Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
The Town of Oyster Bay inducted their newly elected officials on Jan. 2, in a ceremony of gratitude and thanks to the Republican Party leaders, the town workforce, the families who support them and the voters who as Supervisor John Venditto said – get their message. That message is preserving their quality of life, good fiscal management, and listening to civic leaders and making them partners instead of adversaries.
Supervisor Venditto spoke of the challenges of winning and having to do better each time. He said proudly, that they are winning by increasingly greater margins each time they seek election and said, “It’s because of the people in this room and beyond.
“We win because the residents of the town understand that the Town of Oyster Bay is not their problem with taxes like the federal government and the schools that ask for more.”
Mr. Venditto said they are managing their money, giving the best return in services and “a quality of life that can’t be matched anywhere. The Town of Oyster Bay is not the problem, we represent such a small part of your tax burden.”
He said it was important to be vigilant in preserving that suburban quality of life in spite of the forces that want to urbanize it.
Mr. Venditto said, “We stand up for the fact that our parents and grandparents came here for the suburban quality of life and no one understands that as much as you do and our town board does. We must protect that quality of life.” He said, “The bar gets set higher and it gets tougher and someone can ask – what have you done for me lately, but amazingly because of the people in this room, we are winning elections because of each one of you.”
The room was filled with members of the Town of Oyster Bay Republican party, noted elected officials including Nassau County Republican Chairman Joe Mondello, Judge Angelo Delligatti, Oyster Bay Town Leader Jim Picken, Assemblyman Joe Saladino, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell, Bayville Mayor Doug Watson, Cove Neck Mayor Tom Zoller, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy, Judge Kenneth Diamond, Conservative Party leader Don Donovan and various police officers among others.
Mr. Venditto especially thanked his administrative assistant Angela, and all his staff at town hall; and the town workforce. He said, “I’ve asked you on Monday morning and Friday evening and weekends and you’ve never said no to me.”
That was the message he gave in October, as the board adopted the 2012 budget. He said then that good relations between the CSEA President Robert Rauff, Jr. and himself was a working relationship which promoted good results for the township.
At the inauguration he said to the town workers, “Thank you for what you do for the residents.” He asked various leaders to stand for recognition including: department heads, consultants, vendors, outside agents and civic leaders.
Former Town Supervisor, town councilman and now a judge (just assigned to Family Court), Angelo Delligatti inducted the other elected officials. The first was Councilman Joseph Muscarella who said Jim Moriority had asked that their address be two minutes or less, and Mr. Muscarella gave his (home) address – starting off his talk with a laugh. He thanked “The longest serving chairman, Joseph N. Mondello;” and thanked James Pickens, Town of Oyster Bay Republican leader. He thanked his secretary Nancy Haarstick. Mr. Muscarella, who is known for his humor, told several stories including his favorite one of his son Andrew as a little boy, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and when he came to, “To the republic for which it stands,” said “To the Republicans for which they stand.”
He ended with advice: “Be the person your dog thinks you are. Be at war with your vices; be at peace with your neighbors; and be the best person you can be in the New Year.”
It was time for Judge Delligatti to swear in Councilman Anthony Macagnone who said, “John Venditto is a great man to work for. He is a good leader.”
He congratulated the incumbent board members, Chris Coshignano, Joe Pinto and Beth Faughnan saying, “This is a great group of elected officials.” He thanked his sister, and Mary Diglio who works as his assistant; his wife Joan and daughters, Shea in college; and Kelly in grad school. He thanked the CSEA union leaders and workers saying that in the Town of Oyster Bay labor and management work together – with neither taking advantage, and said, “We don’t always agree but we always work together.”
Next on the agenda was Town Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia who said she remembered the ad on TV, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.” Following that theme, she looked out at the crowd and said there wasn’t a single face in the audience who didn’t help in the election.
She too thanked Chairman Joe Mondello; and Town Leader Jim Pickens “whom is wonderful to learn from” she said; and Don Donovan, the leader of the Conservative Party for their help in the last three years of her running for office. [Ms. Alesia was appointed to office to fill the seat of Rose Marie Walker who went on to become a Nassau County Legislator; she ran against Legislator Judy Jacobs; and ran for her town board seat.] Now she has four years in office ahead of her.
Ms. Alesia thanked her three dads, her father Jack Libert, her stepdad Steve Hess, and her father-in-law Patrick Alesia, calling them “the best babysitters money can buy.” She had two more men to thank, Supervisor Venditto and her husband Sal, for helping her as she ran for office three times.
Re-elected Town Clerk Steve Labriola thanked the people of the town, and called Judge Delligatti his mentor and friend. With 15 years as an elected official starting in the NYS Assembly and then as town clerk, he said, “I am ready to serve with the same enthusiasm as when I first took office.” He thanked the Conservative Party and thanked all the donors to his campaign for office and thanked Jim Pickens for his guidance in his political career.
He said of John Venditto that he is a seasoned and talented leader; and said he would again call him “the Robert Moses of Oyster Bay” for developing the park system in the town while protecting our suburban lifestyle.
Receiver of Taxes James Stefanich, too, praised John Venditto for his leadership. He said he isn’t someone who tells you how to do something or someone who does it for you; he is the one that points in the direction to go and helps you do it. “He’s a great example and is why we do it.”
He held up his grandson Patrick, and said he has seven other grandchildren and three sons, James Jr.; Thomas and Kevin.
He introduced Rabbi Marvin Demant of the Oyster Bay Jewish Center who said the supervisor asked him twice to come that day. “He said it would be a few minutes – in and out. It started at 2 p.m. and it’s past 3:30 and we are still here.” With that he gave the closing prayer.