Smithtown board passes resolution on Vecchio, Nowick

Patrick Vecchio, left, is sworn as Town of Patrick Vecchio, left, is sworn as Town of Smithtown supervisor by Judge John Toomey after the town board voted to reinstate him as supervisor on Thursday night, Feb. 13, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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The Smithtown Town Board has approved a resolution needed to push forward state legislation allowing Supervisor Patrick R. Vecchio and Councilwoman Lynne C. Nowick to serve their four-year elected terms without running for office again in November.

Three of the board's five members -- Republicans Nowick and Vecchio abstained -- voted in favor of the home-rule request.

State Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and Assemb. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-St. James) introduced the bill earlier this month.

Vecchio and Nowick were appointed in February to one-year posts by the town board. Their seats were declared vacant because they failed to sign oaths within 30 days of taking office on Jan. 1, as state law required.

Smithtown Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski said for Flanagan and Fitzpatrick to put their legislation on the floor for a vote, "they need a request from the town that's in support of that legislation."

Vecchio said he and Nowick were both advised by Jakubowski to abstain from the vote Thursday "because of potential conflict."

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Fitzpatrick has said that a local bill is usually handled at the end of session in June.

"However, there's time sensitivity here because of the political calendar," said Fitzpatrick, adding he hoped to pass the bill before Vecchio and Nowick are required to circulate petitions.

Smithtown GOP chairman Bill Ellis has said candidates typically begin carrying petitions in early June to qualify for the November ballot.

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Councilman Edward Wehrheim said he voted in favor of the home-rule request because, "If the state legislators want to try to pass the bill . . . then I support their efforts."

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