An Oyster Bay town mailing to residents about government transparency has drawn bipartisan criticism that it resembles a political advertisement.
One side of the single sheet mailing shows Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino with the words “Opening the Doors to Town Government.” The other side is printed with Saladino’s name and a list of what it calls “Transparency in Action.”
The mailing, which was received by residents on Friday and Saturday, lists the town’s website but does not include other information about accessing government. It also includes a quote from Saladino from an April 7 Newsday article: “We promised the public a brand-new and very different Town of Oyster Bay and we delivered.”
“It’s basically a political ad for Joe Saladino paid for by the Oyster Bay taxpayers,” Councilman Anthony Macagnone said Monday.
Macagnone, who like Saladino is a Republican, said he was “disappointed” in the mailing and plans to file a complaint about it to the town ethics board. “I thought he was better than that,” Macagnone said.
Saladino was appointed on Jan. 31 to fill out the remainder of former Supervisor John Venditto’s term after he resigned to focus on his legal defense of federal corruption charges.
“The intention of this piece is for the supervisor to communicate to the residents that this is a new day in the town of Oyster Bay — the business of government will be done in the open for all for to see,” Deputy Supervisor Gregory Carman said Monday. Carman said in future mailings the administration will “make sure there is more contact information readily available on the piece itself.”
Marc Herman, the Democratic candidate for supervisor, said Monday the document was a “blatant political mailer,” paid for by taxpayers.
“There’s not one bit of useful information for the residents in this,” Herman said. “It only has self-serving statements that help the interim supervisor get elected.”