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Croci Spends First Month Tackling Budget Shortfall

New Islip supervisor hits the ground running dealing with deficit, but also meeting with area community groups.

In his first month as Islip Town supervisor, Republican Tom Croci has had little time to ease into his new position, noting the new administration started working quickly on a budget deficit he said is larger than anticipated.

According to Croci, who incumbent Democrat Phil Nolan this past November by less than 500 votes, the deficit facing Islip is $26 million, higher than the $10 million he expected to find when he took over the top administrative position at Town Hall.

“It is a great challenge and we have a great team here,” Croci said. “We will work with a new budget task force to look at ways to continue delivering services but also figure out a way to deal with the deficit without raising taxes.”

Croci said the new task force is expected to include Republican Councilman Steve Flotteron — the longest serving member of the town council — Ed Gullason, a professor at Dowling College and former member of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, town employees and the town comptroller.

“We want to cast a wide net to come up with solutions,” he said.

Croci noted that he would like a series of recommendations from the task force to him by the summer since the budget formation process for 2013 starts in late summer and early fall.

While the Croci administration tackles the town’s budget deficit, the new town supervisor is also focused on other issues. Chief among them is the creation of a new oversight structure for council members that will give each supervision of certain Town departments.

“We feel this will provide those with an issue or complaint a direct point of contact on the board,” he said. “There is nothing more frustrating for someone with a problem then not knowing who to speak with. Now, there will be a council person to handle these situations.”

In his first month on the job, Croci has also found time to speak with residents in many communities across the township. He noted that he has attended numerous community group meetings, many of which he met with during the campaign.

“We have gone back and had the opportunity to not only hear their concerns but now have the ability to take action,” he said. “One example was the feedback we received from the recent snow storm. Residents that had previously complained about the Town’s response called to thank us for sending plows to places they had not been in the past.”

As Croci tackles issues like the budget deficit and developing new ways to streamline the delivery of services to local residents, he does so with a Town Council that is all Republican.

In this past November’s election, Islip voters the GOP control of Town Hall for the first time in four years. Republican’s John Cochrane and Anthony Senft easily defeated the Democrat-slate of incumbent Gene Parrington and first time candidate Renee Oritz.

Hiram Walkers February 09, 2012 at 03:04 PM
You have to be kidding me. Croci hired retired persons to run Parks, Labor Realtions and Public Safety. He is seeking Waivers for all three of them. Nice start Tom.
DD February 11, 2012 at 05:42 AM
What is your point? Nolan had O'leary. Finnigan and Baker in the same positions with waivers. The difference is Croci appointees are actually qualified for the jobs. He is getting them for half salary. The bigger question should be how Nolan was running on the platform of a "balanced budget" but we are really 25 million in debt. Now Croci is being attacked for making some hard decisions and the Media is just waiting to extoll his every cost cutting move as somehow being sinister. I am very happy with Croci 's start, and hope this trend of accountability and honesty in government will continue, something that has been lacking in Islip for the last four years.
Donald February 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Really DD? You comment "actually qualified" makes you appear to be a disgruntled ex town employee. Finnegan, Baker and O'leary were very qualified for their positions, and it showed. The Republicans biggest gripe with former DPW Commissioner Baker was that he didn't have an engineering degree. Well, neither does the new DPW Commissioner. The new labor relations director has ZERO experience in that area, so I'm not even going there. And I don't know who the new public safety commissioner is, but I know his deputy is an MacArthur Airport firefighter. GREAT CHOICE for a law enforcement department. Frank Tantone, head of the Islip Republican Party sat in on all interviews with Croci. That right there says it all. As far as the budget, if it was so unbalanced and terrible why did Flotteron and Bergin approve it? Typical politics as usual. Nolan cut waste and abusive employees. Within a month Croci has managed to undo all of Nolan's hard work. Hiring back politically connected hacks who were terminated for crimes and theft, cutting services like the graffitti program and taking the GPS devices out of all town vehicles (I guess Croci doesn't want employee accountability like Nolan did). It's back to same old politics as usual. Everyone seems to forget the last GOP supervisor we had went to jail.
Hiram Walkers February 21, 2012 at 02:00 AM
O'Leary was the only one of the three that you named that has a waiver. where do you get your information DD? Oh by the way, the new DPW Commissioner has no degree...enegineering or otherwise. He was the deputy parks commissioner in Crookhaven (thats where he lives) and was hired as a favor to former GOP leader John Powell and JJ Lavalle. You see my friends, they needed to pillage another town and they palced their 'experienced' hack Tom Owens to us in Iislip. So much for hiring Islip residents. Heard that Owens had to ask what an Atlantique was when he saw all the work orders piling up! OMG!! As for the waiver for the retired suffolk cop they just hired, does he live in Islip!!! NO and he needs a waiver. You see, he too will spend hos Islip tax payers salaty in Crookhaven. Labor relations Linda Angello? Needs a waiver and has her staff calling the former Labor Relations guy Finnegan to ask what to do!! Finnegan had no waiver. Croci is off to a great start. Oh, he hired back a convicted former employee who was found guilty of harrassment in the 2nd degree. he was also fired from the town for misconduct,Way to go Tom Croci!!

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