Islip may cancel plan to limit Croci's powers

Four members of the Republican-dominated Islip Town Board Four members of the Republican-dominated Islip Town Board have moved to strip Town Supervisor Tom Croci of a raft of his powers. (Jan. 2, 2012) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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The Islip Town Board is considering abandoning its controversial proposal to limit the powers of Town Supervisor Tom Croci and could formally kill the proposed resolutions before Tuesday night's public hearing.

Town Attorney Robert L. Cicale said Monday he had briefed the board members about their options and there is a "very good" chance the board will vote to "adjourn" the public hearing, therefore abandoning the proposal touted by the Republican-dominated board.

Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, whom fellow Republican Croci stripped of her title as deputy supervisor amid the board tumult, on Monday directed a reporter to ask Cicale about the board's planned actions.

Later, neither she nor her colleagues responded to several messages seeking comment.

In recent interviews about the fracas, board members appeared to be walking back support for the proposal.

Councilman Anthony S. Senft Jr., the board's lone Conservative, said late last week that he was undecided on the legislation.

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"I'm not saying I would vote for or against it," Senft said. "I haven't made any decision. I want to hear public debate on whether this is the right thing to do."

Councilman Steven J. Flotteron, who initially said he had strongly supported the proposal as a "good government" measure, said last week regarding the resolutions: "Nothing's absolute. My mind has always been open."

Croci declined to comment and said he would wait to see what the board does Tuesday night.

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The board last month introduced a pair of resolutions that would take away Croci's responsibility for hiring and firing and negotiating union contracts.

Town sources said the flap was over Croci's unwillingness to cave to Islip Republican Committee chairman Frank A. Tantone's demand for patronage hires -- an allegation Tantone has denied.

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