From: John Rennhack
Choosing a New Oyster Bay Town Supervisor
The Oyster Bay Town Board,
The resignation last week of Supervisor Venditto has left the Town Board with a rarely used opportunity to appoint a successor. The rush to appoint that successor does not reflect well on the Town Board. Nor does the evident involvement of political party bosses from outside the Town influencing the decision. With the Town government still tainted by scandal and ongoing Federal investigations, it would be better to have an open and transparent discussion on the successor. I was glad to see members of the Board uneasy with such a fast move to appoint a new Supervisor. I commend those Board members for their actions.
I humbly suggest that the Town Board further delay any decision until the residents of The Town of Oyster Bay know who is under consideration and what they stand for. We have an Acting Supervisor with Councilman Muscarella so Town business can continue while the selection process plays out. The Board should schedule public hearings where all interested candidates can present their positions and ideas for the Town to the public and be questioned by the Board. There will be no special election here and the public will not have an opportunity to choose who they believe is the correct person for the job. The taxpayers of the Town will have an unelected Supervisor most of them have never heard of or know their policy positions. The reported scandals in the Town make having the taxpayer fully aware of who you may choose vital. This is an opportunity for the Town of Oyster Bay Board to lead on transparency and reform in local government. Eschew the backroom deals and selections that involved politicians from outside of our Town. Make the process open to the pubic. Allow the public to question the candidates for the position. Involve the taxpayers you represent in the process. This decision cannot be taken lightly or done secretly while the Town faces so many financial and legal problems. Making a choice in haste with no public input or notice continues the path which brought us here in the first place. Ultimately the Board will decide and that vote should include an explanation for that choice. There is much work to be done to fix the problems in the Town which requires a Supervisor prepared to make the tough decisions and bring new ideas to the table. The next Supervisor must reassure the taxpayers that the Town will be on a better path. I believe you would agree that the taxpayers deserve to be fully informed. They/We deserve to know before you vote.
I believe that by taking this step, the Town Board can be a model for reform and transparency while also reassuring the residents of Oyster Bay that we have turned a corner. I ask that you consider this proposal and what is the best course for the Town of Oyster Bay.