Keith Scalia who ran for Town Board last year spoke at last weeks meeting of the Oyster Bay Town Board regarding the permit to build a Stop and Shop in Farmingdale. The following is his remarks. After he spoke, Supervisor Venditto derided Scalia and went about attempting to insult him.
"Over the past several years, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and the Town Board have approved the expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars on preventing the Taubman group from building a mall on the former Cerro Wire site. As recently as last October, Supervisor Venditto stated that he "won't be intimidated" by developers that are "corporate America profiteers" and "money-grabbers" that intend "bully" him. Moreover, Supervisor Venditto has stated that will "continue to oppose development that erodes the unique character and quality of life we enjoy in our communities." While the supervisor and town board have done their due diligence for the residents of Birchwood, I find it hard to fathom that they are not standing up to another money-grabbing corporation in Farmingdale.
In a charming September 07, 2007 video interview with Christine Sohmer of massapequanews.com, Supervisor Venditto stated that “there are a number of interests that want to take this town in a very different direction. We don’t need to build on every square inch of the Town of Oyster Bay. We don’t need to become the shop till you drop capital of the world. We certainly don’t need to become the sixth borough of the City of New York. This town has a personality and a quality of life that we all cherish and we need strong hands at the reins of leadership in this town to protect it.”
Supervisor Venditto’s sermon was predicated upon the epic battle between the current Town Board and the Taubman Group. Furthermore, in his video interview, he asked Town of Oyster Bay residents to “Imagine waking up one morning and seeing a shopping mall down your block or taking your child to school and having to negotiate the traffic around a shopping mall. The town board has demonstrated leadership in standing up to the money-grabbing developers and all the other money grabbers out there who want to line their pockets with cash on the backs of our quality of life and our environment, and this town board has demonstrated leadership, we have stood up to protect the quality of life in this town and we are going to continue to do so.”
What I would like to ask is how will Stop n Shop impact the current and long-range growth and development of Farmingdale? Where does Stop n Shop fit in the blueprint for future planning in the Farmingdale demographics; those being residential, commercial, office and industrial development/redevelopment; recreation and parks; environmental protection, community services and facilities; transportation, parking and pedestrian network; and appearance and vitality of the residential and business districts? Has there been any planning or analysis, a Vision Statement, goals, objectives, recommendations or implementation strategies?
When it has come to preventing development at the Cerro Wire site, Councilman Chris Coschignano has stated that "quality of life is the paramount issue" and "the Town Board held firm to protect it." If this Town Board is the "hardworking, creative and dedicated leaders" and "great proponents of family and community" that they claim to be, they must attend to the pressing needs of this great community with the same vigor that he has done with the Birchwood community. I would like the Town Board to imagine waking up one morning to find an 80,000 square foot supermarket down their block or taking their child to Allen Park having to negotiate the traffic. Supervisor Venditto was absolutely correct when he said – “We don’t need to become the shop till you drop capital of the world.” I say, we don’t need to be the Stop N Shop capital of the world either."