Smithtown appoints two new department heads

Main Street in Smithtown. (Feb. 20, 2012) Main Street in Smithtown. (Feb. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

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Two new directors have been appointed to the Smithtown building and parks departments after the outgoing directors retired.

Smithtown Town Board members voted unanimously, 5-0, on March 20 for a full-time provisional appointment of Sandra Miranda as the parks director in the Department of Parks, Buildings and Grounds, at $120,000 a year, effective March 24. She replaces Chuck Barrett, who retired.

The board voted 4-1 for the full-time provisional appointment of Joseph Arico as building director in the building department at about $118,956 a year, effective March 21, and subject to results from a medical examination and drug screen. He replaces the retired John Bongino.

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio cast the lone opposing vote to Arico.

"I felt that the deputy [director Bill White] who has been in that role for seven years and who has acquitted himself very well . . . should have had the opportunity to move up to the No. 1 spot," Vecchio said.

Arico, 52, of Centereach, said he worked in the town building department as an assistant chief building official who examined plans, from 1987 to about 1996. From 2000 until recently, Arico said, he operated Up-Rite Construction, based in Ronkonkoma, doing commercial and residential projects.

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Arico has also worked as a building inspector for the Village of Old Field, he said.

"I'm honored to be back and look forward to working again in the Town of Smithtown," he said. "The building department ran well under John Bongino, and I look forward to continuing in that direction."

Miranda, 60, said she was a temporary worker in the town planning department from 1986 to 1990. She returned to the town as a clerk typist in the parks department in 1995 and became an administrative assistant in 2002. She most recently worked for Barrett.

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"I think the world of the town board right now for seeing some potential and giving me the position," she said. "It's like a Cinderella story. I got the glass slipper."

Miranda said she looks forward to making the town's more than 15 parks and beaches "the best they've ever been . . . I think that's what people in the town -- the taxpayers -- want to put their money into."

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