One year ago, the Town of Huntington entered into a settlement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to resolve the runaway state agency’s $825 million tax certiorari lawsuit against the Town, which challenged the assessment on the Northport Power Plant and sought a 90% reduction in its property taxes. Had the Town Board not acted to protect Huntington taxpayers from this existential threat, every homeowner in our town would have paid an average $12,251 lump sum in restitution to LIPA, in addition to immediate annual property tax increases averaging $4,558 for Northport-East Northport homeowners and $350 for homeowners in all other school districts (and remember, that is annual, each year compounded on top of the previous year’s increase).
Because of the current administration’s unwavering commitment to Huntington taxpayers, the settlement saved residents from 90% of those tax increases, eliminated the threat of devastating five-figure lump sums owed by each homeowner to LIPA, and protected property values townwide, earning the bipartisan support of the Town Board and the Northport-East Northport school board. In fact, the school district concluded that “the settlement represents the best chance…to maintain a high-quality education program for [its] students.”
While Huntington residents, parents and taxpayers recount this success with appreciation, the lone Town Board member who voted against the settlement, Gene Cook, is inexplicably running on an anti-settlement platform for town supervisor, despite his pushing for a lesser settlement agreement in 2013 that never came near offering the favorable terms negotiated and accepted one year ago.
Gene has turned his back on Republicans and our pro-taxpayer values, aligning himself with key leaders in the Huntington Democratic Party in a shameful effort to divert votes away from Republican Ed Smyth and install liberal Democrat Rebecca Sanin as the next town supervisor.
As a member of the Town Board and our Deputy Supervisor, Ed Smyth partnered with his Town Board colleagues to deliver the LIPA settlement and save our Town and its taxpayers. Ed will build upon the Republican record of holding the line on property taxes, fighting overdevelopment and protecting our suburban quality of life.
This is the most important election in the history of our town. To win, we will need every Republican to vote for Ed Smyth, Highway Superintendent candidate Andre Sorrentino and Town Board candidates Sal Ferro and Dr. Dave Bennardo. I hope we can count on your support!
The Huntington Republican Committee’s 2021 slate of candidates for Town office will build on the tremendous progress achieved by the Town Board’s Republican Majority during the last four years. Led by supervisor candidate Ed Smyth, who was first elected to the Town Board in 2017 and currently serves as Deputy Supervisor, the Republican candidates will continue the Republican Majority’s record of holding the line on property taxes, combating overdevelopment, ensuring public safety and making Town government more accountable.
“When Republicans won a majority on the Town Board in 2017, they put an end to years of massive property tax increases and uncontrolled development that urbanized large parts of our town,” said Huntington Republican Chair Thomas McNally. “Since then, conservative Republican leadership has changed the trajectory of Huntington—capping property taxes, limiting the allowable size and density of new development and enacting term limits.”
Before Huntington voters elected a Republican Majority in 2017, the Democrat-led Town Board repeatedly broke the state property tax cap, including one of the largest tax increases in Town history in 2017, which was also supported by Gene Cook. Since 2018, the Republican-led Town Board has held the line on property taxes and protected the state tax cap—saving Huntington homeowners and small businesses millions of dollars.
The Republican Majority on the Town Board adopted term limits and strengthened Town ethics laws to enhance financial disclosure, prevent nepotism and stop former Town officials from exercising influence on behalf of private clients. Republicans also repealed Democrat-passed zoning changes that allowed an unlimited number of apartments to be built on commercial and mixed-use properties and resulted in every unpopular development project built in downtown Huntington over the past decade.
“Democrats were content to let Huntington be overrun with unchecked development, turning a historic town with suburban charm into a city,” said Chairman McNally. “Through the leadership of Councilman Smyth, Republicans stood up and saved our town. Just last month, the Democrats and their partner Gene Cook tried again to allow high-rise apartments to be built from one end of town to the other. Thankfully, Ed Smyth and dozens of concerned Town residents joined together to stop them.”
The Huntington Republican Committee’s slate of candidates for Town office consists of Ed Smyth, Town Board candidates Sal Ferro and Dave Bennardo and Highway Superintendent candidate Andre Sorrentino.
