The History of Political Leadership in the Town of Oyster Bay
Republicans and Democrats: the differences have created friction since the dawn of both parties in the early-to-mid-1800s.The Republican Party has captured the vote of Town of Oyster Bay citizens since the inception, largely attributable to Republican officials' traditional values when implementing improvements upon the Town's services, public works and government decisions. Are residents ready for a radical change?
The Republican and Democratic parties were created in order to provide an identity for those who challenged the beliefs surrounding them.Republicans essentially believe in tradition, more limits on private life, and freedom from government regulation on economic activity and business; but how do the Republicans of Oyster Bay define themselves? "I consider myself family-oriented, country-oriented and I define myself as an American," stated Joseph Belesi, Republican candidate for County Legislator.
Evolved from the Democratic-Republican party of the late 1700's to early 1800's, Democrats take a more liberal approach, supporting dynamic change, freedom from government intervention into private life, and regulations on economic activity and business.Democratic Town Council Candidate, Jay Cherlin, believes, "the Democratic party really represents a belief in progressive issues and things that are for the common man." Republicans have run the Town of Oyster Bay essentially since the formation of a self-governing Town.Do citizens simply approve of the way it has been managed? Belesi believes this is the case. "[The Town officials] are very receptive to constituents, and respond.The streets are excellent, the parks are excellent and they take care of business."The facts are clear that those who run Oyster Bay have done an extraordinary job in creating a town "second to none," commented Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R).
And citizens share the same belief re-electing Republicans term after term.States Anthony D. Macagnone, up for re-election for Town Councilman, "The caliber of candidate that the Republicans offer is more qualified." Town officials throughout Oyster Bay's history have provided great services, an exceptional parks department and community activities.Taking care of the Town environmentally and aesthetically, Town officials have instituted programs such as the S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) Collection and Homeowners' Cleanup Programs.
Community activities provide a fun way for young people in the community to be active and productive, with the Youth Council, school recreation, and CAPA (Cultural and Performing Arts) programs.Music Under the Stars and like programs encourage people in the community to come out and spend some time with family, friends and neighbors.The Town's beaches and parks are beautiful, as well as its nationally-renowned golf course. "Year after year, their service to the townspeople has been the Town officials' number one priority," said Assemblyman Saladino.
Republican officials have done wonders in the Town, but is there room for improvement? Are Oyster Bay citizens ready for a change this Election Day? "When one party holds a position of power for too long, the benefits of democracy are lost to its citizens. Fair political competition is necessary for the community," stated Democratic Town Council candidate Carol Gordon.While those running Oyster Bay currently do an excellent job, the benefits of having both parties involved could be even greater.In the current one-party government, "there is no discourse, there is no debate, there is no accountability, and there is no oversight.Certainly, that is not the way the founding fathers intended it," commented Keith Scalia, the Democratic Town Council candidate with a Dead Poet's Society approach.
Democrats are looking to bring to the issues, representation of the more liberal citizens of Oyster Bay. "One-party rule is stagnating and hindering the Town of Oyster Bay.[With diversity in the government], we can increase debate on issues," stated Town Supervisor Candidate, Joseph Terino (D).Town Clerk Candidate Matthew Meng feels he and his party can really improve the Town for citizens by making information more public. "As a citizen you have the right to ask your government questions.We're trying to make [the Town] more open, and more democratic."
Just how drastic of a change do citizens want, though?Comfortable with the consistency of government, a change, if any, must be subtle and almost imperceptible. "[Here in Oyster Bay], wejealously guard our suburban quality of life," commented Republican Town Clerk Steven Labriola, and past Republican governments have certainly maintained high standards. "It is part of the reason why people re-elect our Republican team."Democrats may be looking to alter the Town too much, and regardless of the implied benefits, people do not take well to change, especially after the success of recent Republican councils. While debate in government can reap positive results, it can also lead to a stalemate and a stand-still in advancement.Debates over issues may become long and drawn out, as in past bi-partisan rule.When everyone agrees, swift and decisive action can be taken. "We work to make the Town better - to make it what each of us wants it to be," said Republican Town Councilwoman Rose Walker.Working to benefit residents, decisions are often made to serve "the greater good" and provide the services and security we continue to enjoy.However, sometimes those decisions may not be right for everyone. "Our team wants to return to the core principles of smaller, smarter government," said Town Clerk Steve Labriola.
When asked his thoughts of Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor, John Venditto, resident Richard Porcelli quoted Rudyard Kipling, "If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch..." One can't help but wonder if Venditto's administration is the ultimate reflection of the Town's people it serves.
Whether the Republicans elected officials provide outstanding services or the Town of Oyster Bay residents have a strong aversion to change, one thing is clear: Republicans have run Oyster Bay since its birth. Democratic candidates are looking to challenge this institution now, but are you, the citizens of Oyster Bay, ready for this change?Voter registration information is available above.Decide how your Town of Oyster Bay will be run by voting on November 6th, 2007.
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