The Oyster Bay Democrats on Wednesday announced their slate of candidates to challenge the all-Republican town government on a platform of cleaning up corruption, ending nepotism and pay-to-play.
“I turn on the news and Republicans are being taken out of office in handcuffs and to me that’s embarrassing and it has to change,” said Marc Herman, the Democrat’s candidate for town supervisor. “I love this town. I want this town back.”
Herman, a Woodbury dentist and former president of the Syosset Central School District school board, is the Democratic party’s pick to challenge recently appointed Supervisor Joseph Saladino.
Saladino a former state Assemblyman, was appointed to replace John Venditto, who resigned in January to focus on his legal defense of federal corruption involving a former town contractor.
Herman, 63, said in an interview that he wants to put all town contracts and contractor bids on the town’s website.
“We’re going to open that whole thing up,” Herman said. “You’re going to know what we’re bidding for, you’re going to know what the bids were.”
Herman also said he wanted to end nepotism and cancel a contract the town has with Linda Mondello, the wife of Nassau County Republican party chairman Joseph Mondello.
In response, Saladino on Wednesday accused the Democrats of “blowing smoke and misinforming the public.”
“The opponents of our town are running against the past,” Saladino said in an interview. “I’m working to bring our town into the future — a future where we are proving with our actions we are creating transparency, ethics, and a new town of Oyster Bay where we are building the trust of our residents.”
In 2015, a political unknown, Bayville attorney John Mangelli came within 99 votes of defeating Venditto. Mangelli plans a primary challenge against Herman.
“The feeling in Oyster Bay is that an independent candidate would be best suited for office and I offer that as either an independent Democrat or a candidate on a third party slate,” Mangelli said Wednesday.
The Democrats also announced three candidates for town board: Robert Freier, an executive recruiter from Woodbury who regularly speaks at town board meetings; James Versocki, an attorney from Sea Cliff; and Eva Pearson of Farmingdale, an Air Force veteran and an academic. Democrats chose Dean Hart, a Glen Head optometrist, to run as Town Clerk.