“We have a tremendous slate of candidates that Huntington taxpayers can believe in,” said McNally. “There’s no question that Ed Smyth, Sal Ferro, Dave Bennardo and Andre Sorrentino will protect the wonderful quality of life that makes Huntington such a special place to live.”
Dozens of Huntington residents came to speak out against a plan sponsored by Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Eugene Cook to build high rise apartments all over our town. And when Huntington residents wanted to tell them what they thought, Cuthbertson and Cook tried to silence them.
Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Deputy Supervisor, Councilman Ed Smyth have led the fight against overdevelopment. They passed a town law to protect its suburban character and they were on the side of Huntington residents who should have their voices heard about the future of our town.
When residents finally had the opportunity to speak, they made their position clear: Stop the overdevelopment and protect our suburban quality of life. In the words of one resident, if the Cuthbertson/Cook measure passes, our “town’s going to look like Great Neck or Queens.” No wonder the crowd erupted in cheers when Cuthbertson reminded everyone that he only had six more months on the town board.
While that is good news for Huntington residents who are opposed to the continued urbanization of our neighborhoods, the Democrat candidate for town supervisor, Rebecca Sanin, refused to oppose the measure. In fact, Sanin told Newsday that she wasn’t familiar with the Cuthbertson/Cook resolution allowing the construction of three-story apartment buildings and she rejected the premise that those who spoke in opposition to the plan at the town board meeting represented everyone in Huntington.
Thankfully, Councilman Ed Smyth made sure our voices were heard so that the will of Huntington residents could prevail over those who want more and more development in our town.
Watch video of the public hearing the Democrats and Eugene Cook tried to shut down:
We just got word that Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Councilman Eugene Cook are trying to shut down public debate on their public hearing to expand the development of three-story apartment buildings across our town.
Instead of offering this resolution to cancel the public hearing in front of the public at the Town Board meeting at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, Cuthbertson and Cook are planning on voting on the cancellation at the Town Board Workshop meeting at 10am. The Town Board Workshop meeting is a public meeting but it isn't video recorded like the Town Board meeting when it is held in person. Cuthbertson and Cook plan to use the forum to cancel their public hearing behind closed doors.
The public is allowed to attend this meeting and we encourage each and every one of you to attend the Workshop meeting at Town Hall tomorrow at 10am to make sure your voice is heard.
At the recent June 15th Town Board meeting, Democrat Councilman Mark Cuthbertson proposed a zoning code amendment, seconded by Councilman Eugene Cook, to allow for the development of three-story apartment buildings anywhere up to 1,500 feet outside of our five main downtown hamlet centers – Huntington Village, Huntington Station, and now in East Northport, Greenlawn and Cold Spring Harbor. A public hearing has been scheduled on the proposal for the in-person July 13th Town Board meeting at 2:00pm.
Now that word has spread on social media and the public has seen and reacted to the plan proposed by Cuthbertson and Cook, which could usher in a new wave of overdevelopment, both Cuthbertson and Cook are now trying to cancel the public hearing, or "un-ring the bell," as Councilman Ed Smyth put it in his statement this week.
And in case you were wondering—no, it's not 2006, the year Councilman Cuthbertson’s proposal passed, allowing countless apartment buildings to be built around Huntington Village and Huntington Station for the past decade and a half, enriching Huntington Democrat donors. Fortunately for all of us, when they took office in 2018, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Councilman Ed Smyth worked on a proposal in their first two years in office to put a stop to this unsustainable and reckless overdevelopment and thankfully it passed after a year of community input, in 2020.
It is, in fact, 2021 now, fifteen years after Cuthbertson’s first proposal to turn our suburban town into a city, and his new proposal to expand the development of three-story apartment buildings is a real threat today.
Procedurally, a legally noticed public hearing cannot be cancelled without a Town Board vote and that can only be done on the day of the Town Board meeting but, as Councilman Ed Smyth pointed out, the public has every right to be heard despite Cuthbertson’s and Cook’s attempts to stifle public comment on a matter that will affect all Huntington residents’ lives.
