Democratic candidates for Town of Oyster Bay supervisor as well as town council members were announced at a press conference on Wednesday.
Several residents cam out to the event in front of Town Hall to hear the announcement made by Nassau County Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs and Town of Oyster Bay Democratic Leader Dave Gugerty.
“The taxpayers of our Town deserve a government they trust and elected officials they can be proud of,” Gugerty said. “Instead, we see again and again back room deals favoring the few and connected - all to the detriment of our Town residents. That changes today. It is a new day in Oyster Bay.”
Earlier this year, former Supervisor John Venditto, resigned after he was indicted on federal corruption charges along with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano last year.
In February, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, a Republican, was appointed the 60th Oyster Bay Town Supervisor by the Town Board. His term will end on Jan. 31, 2017.
Woodbury resident Dr. Marc Herman, a local businessman who was the official New York Islanders dentist for several seasons, announced his candidacy for Town Supervisor on Wednesday.
During the news conference, Herman cited many of the corruption concerns in the town where he has lived his whole life with his wife and children.
“I decided to run for Supervisor because like many of my neighbors, I became disheartened and disgusted as we all began to discover the corrupt practices of our current government, including bribery, nepotism, cronyism, and pay-to-play practices that have ultimately brought us to the brink of financial ruin,” he said. “I could simply no longer sit on the sidelines. Instead I am running to bring all of my skills, from both the public and private sectors so that along with my running mates, we can bring the Town of Oyster Bay back from the brink and ensure a greater future for our community.”
In addition to Venditto's resignation, former Planning and Development Commissioner Frederick Ippolito was sentenced to jail for tax evasion and the Town is currently under investigation for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Oyster Bay also enjoys a junk bond credit rating and is currently under investigation for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"The Town of Oyster Bay, which is $900 million in debt and just passed the highest property tax cap busting increase across Long Island at 11.5 percent, is a typical example of political corruption costing the taxpayers in their pocketbook,” Gugerty said.
Herman is on the faculty of Northwell/Hofstra School of Medicine where he rose to chief of five of its dental divisions and serves on the Medical Ethics Committee.
He has a Master’s Degree in Medical Ethics from Creighton University and has served on the Syosset School District in a volunteer capacity for almost 20 years as a school board Trustee, Vice President and then President from 2006 to 2012.
He originally became involved in the community through the Gates-Ridge Civic Association for which he served as Treasurer and then President. More recently he has been a member of the Cerro Wire Coalition.
In addition, three more local residents announced they will be running for Town Council alongside Herman: Robert Freier, James Versocki and Eva Pearson.
Woodbury resident Freier has been active in the communities that he has lived in for over 20 years. Before moving to Woodbury, he was active in the East Williston School District serving on many committees to help the district with technology and construction projects.
He eventually ran for and was elected as a Trustee to the Board of Education where he served for 4 years, the last 2 of which as Vice President.
Freier, a graduate of Ohio University, is the owner and partner of two small businesses, Genero Search Group and District Wise Search Consultants.
In 2010, he was nominated to be “Man of The Year” by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“I'm running for Oyster Bay Town Council because I care. I cannot sit back and watch this current group of elected and appointed officials continue to run our Town for the benefit of themselves and their friends,” Freier said. “I am mad because our Town is on the brink of financial disaster because of the rampant corruption, high taxes and out of control debt. This needs to stop and be fixed now.”
Sea Cliff resident Versocki works as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Labor Bureau.
For his work in this field, he was awarded the Louis J. Lefkowitz Memorial Award — the Attorney General’s highest award for Assistant Attorney Generals.
In 2009, Versocki was appointed to the New York State Restaurant and Hotel Industry Wage Board by then Commissioner of Labor M. Patricia Smith.
"I am a Long Island native, father, husband, coach and former prosecutor who believes it is time for we, the average folks, to take back our Town,” Versocki said. “I am tired of reading stories about corruption, sweetheart jobs to party insiders, and the mismanagement of taxpayer funds in our Town. We need a new start, new faces, and new ideas in Oyster Bay's Town Hall. I am committed to making the Town run efficiently, helping reduce expenses, and creating the most ethical local government in New York State."
Farmingdale resident Pearson served five years active duty in the United States Air Force during the first Gulf War and attained her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Psychology. She is decorated with several military service medals, received multiple undergraduate academic awards, and was a top graduate of her master’s program.
She did psychological research at the New York University Child Study Center, behavioral therapy at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, health care management at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, and educational administration at Long Island University.
Pearson currently works in academia, where she creates non-profit internship opportunities for undergraduate students and social justice related events for the greater community. She was also an Adjunct Instructor in the fields of both Psychology and Education for nearly ten years.
In her personal life, she volunteer activities include the Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, and more locally at Child Abuse Prevention Services and the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless in addition to currently pursuing her PhD in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Buffalo (SUNY).
She is also prior Nassau County legislative candidate.
“The Town of Oyster Bay has been mired in corruption for decades,” Pearson said. “I am focused and committed to restoring ethics to our town – your town. I am seeking the opportunity to work for you, not the special interests and politically connected.”
The Republican nominees have not yet been announced.
(L-R) Oyster Bay Democratic Chair Dave Gugerty, Nassau Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs, State Senator John Brooks, Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker, Town Council Candidate Bob Freier, Town Supervisor Candidate Dr. Marc Herman (speaking) Town Council Candidate Eva Pearson, Town Council Candidate James Versocki
Photo courtesy of NCDC