By Harry Freedman

Let’s say you’re a conservative Republican. Or better yet, let’s say you’re part of a dying breed of moderate Republicans. You are against higher taxes, you want the government to be streamlined and you want less regulation interfering with your business. Okay, fine.

Now, let’s say you live in Oyster Bay and have continued voting Republican despite the corruption and 750 million dollars in debt because you just don’t trust the Democrats.

So you voted Joe Saladino and all the Republicans back onto the Oyster Bay Town Council and you feel good about that. But now that the election is over, you’re too busy to fully pay attention.  

So you might not know that they are undoing the ethics promises they made during the campaign or giving large raises to their top officials or hiring recycled officials from the same Republican machine that gave us the Mangano/Venditto payoff culture to begin with. You might not know how much you’re paying in interest on that $750 million dollars for a group that created the magical illusion that they are the party of “Fiscal Conservatives.”

But, if you have a credit card, mortgage or any kind of loan, you know interest payments are a tricky business. They seem harmless at first as long you’re on time. But if you’re late, and then late again, and then borrow more at higher rates to pay off some of the original debt, you end up in a spiral of never- ending debt and higher interest rates that would never have happened if you had been a little more careful to begin with. Well, that’s our town in a nutshell.

That means a large portion of your taxes pay for nothing. That money will never be used to fix our roads, parks, environment, or safety.  

It will simply go to paying off the interest on the money they borrowed and it will never end as long as the same system is in place that started it in the first place. And, incredibly, it looks like the town is getting ready to borrow even more. Because they operate on the principle of “Let’s put off till tomorrow what we can’t afford to pay today.”

The Oyster Bay Republicans, Government for the Government, Not the People.


1 Comment

Dan Carazo · May 3, 2018 at 9:17 am

Mr. Freedman’s appraisal of our TOB governance is spot on.

Personally, I am a fiscal conservative. My wife and I have worked hard for decades and have always lived within our means. What has happened to true conservative values in this town that would demand our government live within its means? Why isn’t the majority of resident voters firing the local GOP for mismanagement and malfeasance while in office? My guess is that many moderate, rational voters HOPE that the local GOP learned a lesson when both the County and TOB executives were arrested by the FBI.

Prior to the last election I wrote a personal letter and distributed it to over 50 homes in my neighborhood. In it I asked my fellow TOB taxpayers to take back our town government. We know the outcome. Unfortunately, we live in a time of radical tribalism. Instead of citizens aligning themselves with basic principles, like honesty, ethical behavior and responsible fiscal management, too many see ourselves as part of a “tribe” — a tribe of like-minded members who become more zealous about defending their tribe than standing up for what’s right. Tribalism has led to a breakdown of political civility to the point that honest discourse re: policies — and even regarding immorality in our elected officials — has become nearly impossible.

However, I remain optimistic that our society can halt this decline in political civility. And I hope here in Oyster Bay we can convince a majority of voters of ALL political persuasions that our Town needs a political ethical cleansing. As the minority party, the Democrats need to continue to educate voters about the policies of those in power, AND groom a strong well-qualified candidate who has the experience and credentials to challenge the current supervisor in the next election.

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