The Oyster Bay Town Board Friday adjourned without choosing a new supervisor after three board members did not attend the meeting.
Councilman Joseph Muscarella, who has been interim supervisor since longtime Supervisor John Venditto’s resignation took effect Wednesday, called the meeting with less than 24 hours’ notice and adjourned it for a lack of quorum.
Muscarella told Newsday on Thursday he had expected the board to approve a new supervisor Friday.
Muscarella said Thursday he was considering Assemb. Joseph Saladino (R-Massapequa Park) and two unnamed candidates for supervisor. In the board chambers was Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti, who said Saladino told him Wednesday he expected to be named supervisor at Friday’s meeting.
“The person who was expected to be appointed is an old friend and asked me to do the honor of swearing him in,” said Delligatti, a former town supervisor.
Saladino did not return phone calls for comment.
After the meeting, a town employee carried away a large Bible that had sat on a table near board members. Saladino was not in the board chambers, but a car with Assembly license plates was parked outside.
Only three of the six board members attended the meeting. Councilman Anthony Macagnone said he was absent because he wants time to interview the other two candidates, whom he declined to identify. He said he and another board member talked with Saladino for more than three hours Thursday night.
Macagnone said Saladino “has worked very hard for Long Islanders up in the Assembly.” He said Saladino told him he would take the job if offered it.
Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia, who also didn’t attend the meeting, said in a statement Friday afternoon that she plans to vote for Saladino.
“My concern was with the timing of the Special Meeting,” she said. “The Town Board must act openly and transparently. There was no reason to call the emergency meeting on such short notice when our regularly scheduled meeting is on Tuesday, January 10.”
Venditto said in a statement Tuesday that he was resigning to concentrate on mounting a legal defense to federal corruption charges for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes from former town concessionaire Harendra Singh.
John Mangelli, who narrowly lost to Venditto in the November 2015 supervisor election when he ran as a Democrat and says he is running again, said the board should keep Muscarella as interim supervisor until the November 2017 election, so voters can choose a new supervisor instead of using “Republican backdoor, behind-the-scenes dealings” to appoint a replacement.
All board members are Republican.
Councilman Joseph Pinto said as he was leaving Town Hall Friday morning that he expected Saladino would be appointed. He called him a “highly regarded assemblyman.”
Pinto said he did not think Friday’s meeting was rushed.
“I was prepared to make a decision today,” he said.