreme of trying to convince him that they gave him the answer to his questions at a previous meeting that no one can seem to recall. This has been an real education in abuse of power and hopefully justice, accountability and transparency is in store for the future of our local government! This can not be allowed to continue!
mary March 24, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Seriously--did you expect NOt to find corruption like this?? Lets see what else is dug up during a State investigation. It gets funnier and funnier as the months go by :)
Laurie Lat March 24, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The animals are dying as the months go by.
T. March 25, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Felix Procacci...........great post, very informative thank you. I was unaware of the statistics, concerning our Town Clerk, Mark Bonilla, this is absolutely outrageous. Why doesnt NIFA see this? if you want support with this matter I will stand by you, I will also be sending your post to others. Maybe this will open some peoples eyes as to where our money is going, and why Nassau County is in the shape its in.
T. March 25, 2012 at 07:22 PM
It also costs more money to kill them and yet they continue to kill them by thousands.
Joe March 26, 2012 at 04:13 PM
NIFA is overseeing the County and not TOH, which from my understanding is in good finacial shape believe it or not.
Felix Procacci March 26, 2012 at 04:35 PM
My Nassau County property taxes haven't been raised in 8 years (instead they borrowed money and raised sales taxes and fees), the Town of Hempstead has raised taxes over 30% during that period and has also raised fees, that is the only difference. Both Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead need to be more fiscally responsible.
terry March 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
So, you have the County which is financial disarray, with NIFA oversight, but didnt raise taxes, but did raise fees. Then you have the TOH, which froze taxes 3 of the last 4 years and has the highest bond rating in NYS. I see a few differences there.
Felix Procacci March 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM
What are you talking about? First of all Kate Murray raises taxes every other year. Second, Nassau borrowed money but didn't raise property taxes (at least not for me). If Nassau county had raised taxes over the last eight years as much as Kate Murray did, NIFA would not be fussing so much. Terry, can you read? or do you filter all statements so your irrational arguments seem logical to yourself? The few differences you see are the ones you want to see, not all of them.
MAC April 02, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Terry don't you understand that you are not allowed to have an opinion that is different from Mr. Procacci. What do you think this is America?
Felix Procacci April 02, 2012 at 07:50 PM
MAC she is allowed to have a different opinion from me. If you read what I've written, it is all factual, and the facts come from the Town of Hemstead. If you read what terry writes it doesn't even directly correspond to what I've written. Terry needs to make a point that the Town of Hempstead is fiscally responsible because they have a high bond rating. A high bond rating is based primarily on the ability to pay, and since Kate Murray raises taxes every other year (and that's a fact) they are in a position to pay. If Mangano chose to raise taxes like Kate does (btw expect a tax increase this year from Kate Murray, you know, it is not an election year) Nassau County would also have an AAA bond rating too. Also, expect another tax freeze from Kate in 2013, she's up for re-election again.
Tiffany April 25, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Kate Murray approved the budget that raised Sanitation District 6 taxes 15% in 1 year alone
Felix Procacci April 25, 2012 at 02:12 AM
That's right. And over the last 8 years, she approved a 49% increase in the Sanitary District 6 budget and a 41% increase in the lighting department.
Tony S May 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
It's the Town of Hempstead NOT Nassau County so NIFA has nothing to do with this.
Cecelia Sommers July 16, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Keep in mind that the town of hempstead shakes down all their employees and our town taxes are raised every two years so that kate can keep her GODFATHER living in the style he is accustome too.
Lorraine DeVita August 13, 2012 at 03:47 PM
what you SEE is smoke and mirrors and what Kate Murray WANTs you to or aLLOWS you to see...600k and no one will answer the questions.. sounds a little like pocket lining to me and by now those pockets are lined in gold at the exp[ense of you me and the poor animals at the shelter. Sure Murray makes it SEEM like shes doing a great job to SOME , but if the finagled books were transparent it would probably be a very different story...
Felix Procacci September 21, 2012 at 01:44 AM
FYI : For 2012 the Town Clerk is not taking $660,000 from the Animal Shelter budget, 10% higher than last year.
dan November 04, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I fear people are too poorly informed to know the Real Kate. The figures are there showing her corruption and secrecy. The lawsuit won by volunteers against ToH animal shelter and yet people don't vote their conscience or even read the issues affecting our lives . I am guilty of voting by republican row in past. But now I vote based on people and their actions and inactions. At the very least my vote sends a message that I don't approve of abuse in any shape or form. She lied concealed , mismanaged shelter . Was sued and lost and people will vote her bc people will vote party.
Lorraine DeVita November 04, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I have said it before and I will say it again, Smoke and mirrors is what blinds this town.. people are Afraid of the truth... because it holds them responsible for Allowing this town government and Kate Murray and her puppet masters to ARROGANLTY and REPEATEDLY do what is best for THEM not for US. PLs Vote with your eyes open and ask your self WHY these people we have elected REFUSE to answer questions refuse to be held accountable and refuse to speak the truth. Is this the type of people we want or for that matter NEED in office. As citizens & voters we need to hold ourselves accountable for our actions we also need to hold our elected officials accountable and responsible for theirs. If we dismiss and ALLOW this to continue without consequences then we have no one to blame but ourselves. GO VOTE FOR TRUTH and HONESTY and vote for people who hold themselves responsible for their actions ..... don't let the smoke get in your eyes..

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