Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a radio interview he wants to replace long-serving elected town officials.
In the prerecorded interview broadcast Monday on LIU Post’s WCWP radio show “North Shore Now,” Saladino told host Jason Samel that his administration has broken with his predecessor, John Venditto, by bringing in new people.
“I was able to get some of the people to retire so we ran brand-new people for the town board and as we go forward I will be looking to continue to replace our elected officials with new people that have nothing to do with the past,” Saladino said in the prerecorded interview.
Saladino declined to discuss the broadcast but spokesman Brian Nevin issued a statement on the supervisor’s behalf that credited “electing fresh leadership” with positive developments in Oyster Bay.
Six of the town’s nine elected offices are held by people elected before Saladino took office in 2017.
Two long-serving councilmen — Christopher Coschignano and Joseph Pinto — resigned last year and were replaced with appointees.
Pinto said Monday his decision to step down from the board to become town parks commissioner was his own.
“It was an opportunity that I pursued,” Pinto said.
Coschignano did not return a call seeking comment.
Saladino praised both men when they resigned. On Coschignano’s final day Saladino told him “you will forever be remembered and appreciated and loved by the town of Oyster Bay family and all its residents for your many years of service to this town,” according to a transcript of the May 23, 2017, town board meeting at which Coschignano resigned.
Town tax receiver James Stefanich, who was elected in 1999 and is up for election next year, said Saladino “has no authority to make a decision on replacing me whatsoever.” Stefanich has not indicated whether he will run again.
Councilman Anthony Macagnone said he will not seek re-election for town board but will complete his term, which runs through next year, so Saladino cannot appoint a replacement.
“It should be the decision of the people of the town of Oyster Bay ... ,” Macagnone said.
Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia, whose term runs through next year, said in a text message, “I was elected by the people of the town of Oyster Bay and have always served them faithfully and enthusiastically, and will continue to do so as long as they want me to.”
After his appointment as supervisor last year, Saladino ran for election with incumbent Councilwoman Michele Johnson and Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr., and in March the town hired former town board member Elizabeth Faughnan as an attorney.