Supervisor Tom Croci

Union leaders decry Islip Town layoffs

Islip Town Harbor Patrol

The union representing most Town of Islip employees is questioning the decision to lay off security personnel and harbor police, saying the moves conflict with the town's recent efforts to beef up security at Town Hall and maintain safe waters.

The town board last month approved the layoffs of 35 town employees -- including three security guards and four members of the harbor police -- as it moves to close a $12 million budget deficit. The board also raised property taxes 28 percent.

But officials from the United Public Service Employees Union, which represents about 370 Islip Town workers, said losing the security guards would leave the town without staffing for a newly installed security post at Town Hall....| read more ››

"Breaking his promises and breaking faith." Croci criticized by former Supervisor

Supervisor Tom Croci

Islip Town's 730-person workforce would shrink by 40 percent, or 240 workers, under a 2013 budget that includes a zero percent tax increase, a cut town Comptroller Joseph Ludwig said would be "devastating."

Ludwig's comments Thursday came during a special meeting of the town board, during which several key department heads -- including those from public works, public safety enforcement, and parks, recreation and cultural affairs -- presented proposed 2013 budgets 10 percent to 50 percent lower than 2012.

The presentations were at the behest of Supervisor Tom Croci, who is dealing with a projected $26 million deficit.

The pared-down budgets would have broad environmental, health-and-safety, and quality-of-life impacts, the department heads said, including the shuttering of all town...| read more ››

Despite pleas, Islip Town cuts jobs, programs

Supporters of the South Shore Nature Center

For two hours, dozens of residents made impassioned pleas to the Islip Town Board to reverse planned 2013 budget cuts and restore town funding for the Islip Town hatchery, the Islip Harbor police and the South Shore Nature Center.

"There are so many lessons for us to learn from there," said Maxine Lu, an Oakdale resident and ardent nature center supporter. "I beg of you, please . . . please save the nature center."

But after public comments ended Tuesday, the board voted, 5-0, to abolish 35 positions in the town -- 26 full-time and nine part-time jobs -- in a move that seemed to seal the fate of the pared-down 2013 budget. The spending plan includes a 28...| read more ››