Joseph Saladino has secured his re-election as Oyster Bay's town supervisor with nearly 31,000 votes against his opponent Jared Behr’s roughly 16,000. Saladino's campaign centered on his 35-year career in local government, which he believed uniquely qualified him for the role. He emphasized his ability to understand the town's intricacies and meet the needs of its residents.
“Since 2017 when the public first put their trust in me and the town board, we have outperformed expectations financially, in terms of the quality of services, and protecting our taxpayers by cutting their taxes,” Saladino said. “Now here we are in 2023, the town is among the best in the state, and I am so happy to be able to continue to serve with these very talented people, and to serve a public in the Town of Oyster Bay that knows what they want and is happy that we’re delivering.”
During his previous term, Saladino focused on financial improvements for Oyster Bay. The town's bond rating reached AA, one of the highest available, and he pledged to further elevate it to AAA status. Saladino has maintained a record of not raising taxes and avoiding loans, citing the elimination of financial stress in the town.
Improving town services and infrastructure remains a key goal for the lifelong Massapequa resident. He highlighted achievements like road repaving, state-of-the-art turf fields, and park facility enhancements, with the aim of providing a high standard of living and facilities for residents.
Saladino's commitment to environmental protection was another significant part of his re-election platform. He authorized projects to prevent nitrogen runoff into the harbor, including the reconstruction of Fireman's Field. Furthermore, he plans to utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to establish an oyster and clam hatchery to help filter nitrogen from the water and support aquatic life.
Additionally, Saladino has applied for a $10 million grant for downtown revitalization efforts. While plans are in preliminary stages, he envisions building a promenade near the rail station and introducing a trolley to the waterfront as part of the project.
An unexpected victor in the election was first-time candidate Samantha Goetz's recent victory in the race for Nassau County Legislature's 18th district seat, with roughly 9,000 votes to incumbent Josh Lafazan’s roughly 6,000. Despite being a newcomer to the campaign trail, Goetz's extensive legal and political experience clearly impressed her new constituents.
“The people in Nassau County have spoken,” Goetz said. “They know that this is the party that is gonna support our police, our law and order, we’re gonna hold the line on taxes and we are gonna protect our suburban way of life.”
One of the central concerns in Goetz's campaign was the issue of affordability and the cost of living on Long Island. As a mother of two, she said she understands the financial challenges young families face, leading some of her friends to relocate to more affordable states.
Crime prevention and support for law enforcement were also top priorities for Goetz. She adamantly opposed the idea of "defunding" the police and instead focuses on providing better mental health resources to law enforcement officers and filling vacant detective positions with the latest technology and resources.
Regarding the migrant crisis, Goetz says she believes Nassau County should not bear the financial burden of housing and supporting asylum seekers and other migrants, especially without federal funding. Her personal experience as the daughter of a Cuban immigrant informed her perspective on this issue.
Finally, all three Republican incumbents on the Oyster Bay town board were reelected. Vicki Walsh, Steve Labriola, and Laura Maier all won against their challengers.
“The people knew what we were doing this year,” Labriola. “Our slogan was ‘Protecting our suburban way of life’ and we meant that.”
Steve Labriola, a proponent of suburban quality of life, achieved significant milestones during his tenure. He secured funding for electric vehicle charging stations in town parks and beaches, promoting environmentally friendly practices.
Laura Maier’s support of small businesses helped ensure local businesses knew that she and her party were in their corner. Maier's dedication to expediting the town's permit process for small businesses and her efforts to provide information about grants have been valuable in supporting local businesses.
Vicki Walsh, committed to connecting residents with government, has bridged the gap between the community and town officials. Her outreach extended to communities like Hicksville, where she addressed concerns about Christmas decorations in the business district.