While Tom Croci is away, the council members will . . . well, we hope they'll stay focused on the needs of Islip. Croci, the Islip Town supervisor and a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, announced last week that he'll return to active duty in July and will be deployed until next spring. Eric Hofmeister, the town's environmental control commissioner, is to be promoted to deputy supervisor and will take over day-to-day operations, but he won't vote in board meetings.

Even with Croci in place, Islip has been a hotbed of political infighting, with some board members recently seeking to seize his power. The tenor of Tuesday's town board meeting may provide a window into how smoothly the stopgap plan to cover Croci's absence will run.