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It's been three months since Michael Venditto, 31, son of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, gave up his $94,000 job as counsel to the Hempstead Town Board to become the Republican county legislator from Massapequa, for less than half his salary.
Since then, service agencies staged protests at the legislature over budget cuts; lawmakers have yelled at each during heated debates; the county has taken two big hits in courts that could cost tens of millions of dollars; and just this past Monday more than 100 residents railed at the legislature over a Republican redistricting proposal until 1 a.m.
Does the fledgling lawmaker regret the day he decided to run in a special election for this $39,500-a-year position?
"No regrets," Venditto said Thursday. "Absolutely no regrets. I’m enjoying the work and there is a lot of work to be done. The residents of the 12th legislative district were among the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. The job during the first three months has been one resident at a time, trying to provide as much relief from the misery and devastation that we’ve all experienced on the South Shore of Long Island.
"For every moment of misery and devastation that I've witnessed during the aftermath of the hurricane, there have been moments of coming together, helping out and bringing us back to the normal way of living that we’ve enjoyed here. It's been great to be a part of it. I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. It's all about helping residents."