Islip, NY –As the summer season wraps up, the All-Republican Islip Town Board shows no interest in packing up their flip-flops. After a nearly 8 month battle in which the Islip Republicans repeatedly back-tracked and contradicted themselves, the Brentwood community finally can claim victory in the fight for their public pools.
Democratic Town Board Candidate George Hafele said, “This saga emphasizes just how important it is that we don’t have single-party control of our government. The Republicans filed their budget a week before Superstorm Sandy, which removed funding for operations at these pools, and then had the audacity to tell the taxpayers that the storm had damaged the pools. This was just the beginning of their twisted obfuscation while they tried desperately to keep their stories straight. They just expected people to not ask questions. That’s back-room government at its worst.”
At the end of January, 2013 it may be understandable why the Islip Board was unable to give a coherent explanation as to what was happening with the Roberto Clemente Park Pool. The pages of Newsday from that period read like a scripted political drama, including the no-bid hire of a Republican politician’s wife to a no-show $60,000/year job (“Board makes no-bid hire of pol’s wife”, Newsday 1/17/2013), and a surreal grab for power orchestrated by Republican Board Members Trish Bergin and Steve Flotteron (“Islip proposals would strip much of supervisor’s power, Newsday 1/29/2013). So when the Islip Democratic Committee discovered that the Cassamento and Clemente Park pools were left out of the upcoming season’s recreation guide. It’s no surprise that excuses were given ranging from the obvious “It’s Sandy’s Fault” to a bizarre statement by Supervisor Croci insinuating that the umbrellas at Clemente Pool were too unbearably tattered to possibly want to swim there. Community leaders joined forces with the Islip Democrats to push back against the endless confusion emanating from Town Hall, and mounted an intense social media campaign to Save Our Community Pools, garnering hundreds of supporters who made their voices heard through petitions, protests and presentations to the Board.
“The lack of transparency throughout this process should be an outrage to any citizen of Islip,” said Democratic Town Board Candidate Astrid Fidelia. “We were all left out of the decision-making process, and repeatedly mislead by our elected officials. It’s a real testament to the strength of our community that their relentless pressure and tireless work finally overtook the Republican’s harmful agenda.”
Biographical information for Mrs. Fidelia and Mr. Hafele may be accessed online at www.isliptowndems.com