If Oyster Bay residents want a cadre of unarmed security guards patrolling the town, that's fine. It may provide security, real or perceived. But that doesn't mean the department has to be a patronage refuge or a nice cushion for those looking to pad pensions from other public sector jobs.
The department didn't exist six years ago. Today it has 104 full- and part-time employees, most designated as security guards, and the rest as bay constables. The budget is $4.5 million.
Five supervisors earn more than $100,000 per year, and three of those hold Nassau GOP Committee seats. Another is Nassau Executive Edward Mangano's brother, Rob, on leave from his job with the county to give $100,881 a year in Oyster Bay a try. Five more supervisors make more than $80,000, and the department is loaded with Republican Party donors, or their family members. Town Supervisor John Venditto gladly admits he hires Republicans, and took on Rob Mangano because the county executive asked.
The pay for part-timers, generally $25 per hour, is sweet, too, considering most are supplementing salaries or pensions from other police forces. There are lots of young people who'd keep watch for $12 per hour, but most don't donate much to the Republican Party.
Residents may be getting the service they want, but it shouldn't be delivered in such a tawdry fashion.