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Former Lindenhurst mayor quits as Croci's chief of staff

A look at Village Hall, where the board

A look at Village Hall, where the board of trustees, planning board and zoning board of appeals meet. Lindenhurst is New York State's fourth-largest village with more than 28,000 residents. (June 7, 2011) Credit: Alexi Knock

A former mayor of Lindenhurst resigned from her post as chief of staff to Town of Islip Supervisor Tom Croci this week.

Lynda Distler handed in her letter of resignation to the town on Tuesday, according to Inez Birbiglia, spokeswoman for the Town of Islip.

Distler, who earned a salary of $85,000, was appointed to her role by Croci at the start of his first term in 2012. Croci, who is serving in the Navy overseas, could not be reached for comment on her departure.

Distler had been elected as a trustee in the Village of Lindenhurst in 1996. She was appointed deputy mayor in 1998 before winning the mayor’s seat in 2000. She served one term through 2004. She also did consulting work for private and nonprofit organizations and was an executive director at Breast Cancer Help Inc., a Bay Shore-based nonprofit, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Distler, who did not return calls for comment, issued this statement through Birbiglia:

“It has been my privilege to serve the people of Islip as Chief of Staff. It has been an honor to have had the opportunity to work alongside and among a group of very bright and talented professionals. Their tireless dedication and that of the Town’s administration, has always been my inspiration. I hope my efforts have made a difference in Islip, which I now consider my second home. To me, moving on is not closing the book, only turning the page.”

It was not immediately clear where she is headed.

Distler’s last day will be Feb. 19, but it has not yet been decided whether her position will be filled, Birbiglia said. “She’s a warm, hardworking individual and Town of Islip residents were served well with her,” Birbiglia said.

— SARAH ARMAGHAN


New member joins zoning appeal board

Lindenhurst Village has chosen a new member of the zoning board of appeals.
Michael Rapisardi, 43, will join the board to fill the spot left by Darrel Kost, 68, who was appointed to the village board in December after Kevin McCaffrey was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature.

Rapisardi’s appointment was approved at a village board meeting this week. Rapisardi, who has lived in the village for 17 years, is an electrician with Local 3 in New York City. For the past seven years, he has been president of the Lindenhurst Football and Cheerleading League.

Rapisardi, who has never held public office, said he’s excited to join the board.

Mayor Thomas Brennan said Rapisardi’s construction experience will be a benefit. “I think he has the experience to be able to do a great job,” he said.

Rapisardi will earn $2,400 a year for the remainder of his term, which ends on April 7.

Also at the meeting, the village approved Brennan’s assistant being made a full-time worker. Katherine McCaffrey, who is the daughter of Suffolk County Legis. Kevin McCaffrey, will receive a salary of $12 per hour, or $20,280 annually. McCaffrey had previously worked part-time in the position at a salary of $8.75 per hour.

— DENISE M. BONILLA

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