OYSTER BAY - With more that $700 million in debt and a junk bond status credit rating, Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto says it's time for the town to make some drastic changes.
In addition to the 103 town employees who have accepted incentives to retire, Oyster Bay's longtime supervisor says the town may have to lay off an additional 150 full-time employees. He's also floating the possibility of tax hikes.
"Everything is on the table," Venditto says. “There will be a proportion between non-exempt employees and exempt employees. No one is safe.”
Venditto says he has not determined which departments will suffer the greatest staffing hits. He does say the layoffs will go hand in hand with increased fees for some of the embattled town's services.
In January, the former Oyster Bay planning commissioner, Fred Ippolito, pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges. At his July sentencing hearing, Judge Leonard Wexler lamented that "something is rotten in Oyster Bay." He delayed the sentencing over concerns that Ippolito's illegal activity may have affected town business.
Venditto, serving in his 18th year as town supervisor, says that once the judge receives answers to those concerns, the town will look more favorable.