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State Lawmakers: Reappoint Vecchio and Nowick, 'Debacle Should Have Never Occurred'

Lawmakers also plan to introduce legislation to avoid another election in November.

Two state lawmakers on Tuesday called on the Smithtown Town Board to respect the will of the voters and reappoint Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio and Councilwoman Lynne Nowick.

The Town Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday night to consider the reappointments, which are needed after Vecchio and Nowick, both Republicans, were booted out of office for failing to sign a written oath within 30 days of taking office. 

“The time for politics is over,” said Senator John Flanagan, R-Northport, said in a statement. “This past November, Smithtown voters spoke loud and clear by re-electing Supervisor Pat Vecchio and electing Councilwoman Lynne Nowick to the Town Board. Voters understood and expected these dedicated public officials to serve and act on their behalf for the next four years.  To now prevent them from
taking office because of a clerical mistake is to thwart the will of the people.”

Smithtown Town Clerk Vincent Puleo declared the supervisor's post "vacant" last week saying that Vecchio and four other Town officials, including Nowick, who were elected in November did not file the required written oath.

Puleo, a conservative who supported Town Councilman Robert Creighton is his bid to unseat Vecchio, has said the move was not political, but Flanagan said Vecchio and Nowick "deserved the courtesy and respect of being notified that there was a deadline for filing an oath of office with the Town Clerk.

“This debacle should have never occurred,” Flanagan said. 

Assemb. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-St. James, echoed Flanagan, urging the Town Board to "take the high road" and avoid saddling "Smithtown taxpayers with the cost of a special election.

"This is Smithtown; we are better than this," he added. 

Flanagan and Fitzpatrick also said they planned to introduce state legislation that would allow Vecchio and Nowick to serve out their full terms if reappointed, instead of having to run again next November. 

It wasn't just lawmakers rallying behind the reappointments Tuesday. More than 100 residents rallied outside Town Hall Tuesday afternoon in support of Vecchio and Nowick, according to a Newsday report

Vecchio, first elected to the supervisor's post in 1977, did not receive a majority vote in November's election, but in a three-way race, he claimed victory with 45 percent of the vote, compared to 30 percent for Conservative Creighton and 25 percent for Democrat Steve Snair. Only about a quarter of Smithtown's 80,361 registered voters cast ballots in the election. 

Thursday's Town Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Eugene A. Cannataro Senior Citizen Center. 
Laura Schaefer February 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM
@ Veronica Grayson - I think we the people voters have heard enough of your opinions as well. It's hard being on the loosing side, I wouldn't know about that. lol I respect your opinion now respect mine. That's the wonderful thing about being an American, "freedom of speech". No matter what you say I am proud to say that Mr. Patrick Vecchio is my Town Supervisor now and for the next 4 years. Good luck & God Bless. @ knee jerk - I quess I took Fred's place. lmao
Captain February 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM
What margin would vecchio win over creighton in November? Will mr c even bother? I'm just waiting to see more elect creighton signs. For some reason I feel that the Conservative party feels that the planets have all aligned in their favor. Was the planetary alignment natural? Mother Nature at work? I think not.
Veronica Grayson February 14, 2014 at 01:06 PM
mhmm. LOL
knee jerk February 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM
"Ink, Not Mink"

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