Another important question to ask is, “Where does Huntington Democrat candidate for Town Supervisor, Rebecca Sanin, stand on Cuthbertson’s proposal?” We know where our candidate for Supervisor, Ed Smyth, stands on reckless overdevelopment but Sanin has remained quiet on this pressing matter.
Many of you may have received an invitation for an upcoming fundraiser from Friends of Eugene Cook in support of his run for Town Supervisor. To be clear, the only candidate endorsed by the Republican and Conservative Parties for Town of Huntington Supervisor is ED SMYTH.
First, Eugene Cook is NOT ENDORSED by the Republican Party nor by the Conservative Party for Town Supervisor. This fundraiser is specifically intended to finance his campaign for Town Supervisor against the Republican Party and Conservative Party candidate Ed Smyth.
Sadly, Eugene Cook has partnered with, and is being supported by, prominent Democratic Party leaders and operatives in his campaign for Town Supervisor. This is part of a Democrat scheme to siphon votes away from Ed Smyth and elect a liberal Democrat as Huntington’s next Town Supervisor. This is dirty politics and, unfortunately, the Democrats have co-opted Eugene Cook to be a part of it.
Here are the facts:
The Democrats are desperate. They are attempting to manipulate the process to overcome their weak candidate, Rebecca Sanin, and their failed record of higher taxes, overdevelopment and corrupt, insider deals paid for at the taxpayers’ expense. They know running Eugene Cook on a third-party ballot line is the only chance they have to defeat an accomplished leader like Ed Smyth.
During Ed Smyth’s first term in office, the Town Board has held the line on property taxes, reformed town government and taken long overdue steps to protect our suburban quality of life. In November, I am confident that voters will easily see through the Democrats’ scheme and continue the progress achieved during the last four years by supporting ED SMYTH and his running mates—Sal Ferro, Dave Bennardo and Andre Sorrentino. Make no mistake, a vote for any other candidate is a vote for the liberal and corrupt Huntington Democratic Party.
Please join me in showing your support for Ed Smyth and our team of Republican Town candidates by signing up to volunteer and by making a contribution to help ensure a Republican Majority for four more years.
Dear fellow Huntington Republicans,
We have a tremendous slate of candidates we have running for Town and County office this year and report that we filed more than 1,000 petition signatures qualifying them to be on the ballot.
On Monday, April 26, a New York Supreme Court ruling declared Suffolk County Democrat Kate Browning’s candidacy fraudulent and unlawful, citing an existing Suffolk County term limits law in striking her from the ballot.
Suffolk GOP Chairman Jesse Garcia issued a statement on the ruling:
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci appointed Councilman Ed Smyth as Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Huntington on Monday, March 8th!
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci stated, “I am proud of what Councilman Smyth and I have accomplished together in three short years and we will continue to provide cost-effective, accountable government services to residents and businesses by listening to the needs of our community, taking a creative approach to problem-solving and continuing conservative budgeting practices.”
Councilman Ed Smyth said, “I am honored to be appointed Deputy Supervisor. Although largely a ceremonial position, I will assist the Supervisor to re-open Town Hall and provide improved services to our residents.”
Deputy Town Supervisor Ed Smyth
Elected to the Town Board together in November 2017, Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and Councilman Ed Smyth delivered on their promises to enact term limits for all Town elected officials, increase government transparency, and improve communication between the Town and residents. Lupinacci and Smyth passed various ethics reforms, including strengthening financial disclosure requirements for Town officials and employees, enhancing the independence of the Board of Ethics, and enacting revisions to personnel policies and procedures.
Huntington, NY – Huntington Republican Committee Chairman Thomas McNally today announced the committee’s slate of candidates for the 2021 elections.
Following the decision of Supervisor Chad Lupinacci not to seek re-election this year, the Huntington Republican Committee endorsed Councilman Ed Smyth to be its candidate for Town Supervisor.
