Patrick Vecchio vows to maintain status quo after Smithtown supervisor re-election
Patrick R. Vecchio Sr. -- Long Island's longest-serving town supervisor ever -- said he plans an agenda of fiscal discipline, preserving quality of life and opposing "wrongheaded land use" decisions in his 13th term as Smithtown's leader.
Those issues, the Republican-backed Vecchio, 83, said, helped him beat Councilman Robert J. Creighton, 76, who ran on the Conservative line, and Steve Snair, 31, an attorney backed by the Democratic, Working Families and Independence parties.
Both Snair and Creighton said Smithtown needed to improve its roads, downtowns and offer more incentives to businesses.
Vecchio said Tuesday night that his re-election was "a victory for the grassroots organizations who felt . . . the possibility that their quality of life would change."
On Wednesday, Vecchio said he plans to stick to what got him re-elected.
Unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections showed Vecchio received 45 percent of the vote, compared to Creighton's 30 percent and Snair's 25 percent.
Creighton said that as a town councilman he will lobby for initiatives proposed during his campaign. "I have to do whatever I can to try to make things better in Smithtown. But I'm only one board member," said Creighton. "The majority of the people seem to think that Mr. Vecchio has the right ideas, so I'll try to work as cooperatively as I can."
Creighton said "it's critical that the supervisor work closely with the town board -- that has not been the case. . . . However, he just won the election, so I'm not too optimistic."
Vecchio, who started a vacation Wednesday, said he has "worked well with many, many town boards" during his tenure, adding, "There is no reason to assume it will be any different this time."
The dynamic on the town board, however, will change with the election of Republican-backed Legis. Lynne C. Nowick (R-St. James), who beat incumbent and Conservative-backed Councilman Kevin J. Malloy 28 to 12 percent.
Offical results will be determined beginning next week as absentee ballots and affadavit ballots are opened and read, elections officials said. According to preliminary results, Malloy finished last among five candidates for two council seats, with incumbent Thomas J. McCarthy winning with 31 percent. With the wins, the board remains all Republican.
Malloy said in an interview that he gave campaigning with Creighton "my everything" and that the pair "went out of our way to keep this as a clean, fact-oriented race. The other side did not. And it worked."
Malloy pledged to run again and win a post on the town council or other government branch. In the interim, he said, "I am going to stay out there, even as a private citizen, and be a voice for the people."
Nowick, who campaigned with Vecchio and McCarthy and agrees with them on development issues, has said she does not plan to walk in lockstep with Vecchio. "I'm not going to be a new majority. I'm going to do what I feel is the right thing to do," she said Wednesday.
Nowick said she looked forward to serving on the town council -- a post her late father Eugene Cannataro held. "I'm going to be sitting in my dad's seat. It's terribly meaningful. He's got to be smiling up there, and I intend to make him proud."