The wife of state Sen. Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore) is giving up her $60,000 annual contract for public relations at Long Island MacArthur Airport to take over the unpaid post of chairwoman of the Islip Independence Party.
Frank MacKay, state and Suffolk Independence Party chairman, said that Victoria Ryan, Boyle's wife, will assume the party post that has been vacant for six years. "She brings a sense of professionalism, a very sharp mind and a charismatic personality that I hope will rejuvenate our party in Islip, which has had a void of leadership for many years."
Ryan, 46, said, "I've been in politics for 25 years but this is my first opportunity to play a leadership role. I'll work very hard to make a difference and build on the great things the party has already done in Islip."
The appointment comes little more than a month after the Islip Town board approved a one-year contract for $5,000 a month with Beach House Communications Inc. of East Islip, where Ryan is president. The GOP-led town board last year approved a 28 percent property tax increase to overcome a $26 million budget shortfall.
Ryan said she stepped aside because "I'd be very uncomfortable working for people who voted for me and then have them come to a party screening" seeking a nomination.
Supervisor Tom Croci praised Ryan, saying that in one month she found federal funding for marketing local airports that could help attract new airlines.
Boyle said his wife will be an asset to the minor party. He'll have to appear before her for the minor party's backing. "As chairman of the Senate ethics committee I'll have to stay within ethical guidelines, but I think there may be a lot more dinners out around nomination time," he said.