First elected to the Town Board in 2017, Smyth has worked tirelessly to reform town government and make it more responsive to Huntington residents. Smyth enacted term limits for town offices and stronger ethics laws, fought for important measures protecting our suburban quality-of-life from overdevelopment and held the line on property taxes.
“Ed Smyth is a Marine, a husband and father and a lifelong Huntington resident,” said Chairman Thomas McNally. “He has a vision for the future of our town and he exudes leadership. There’s not a better or more qualified person to be Huntington’s next Town Supervisor.”
“I want to thank Chairman McNally and the Huntington Republican Committee for placing their trust in me to lead our town,” said Councilman Ed Smyth. “We’ve experienced tremendous success over the last three years and I look forward to building on these achievements as Town Supervisor.”
In addition, the Huntington Republican Committee nominated Dr. David Bennardo and Salvatore Ferro for two open Town Council seats, Andre Sorrentino for Superintendent of Highways and Suffolk County Legislative candidates Stephanie Bontempi (18th District), Manuel Esteban, Sr. (16th District), Legislator Robert Trotta (13th District), and Stephen Becker (17th District).
“We have an extraordinary team of talented professionals who are committed to making our town a better place to live,” McNally said. “We know that our team, our party and our town are all stronger when we work together. That’s the approach we’re going to take to win in November and it’s going to help us continue the progress we’ve made over the last three years to protect property taxpayers and encourage responsible economic growth.”
Congratulations to Centerport resident and new Huntington Republican Committee Chairman Thomas M. McNally!
The very least our elected officials can do is show up when they vote to make the decisions that affect our lives. Lazy Susan Berland can't even do that.
After the Suffolk County Legislature’s five-week summer recess in August 2019, Lazy Susan Berland refused to leave her second home in Key West, Florida to attend Legislative Committee meetings in person.
Instead, Lazy Susan demanded that the Legislature change its rules and spend $40,000 of taxpayer money on technological upgrades to help her avoid returning to New York to do her job – she preferred to Skype in from Key West! Many of her colleagues publicly denounced her obnoxious self-serving demands – Lazy Susan even fought publicly with Democrat Majority Leader and Presiding Officer, Legislator DuWayne Gregory.
Asked why she can't return during her vacation for committee meetings, Berland said: "We don't go away the rest of the year." - Newsday
At the March 2019 Town Board meeting, Joan Cergol put politics over the good and the needs of the Town of Huntington (while Kevin Orelli slept):
At yesterday's Town Board meeting, Joan Cergol voted against $650,000 in critical infrastructure funding for the Town's General Services Department – money that was needed for crucial equipment that would be utilized for snow removal from commuter lots, parks upkeep, building maintenance, dead tree removal and more. Why? Because the General Services Department is headed by her 2019 Town Council opponent Andre Sorrentino. Heaven forbid that the General Services Department keeps making Huntington shine.
Perhaps Cergol has been alarmed by the praise Andre Sorrentino has received by members of the opposition Democrat Party for his leadership in beautifying and cleaning up Huntington Station and the Huntington Village Green. Good results could hurt Cergol’s chances for re-election so she decided to ignore the needs of the Town for political gain. Shame on you, Joan Cergol.
Under Andre Sorrentino's leadership, this bridge on the playground at Huntington Station's Depot Road Park was replaced. Prior to Andre's joining Town leadership as the head of the General Services Department, this playground bridge had been broken and closed for two years.
Andre Sorrentino's team removing long-dead trees to ensure Huntington Village is safe for pedestrians and drivers.
Andre Sorrentino has received much praise for his beautification efforts on the Village Green!
File this under "You Can't Make This Up" -- even the liberal Huffington Post is attacking Congressman Tom Suozzi for his failure to stand up for the Town of Huntington in the infamous LIPA lawsuit. Suozzi's failure to act, or even speak up on the matter, could lead to an "economic death spiral" that could decimate our town.
Joan Cergol cashed out $45,965 taxpayer dollars when appointed to her third unelected government job in sixteen years -- and then she voted NO to enacting term limits! Cergol took that $45,965 payout -- meant to be taken by employees leaving the Town payroll -- while she still sits on the government dole.
