After more than a year of battling, County Executive Steve Bellone journeyed to Islip for a kumbayah diner breakfast last month with new Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
Bellone, who missed Carpenter's swearing because he was on vacation, asked for the meeting at the Carousel Diner in West Islip. Both were accompanied by seconds — Carpenter had her top aide Mea Knapp, and Bellone, a veteran GOP hand, deputy county executive Eric Kopp.
Justin Meyers, Bellone spokesman, said the pair had a “great conversation” and among issues discussed Bellone’s rapid bus initiative, the sewer line for the Ronkonkoma Hub and the mammoth Heartland project, put forward by developer Jerry Wolkoff.
Carpenter called Bellone “very cordial, gracious and lovely,” and she is more than willing to work with him despite the past. “Let’s just say the moon and the stars have aligned,” said Carpenter. “There are many issues on which the town needs the county and many times when the county needs the town.”
Bellone beat Carpenter for county executive in 2011 and later tried to erase Carpenter’s job as treasurer in a merger after promsing her otherwise. After a lawsuit, the proposal was revised to take affect in 2018, when Carpenter would be term limited, but she left early for the town job.
“I know they are not best buddies, but they have to do the public’s business,” said John Jay LaValle, Suffolk GOP chair, adding, “I don’t think they’ll have Easter dinner together.”