Islip Town swears in new supervisor

Supervisor Tom Croci. (Dec. 29, 2011) Supervisor Tom Croci. (Dec. 29, 2011) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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It's been a day of comings and goings at Islip Town Hall as Supervisor-elect Tom Croci and his acting deputy, Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, have been sworn in, and outgoing Supervisor Phil Nolan has prepared to leave office.

There have been some hiccups. A planned 11 a.m. official oath-of-office-taking, set to be performed by outgoing Town Attorney Alicia O'Connor, was moved at the last minute to the office of outgoing Town Clerk Regina Duffy.

Neither O'Connor nor the news media was informed.

Present were Croci's dad, Tom Croci Sr., his sister Christine and assistant Patrick Boyle. Croci Sr. was the longtime dean of students at Connetquot High School, where his wife also taught and where Monday's official inauguration ceremony will be held. Croci's mother died battling cancer a few years ago.

After Croci took his oath, fellow Republican Bergin Weichbrodt, whom Croci has named acting deputy supervisor, followed suit, she said.

Upstairs in the town attorney's office, however, O'Connor was still waiting at noon for the 11 a.m. appointment. "It hasn't happened yet, I still have the copy of his oath on my desk," she politely told a reporter in the hallway.

O'Connor's replacement, Rob Cicale -- briefly town attorney in 2007 -- walked up to tell her about the change in plans.

According to Bergin Weichbrodt, downstairs in the clerk's office, her three sons held the Holy Bible while she took her oath. Her husband, attorney Randy Weichbrodt, was away for a property closing.

"It was very cute," Bergin Weichbrodt said. "The boys were getting in the car to go to town hall and saying 'We have to go and hold the Bible so that Mom can have a new office.' " Bergin Weichbrodt will physically switch offices, moving into retiring Democratic Councilman John Edwards' quarters at town hall.

Back upstairs, Supervisor Nolan was packing pens and photos in his office and generally expressing a sanguine attitude as the clock ticked off the last 48 hours of the first Democratic administration in Islip in four decades.

On election night, Nolan, who lost by 343 votes, noted it had taken a scandal -- former Republican Supervisor Pete McGowan went to jail for campaign funds violations -- to elect a Democrat to the top office in what remained essentially "a functioning Republican town."

Said Nolan today: "We cut back overtime pay, we reduced the workforce, we ensured town employees were efficient workers and delivered a zero tax increase for the 2012 budget, all the while maintaining services and a Triple-A bond rating.

"I'd do the same again. You gotta do what you're supposed to do. It's hard to be an elected official in this environment, but you must do what's right."

Monday's event, meanwhile is expected to be attended by a who's-who of Republican and Conservative hierarchy.

Croci's 5-0 Republican/Conservative board (Councilman-elect Anthony Senft is the sole Conservative) has scheduled its first public meeting at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.

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