Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto. (Sept. 21, 2011)

Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto. (Sept. 21, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile

Supervisor John Venditto says Oyster Bay must continue to deliver the suburban dream of one-family homes, good schools and fine beaches that has made the town a magnet for more than six decades. The Republican's philosophy is not to change anything, and that message has gotten him elected seven times by overwhelming majorities.

Absent a demand for a change, Venditto's opponents have had a difficult time setting an agenda. Democratic challenger John Capobianco, 47, is a voice for residents who might harbor dreams of new vitality in the town's stagnant downtowns, such as Hicksville. Capobianco lives in the Village of Farmingdale and is a member of its downtown revitalization committee, which has developed a comprehensive plan that includes housing above stores on Main Street. A member of the Farmingdale school board, Capobianco is a martial arts and bonsai artisan who sought an Assembly seat last year.

Capobianco blames Venditto for the recent lowering of the town's bond rating due to the drawing down of reserve funds and the lack of a financial plan to raise revenue. He says overspending on patronage jobs, especially for the largest town public safety force on Long Island, is wasteful. Valid criticisms, but the Democrat doesn't have the necessary managerial experience to run the town.

Venditto, 62, of North Massapequa, says the town's debt is moderate and that he will tighten spending by reducing overtime costs. Instead of a tax increase, he's considering raising revenue by increasing user fees for parking and recreational activities. With the promise of a renewed focus on maintaining fiscal integrity, Newsday endorses Venditto. hN


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