On the Town website, the Community Development Agency's 2017 Financials with Independent Auditor's Reports, which reports on the financial status of the CDA as of December 31, 2017, references "an increase to accrued liabilities related to accrued sick and vacation time to be paid to the former director" on numbered page 4. That pretty much sums it up. On numbered page 6 (2017 column, “Accrued liabilities: $45,965”) it shows the $45,965 amount of the payout Cergol took of unused sick and vacation time, even though this practice is meant for people leaving Town employment, not people staying on the Town payroll, as she did as an appointed, unelected member of the Town Board.
As a 16-year unelected bureaucrat, Town employment has been very lucrative for Cergol, aside from her premature cashing in on $45,965 in unused sick and vacation time. According to Newsday.com, Cergol's yearly pay on the government dole averaged at $121,914 for the past 7 years, totalling $851,328, all the while the agency she was responsible for incurred $1 million dollars of debt to Huntington's taxpayers under her management of questionable business practices. Public salary information for Cergol's years of Town employment from 2002-2010 was not published on Newsday, which only maintains records as far back as 2011.
But there's more!
Joan Cergol is an unelected career bureaucrat who left the Town of Huntington Community Development Agency (CDA) $1 million dollars in debt to the taxpayers of Huntington when she resigned last year after the outgoing Democrat Town Board, led by former 24-year Supervisor Frank Petrone, appointed Cergol as an unelected Democrat member of the Town Board at their final meeting of 2017, in total defiance of Huntington's voters, who rejected the Democrats' policies when they voted for Chad Lupinacci, Ed Smyth and a New Direction!
Cergol's mismanagement of the CDA (in the appointed, unelected position she held from January 2013 through the final Town Board meeting of 2017) is evidenced by a review of the independent auditor's reports for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, -- mysteriously the financials for her first year at the CDA (2013) are missing from the CDA reports but if you look to the 2012 Financials (for the time period ending December 31, 2012, just days before Cergol was appointed to the CDA by former Supervisor Frank Petrone and the Democrat-majority Town Board), you can see: every year the CDA was under Cergol's management, the agency went deeper and deeper into debt on the taxpayer dime.
At its March 20th meeting, the Huntington Town Board voted to permanently extend the Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption, dedicated Hart Place in Dix Hills as “Scott J. Beigel Way,” and scheduled public hearings on a development project proposed for the property located on the northeast corner of Jericho Turnpike and Manor Road, among other items on the agenda.
The next Huntington supervisor is Chad Lupinacci.
Lupinacci, a Republican and current state assemblyman, earned 26,481 votes Tuesday to defeat Democrat and current Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, who earned 21,575 votes. A third candidate in the race, Michael Raspantini, earned 1,076 votes.
Lupinacci, 38, of Melville, watched the results roll in Tuesday night at a packed Nathan Hale VFW Post 1469 in Huntington Station. There, he said, that based on “the feedback we were hearing today, whether at the supermarkets or on the phones, we knew Huntington was ready for a new direction.”
This photo was taken today, October 28, 2017, at the Town of Huntington recycling facility. Republican or Democrat nobody wants a government using its resources to try to rig an election. The Town of Huntington has had a policy for decades that when political signs were placed on public roadways they would be picked up by town employees who would bring them to the Town Recycling Plant. Once there the candidates could come and pick up their signs that had been collected.
This year the Democrats (and more particularly Tracey Edwards) have used taxpayer dollars to purposely pick up Republican signs and leave Democrat signs alone. A town vehicle was witnessed stopping along Pulaski Road and picking up Chad Lupinacci signs and leaving Tracey Edwards signs in place. Given that Tracey Edwards has numerous family members working for the town in the department responsible for picking up the signs this is not surprising.
Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) published the attached Letter To The Editor of The Huntingtonian this week. Trotta continues to demonstrate his leadership in the chamber and his dedication to protecting Suffolk taxpayers!
Nearly half of New York state voters -- 49% -- would consider voting for “someone else” other than Gov. Cuomo in 2018, according to a new Siena College poll released today.