Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia has resigned after almost a decade on the town board and before her term ends in December.
“As my business has grown, there are just not enough hours in the day to give my family, my clients and my constituents the time that each deserves,” Alesia said at the Feb. 12 meeting where she announced her resignation.
Alesia, 41, has served on the board since her appointment in February 2010 to fill a vacancy. She is a lawyer and runs a travel planning business. Alesia’s father, Jack Libert, was Oyster Bay public works commissioner and is a state judge.
Following her resignation, the town board appointed Alesia to the Zoning Board of Appeals, a part-time position that comes with a $22,550 salary, health insurance and pension credit.
Alesia had become a regular voice of dissent, often questioning Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s policies. Last year she voted against most town contracts to protest the board’s failure to appoint an inspector general. Behind the scenes she also helped put the brakes on administration proposals, such as selling the Massapequa dog park, and got a hearing on a proposed hotel in Jericho rescheduled in response to resident concerns.
After Saladino said in a 2018 radio interview that he wanted to replace elected town board members with new people, Alesia said she would serve out her term.
“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,” Alesia said at the time.
On Tuesday, she said she wanted to focus on her business and family.
“The time has just come,” Alesia said. “Sometimes you just know.”
Last month she called for the newly appointed inspector general, Brian Noone, to resign for failing to disclose previous work for the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency. Alesia said on Tuesday that she had changed her mind after receiving additional information and called Noone's appointment a “good decision.”
The town board traditionally appoints replacements who then run as incumbents in the general election. The board has not named a replacement for Alesia's seat.
Town Clerk James Alatadonna Jr., who is running against Saladino, said Alesia’s seat should either be held open until November or the town should hold a special election rather than filling the seat by appointment.
“A voting seat should have input from the public,” Altadonna said.