Thursday, April 26, 2007

How Much Are We Paying for Town of Oyster Bay Mailings?

I came across this great piece by Tim Archdeacon in The Northender.
All I have to say is WOW.
Just WOW.
All TOBAY residents must read this.

TOB Board Pays for Campaign Advertising on Your Dime
Several times a year I receive a flyer called “Talk of the Town”. This usually four-page, two-color glossy is printed and mailed to me at taxpayer expense. The basis for this expenditure is that the citizens need to be notified of the Town’s “goings-on”. My suspicion: this is a thinly-veiled cover-up of what is really happening: political campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime.

Taking a deeper look, the “Talk of the Town” I received less than two weeks prior to this past election highlighted the major campaigners in the pending vote: John Venditto, Angelo Deligatti, and Chris Coschignano. They did give the lone Democrat on the board some coverage: Mary McCaffrey had a picture and a caption on the bottom quarter of the back page.

Over the summer of 2005, another “Talk of the Town” provided a “Spotlight on: Town Councilman Angelo A. Delligatti.” On the back page there is a small box that describes this newsletter as “a town government publication prepared by the public information office of the Oyster Bay Town Board”. My question: is the public information office serving the public or serving the politicians’ political agendas? Either way, it’s your tax dollars at work.

Also within two weeks of the 2005 election, I received an even more elaborate and larger mailer on “hurricane season”, stamped with John Venditto’s name and picture. The front of the flyer read, “IT’S NOT A QUESTION OF IF, BUT WHEN” in block letters over a picture of a dangerous looking cyclone. At the bottom were the words “An Important message from Town Supervisor John Venditto.”

I suspect that the motivation behind this blatant political propaganda was to let the citizens know that Poppa John Venditto was there, watching over them, and as long as he was, they were safe. The timing of this, just before the election, was no mistake despite the fact that the hurricane season started in early August. Why did Poppa John wait until late October to alert the citizens to the Town’s being on top of its game when it comes to hurricane defense?..."

"How is it that the Town has such a large budget for printing? I found some answers to this in NY State Town Law. Apparently when New York’s legislators adopted its rules governing Townships, they had the prescience to limit publicity spending. I wasn’t around when they put together these laws, but I can imagine they limited the Town’s spending for a reason. The limit? $50,000 for a town of fewer than 50,000 people. Towns can spend more that if they vote to. In fact, all funding for publicity must be approved by a public referendum. I recently filed a Freedom of Information Request with the Town asking how much they spent printing and mailing the “Talk of the Town”, and how often they mailed it. The town’s response: no such records. Wow! Not only are they spending your tax dollars on their political campaigning, they can’t even account for the money.

Of course the Town can vote to cut its printing budget but somehow I don’t see that happening. And they say Democrats tax and spend! This is surely another case of GOP hypocrisy, and the pot calling the kettle black.... "

"Of course, stamping his name all over town property is what you’d expect from a local kingpin. This is really not all that different from a dog urinating to mark his territory. It’s primal, yes, but isn’t that what this is about? The GOPs have been pissing all over this Town for decades and the signs are just the ultimate culmination of their territorial marking. You see it everywhere. The portable trailers the Town uses to bring you concerts or award ceremonies are stamped with “John Venditto, Supervisor”. It’s on the Town buildings in large round signs. It’s on the “Welcome to Oyster Bay” signs, the town trucks, the endless pamphlets, signs for all the town parks, the marinas, the parking lots, in big bold block letters. They might as well read, “JOHN VENDITTO URINATED HERE.”

So the next time you are driving in the Town of Oyster Bay and you see a sign that reads “Welcome to Town of Oyster Bay, John Venditto, Supervisor” think about your tax dollars at work. "

For the full story go to

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just think, not only is his name plastered all over every tob item,
if he loses the next election, all that tax payer money will go to CHANGE all those names over to the new elected person! shouldn't they save money in the long run and stop touting their own horns??