Republican Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and three GOP town board members were no-shows to a candidates forum that drew more than 100 people in Plainview on Tuesday night.
The League of Women Voters of East Nassau invited five candidates for supervisor and 11 candidates for town board — town clerk candidates were not included — to the moderated event, but none of the Republican candidates, all of whom are currently in office, attended.
“It’s unfair to the public,” said Barbara Epstein, a member of the league’s leadership team, following the event at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library. “The Oyster Bay residents would like to hear from their representatives.”
Epstein said Saladino did not respond to repeated invitations.
Saladino said in an email Wednesday that “government business took priority over politics last evening as I met with civic leaders from North Massapequa.”
“Afterwards, I was the honoree at a reception,” Saladino said.
Saladino did not respond to questions Wednesday about whether the reception was a $130 per person Farmingdale Republican Committee fundraising event at which he was to be honored. An attendee at the event Tuesday night at a Farmingdale restaurant said Saladino was there.
Nine candidates participated in the moderated forum. The four supervisor candidates — Democrat Marc Herman, Reform Party candidate John Mangelli and Independents Robert Ripp and Jonathan Clarke — offered similar visions for addressing the town’s fiscal problems and increasing transparency.