Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio has released what was billed as his “First Annual Report” for town residents, predicting a budget with no tax increase this year and highlighting recent accomplishments.
“The Town has never been stronger,” Vecchio wrote in the report released last Tuesday, citing a November 2016 credit rating upgrade to Aaa from Moody’s Investors Service. The town’s $17 million debt is the lowest per capita of any town on Long Island, he said.
Prudent financial management was a theme in the report. “Through luck and some knowledge of the NYS procurement system,” the town bought two new senior buses for far below market rate and applied the savings to rebuilding the Smithtown Senior Center facade, he wrote.
Snow removal costs were under budget despite several major storms, Vecchio wrote, and 25 miles of road paving will be augmented with $2 million in sidewalk and driveway apron repairs.
The supervisor’s report also addressed the town’s animal shelter, noting new management by the Public Safety Department and a new mission to “clean, renovate and modernize” the facility. The report does not mention the removal earlier this year of the shelter supervisor for reasons town officials have not explained, citing state law.
Vecchio, 86, a Republican who has served as town supervisor since 1978, has not said if he will run for re-election this fall. Smithtown Republicans usually name candidates by mid-May.
Two possible opponents last week criticized the report as an exercise in electioneering.
Attorney and former Suffolk County Legis. Bill Holst, a Democrat who has formed an exploratory committee but has not announced candidacy, said the report was “missing any bold initiatives for the future of Smithtown.” He also criticized the omission of issues such as downtown revitalization and the redevelopment of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center.
John Zollo, a former town attorney who last week announced his intention to run for supervisor on the Conservative and Republican lines, described the report as “a lot of fluff, no real substance.”