Changes need to be made on the Oyster Bay Town Board, which is traditionally Republican, so that all residents are represented. Council members have traditionally voted in lockstep, with little discussion, except for departing Councilman Anthony Macagnone. It would benefit residents to elect leaders that have new ideas and aren’t afraid to disagree publicly with the supervisor.
We believe that newcomers Melissa McCardle, a Democrat, and Erin Guida, who is not registered with a party, would bring change to the board.
McCardle, a social worker who has attended board meetings for the past two years, says she worries that town government isn’t connected to the community, and residents don’t trust town officials because their concerns are going unaddressed. McCardle wants to change this, first by eliminating patronage jobs. She’d also like to enact term limits — two terms for council members and three for the supervisor — which we support.
Given the state comptroller’s finding that the town is under significant fiscal stress, McCardle would like to return it to financial health, perhaps by hiring an independent auditor or accounting firm. She would also like to save taxpayers money by ending the distribution of glossy mailers.
We’d like to see someone like Guida on the Town Board for a few reasons. She supports transparency, and suggested open work sessions so residents can be more involved in the decision-making process. She said she believed that residents spoke to her more readily while she was campaigning because she is independent. Perhaps council members and the supervisor would be more accepting of her input for the same reason.
We support the re-election of former State Assemblyman Steve Labriola, who has also served as deputy country comptroller as well as town clerk and chief compliance officer. He can help Oyster Bay continue to recover from the fiscal mismanagement and ethics violations under former Supervisor John Venditto. In Albany, Labriola worked with those across the aisle, and in Mineola he worked to eliminate fraud and corruption, referring some matters for criminal investigation.
One of his ideas for the town is to install charging stations for electric vehicles at the beach and in parks. Forward thinking like this, and Labriola’s wealth of experience in government will continue to benefit Oyster Bay.
We liked candidate Laura Maier, too, but didn’t hear any specifics on how she would govern if elected. We urge resident to vote for Labriola, Guida and McCardle on Tuesday.