Republican Smithtown Town board member Kevin Malloy, who is embroiled in a GOP primary fight, said his “first order of business” if re-elected will be to file a resolution to impose a 12-year term limits on the town’s elected officials.
Joining Malloy in supporting the measure is GOP town board member Robert Creighton, who is also running a Republican primary against Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, 82, who has been in office 36 years.
Malloy, 61, who is seeking his second four-year term, said Vecchio would not be immediately affected by the proposal, which would grandfather in officials’ past tenure and make him eligible to serve up to 12 more years in office.
“It’s an issue I’ve heard over and over from constituents” as he has gone door to door, Malloy said. “Politicians are going to know they have 12 years and are not going to make a life out of this on the backs of the taxpayers.”
Malloy said voters favors the bill because “they feel from watching not only elected officials but people in civil service, they have become too complacent and treated the public more as a nuisance than with respect.”
Creighton said he not only supports the measure but thinks the town board should act on it as soon as possible. “It brings it to the forefront,” he said, noting that term limits has become a significant issue in the GOP primary for Suffolk district attorney race between Democratic incumbent Thomas Spota and Republican challenger Ray Perini.
Assemb. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-St. James), who is Vecchio’s campaign manager, called the move a ploy for publicity.
“Kevin has been having some difficulty getting traction this year,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think Smithtown residents are more concerned about lowering the cost of government than term limits. One of the reasons Supervisor Vecchio remains popular is that he walks the walk when it comes to holding the line on taxes.”
Malloy is running in a three-way primary for two seats against fellow GOP town board member Thomas McCarthy and Suffolk Legis. Lynne Nowick (R-St. James) who cannot run for re-election to her current post because she is term-limited.
A week ago, Nowick allied herself with Vecchio and McCarthy, who was originally designated on the GOP ticket as Malloy’s running mate.
UPDATE: Steve Snair, the Democratic candidate for supervisor, released a statement that said in part: "Although I am in favor of term limits, it's become clear that Councilman Creighton is simply using this measure as a political stunt... Mr. Creighton has served on the Town Counciil for nearly six years. Why has he waited until three weeks before a primary to raise this issue? It's a phony act on his part."