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Town forms ‘Graffiti Watch Task Force’

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Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin joined Councilman Christopher Carini in announcing the rollout of a new “Graffiti Watch Task Force,” a local grassroots organization providing residents within the 5th Councilmanic District a voice in the identification and eradication of graffiti-induced blight. Carini organized the group after he was alerted to an uptick in graffiti instances across the township’s southeast corner.

“I was elected as councilman in order to maintain our excellent quality of life here in Hempstead Town’s 5th Councilmanic District, and that includes fighting the recent uptick in vandalism tied to instances of illegal graffiti,” Carini said. “I am elated to have the support of the community in this endeavor along with many local leaders who have stepped forward to volunteer their time in the fight to preserve the town we know and love.”

In seeking to organize a task force capable of tackling such a pressing issue, Carini sought local leaders with deep roots in the Town of Hempstead who represent a diverse array of backgrounds, including civic, religious and business community leaders.

As a first major proposal, Clavin and Carini announced the rollout of a new email address for community members to report instances of graffiti to the township for cleaning: stopgraffiti@tohmail.org.

“This is an opportunity for all people of goodwill to come together in our mission to preserve the communities we call home,” Carini said. “We’ve already hit the ground running in our mission to fight for our hometown, and I look forward to continuing that mission as we move forward.”

Carini’s task force members include:

Town-wide:

- Gary Hudes, former Hempstead Town Councilman

Seaford:

- Chris Schnieder (Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Association)

- Curt Schmidt (Seaford Chamber of Commerce)

- Roberta Grogan (Seaford Harbor Civic Association)

Wantagh:

- Kurt Faraczek (Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Association)

- Marilynne Rich and Karen Lofgren (Wantagh Chamber of Commerce)

Bellmore:

- Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads

- Ameer Benno (Merrick-Bellmore Jewish Community Council)

- Eileen Casazza and Alison Frankel (South Bellmore Civic Association)

- Jim Spohrer (Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores)

Merrick:

- Joe Baker and Fred Jones (South Merrick Community Civic Association)

Freeport:

- Ben Jackson and Jenn Jerome (Freeport Chamber of Commerce)

Baldwin:

- John Cools (Town of Hempstead Sanitary District #2) 

- Erick Mahler (Baldwin Chamber of Commerce)

Carini was tapped to spearhead the township’s anti-graffiti effort due to his previous leadership in local civic groups and decades-long service as a police officer.

“America’s largest township is incredibly lucky to have a devoted public servant in the form of Councilman Christopher Carini,” Clavin said. “Between his storied career in law enforcement, service as a civic leader and history of always getting the job done, I can think of no better person to take the lead on tackling this issue.”

Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., is also a member of the task force — his district was recently subjected to multiple instances of anti-police graffiti. He echoed the sentiment expressed by Clavin and praised Carini for his efforts to protect Hempstead Town’s quality of life.

“I am glad to have the opportunity to join Councilman Carini and members of the community in working to prevent graffiti-related vandalism in our area,” Dunne said. “This task force provides a framework for residents and township officials to work together in our shared goal of protecting our hometown.”

Provided by the Town of Hempstead; compiled by Alyssa Seidman.