State lawmaker wants monitor for Oyster Bay finances

The Oyster Bay supervisor says he wants to lead the charge to repair the town's declining finance ratings, but a state lawmaker says the town needs outside oversight.

The Oyster Bay supervisor says he wants to lead the charge to repair the town's declining finance ratings, but a state lawmaker says the town needs outside oversight. (7/7/16)

OYSTER BAY - The Oyster Bay supervisor says he wants to lead the charge to repair the town's declining finance ratings, but a state lawmaker says the town needs outside oversight.

Standard & Poor released the new, low ranking in the spring. Along with the Oyster Bay Town Council, Supervisor John Venditto says officials are working on a plan to fix the finances.

State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, however, says that's no way to fix the problem.

"That's really like the situation that occurs when a group of wolves are called on to report on the best practices for protecting sheep," Lavine says.

Lavine proposed a new bill that would bring an independent state fiscal monitor to oversee the town's finances for a five-year period.

Venditto opposes that idea.

"We don't need a bill right now," he says. "We need a lot of hard work."

But Lavine says the town's hard work hasn't paid off. He says the financial problems were identified as early as 2013, but the town did not make adequate corrections. He says it's time for a fresh face to get the town back on track. 

"The town definitely needs some outside influence, and for lack of a better term — an adult in the room — to help make these difficult decisions," Lavine says.

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