Oyster Bay Town finances need state oversight, two Dem lawmakers say

Newsday

Long Island state legislators plan to reintroduce a bill to impose a state fiscal monitor on the Town of Oyster Bay in 2019, its Democratic sponsors said last week.

“The Town of Oyster Bay needs its own NIFA,” Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) said, referring to the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority. NIFA is a state authority that has overseen the county’s finances since 2000. “I remain gravely concerned over the manner in which the Town of Oyster Bay is being governed.”

The bill would authorize the state comptroller to appoint a monitor with the power to approve or reject town budgets, issue reports and recommendations, override board actions that hurt the town’s fiscal stability and have access to all town records.

Lavine and State Sen. John Brooks (D-Massapequa) introduced the measure in January 2017 but without support in the Republican-led State Senate, or from the all-Republican Oyster Bay town government, it did not advance. Lavine and Brooks said that with the Democrats taking over control of the State Senate next year they are confident the measure will pass.

“It's a good idea to have somebody from the comptroller's office looking over what's going on," Brooks said.

 

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