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SD-5: Gaughran Backs Recall Option For Mishandling Finances

Nick Reisman
NY State of Politics

A Democratic candidate for state Senate wants to give voters the option of recalling officials whose corruption endangers a local government’s finances.

The proposal from Jim Gaughran would create a recall mechanism for officials if a municipalities bond rating were to be deemed be “junk status” if directly linked to corrupt acts taken by elected officials.

“Holding elected office is a sacred responsibility, and the voters deserve the power to hold their leaders accountable following cases of blatant corruption and financial ruin,” Gaughran said. “The leader-caused crisis in Oyster Bay is absolutely irresponsible and it is the taxpayers who are suffering as a result of their elected officials’ actions. My common sense proposal would help ensure that voters are given great power in kicking corrupt officials out of office.”

The proposal is inspired by the financial troubles in the Long Island town of Oyster Bay. Despite being one of the wealthiest communities in the state, Oyster Bay saw its bond rating reduced to junk status in April amid swelling pension costs and persistent operating deficits.

The town Supervisor in Oyster Bay is John Venditto, the father of Republican Sen. Michael Venditto.

At the same time, Gaughran said that if elected, he would back Assemblyman Chuck Lavine’s bill to appoint a fiscal monitor for the town.

“Oyster Bay families are suffering because they have been failed by their elected leaders. I applaud Jim Gaughran for his ambitious proposal and for his dedication to holding elected officials responsible for their actions,” Lavine said. “His plan is a common sense way to ensure what is happening in Oyster Bay never happens again. I look forward to co-sponsoring this legislation in the State Assembly.”