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Glen Cove City Council spars over choice of next council member

Glen Cove City Hall.

Glen Cove City Hall. Credit: T.C. McCarthy

The Glen Cove City Council tabled a proposal to appoint a council member after a rancorous meeting Tuesday night that at times devolved into shouting.

Mayor Reginald Spinello had proposed attorney Joseph Capobianco, a Republican, to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Nicholas DiLeo, a Democrat, in April. Spinello, an Independence Party member said the council was obligated to choose someone to serve until the next general election in November.

"We get to make the decision and we get to make the choice," Spinello said.

At stake is control of the council, which had been split evenly between Republicans and Democrats before DiLeo's death.

Republican councilmen Anthony Gallo, Jr. and Efraim Spagnoletti said they opposed the process by which Capobianco had been brought before them.

"I've been very consistent from day one, I do oppose the rigid process that you set in place," Gallo said to Spinello. Gallo said he wanted several candidates to be brought before the council. "We owe it to the people of Glen Cove to bring them in and to vet them and to interview them. This is also about honoring Nick DiLeo."

Gallo said he had suggested a candidate but Spinello hadn't been interested.

Spagnoletti said he supported Capobianco to run in November but not to be appointed. He said he didn't know enough about him.

"How can I, as your representative of Glen Cove, put someone in a position of authority and power when I don't even know where they stand?" Spagnoletti said.

Spinello said Gallo and Spagnoletti wanted to "parade" candidates before the public.

"He's OK in November but he's no good now?" Spinello said of Cabobianco. Spagnoletti said he wanted the voters to have the final voice.

Capobianco said he wouldn't pander to the council.

"I'm not going to lower myself to this, I know I am eminently qualified to be a City Councilperson," Capobianco said.

Councilwoman Pamela Panzenbeck, a Republican, said she was prepared to vote on Capobianco, who she thought would work well with both sides.

Councilman Michael Famiglietti, a Democrat, said he would vote for a Democrat.

Democratic Councilman Timothy Tenke made a motion to table the vote in light of acrimony and it carried.

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