Monday, January 09, 2017

An Open Letter to Oyster Bay Town Board

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.


John Rennhack
N. Massapequa

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto Resigns

In a statement today, long-time Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto resigned his office. This comes 11 weeks after being arrested and indicted by the FBI and federal prosecutors. The cornerstone of justice system is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and we stand by that. The evidence however is overwhelming.
Following his arrest and indictment, former Supervisor Venditto appeared at Town Hall once in order to vote on increasing Town taxes by 11.5%. The weeks prior to this meeting he was locked in his publicly inaccessible campaign contributor funded storefront office in North Massapequa. The Town cannot be run from a bunker. Oyster Bay is in dire financial straits and we require a full-time Town Supervisor with a Town Board not distracted by federal corruption charges.
Each of the Town Board members voted YES for many questionable contracts that are being reviewed by federal prosecutors. The board members involvement is either complicit in the corruption or incompetent. The taxpayers of the Town have no confidence in the current Board Members.
There are many questions left unanswered that the residents of the Town of Oyster Bay need answered."