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Oyster Bay employee rented municipal golf course house for 8% of salary

The rental agreement was terminated with the greenskeeper's retirement. He had paid $979.34 a month to rent the two-story single-family home.

Oyster Bay rented this single-family residence at the

Oyster Bay rented this single-family residence at the town golf course in Woodbury, seen here on Wednesday, to a town employee under a 2008 agreement. Photo Credit: Ted Phillips

Oyster Bay officials have revoked a month-to-month rental agreement for a 6,227-square-foot cottage at the town golf course in Woodbury because the occupant is retiring from town employment.

Assistant greenskeeper James Panciroli, 57, pays $979.34 a month to rent the two-story single-family home at the Honorable Joseph Colby Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course . He retires on Nov. 6 after more than 30 years of working for Oyster Bay, according to town documents.

In 2008, the town board approved a license   to allow Panciroli to live in the residence on a month-to-month basis, with the rent to be 8 percent of his salary.

“It is deemed to be in the best interests of the town to have the cottage occupied by a town employee,” an April 29, 2008, resolution stated. Panciroli’s duties included management and maintenance of the golf course, according to the resolution.

Town spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email the future of the residence is "currently being evaluated."

Nassau County records show the house was built in 1913 and includes a basement, attic, enclosed porch, two bathrooms and three bedrooms. It also has an enclosed yard. As municipal property, it is exempt from property taxes.

Under the agreement, signed by then-Town Supervisor John Venditto, Panciroli would pay 8 percent of his salary as rent and separately also paid for utilities. Panciroli's current salary is $146,901.

Nevin said in an email the rent was deducted from Panciroli's paychecks and he did not owe any back rent. Nevin said a portion of the first floor is used as a town office, the attic is used for air conditioning and storage, and the basement is unfinished.

The agreement stated Panciroli was allowed to live in the house with a spouse and children. He was not allowed to bring new pets or animals, other than those he owned at the time of the agreement, although an exception was made for “baby chicks … defined as those birds that have not yet attained their adult feathers or plumage.”

Panciroli declined to comment and referred questions to the town's public information office. 

 Town records provided in January show that Panciroli took an early retirement package under which he will receive an estimated $15,000 from the town.

Panciroli has long been active in local politics, serving in leadership roles in the North Syosset-Woodbury Republican Club.

The club’s website lists him as a board member and one of three chairmen emeritus. For years the club held its functions at the catering hall at the golf course—then known as the Woodlands at Woodbury—just steps away from the cottage. The club stopped using the catering hall after Harendra Singh, the town concessionaire who operated the facility, was arrested on federal charges of bribing a town official to obtain town guarantees on $20 million in loans, disaster fraud, income tax evasion and obstruction of justice in 2015. Singh later pleaded guilty.

The Oyster Bay Town Attorney’s office notified Panciroli that his agreement to use the property would be revoked, effective Nov. 7, and he would be permitted to continue living at the residence until Dec. 31 at a rate of $75 per day. Nevin said in an email that Panciroli plans to remain until Nov. 30. The Town Board ratified the termination of the old agreement and the new daily rate at its Sept. 18 meeting.

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