Letter to the Editor: Smithtown Town Council Should Not Be Taking Any Victory Laps

A letter from the Chair of the Smithtown Democratic Committee

Dear Editor,

I don’t believe that the incumbents up for re-election for the Smithtown Town Council should be taking any victory laps for the job they are doing. The people who are responsible for making Smithtown the great place that it is are the residents. It is the people who live in Smithtown who go to work, who pay their taxes and keep up their homes. The folks in Smithtown are active in their community and are concerned with the education of their children. The fact that Smithtown is a great place to live and raise a family is because the people here are hard working and engaged. The tax-payers in Smithtown are the ones who fund the good services we receive and it is the residents who are responsible for the success and for the good character of the town.

But in those areas where the town government can exert influence and leadership our elected officials in Smithtown have not done the job that their reputations say they did. In instance after instance where the Town Board could’ve been in a leadership role and an advocate for its constituents they have delayed, referred problems to other governing bodies or have just thought small. Whether it is the Kings Park Psych Center, the flooding problem, pedestrian safety on Main Street, the response to Hurricane Irene or the growing heroin problem the town board has been behind the curve and often times happy to push the problem off to the county or the state. It is a town board that is reactive rather than proactive and this attitude does not bode well for how they will deal with creeping blight that we are all beginning to notice in Smithtown.

Re-electing the incumbents will not produce a better result and it is time for Smithtown to consider the future. Howard Knispel and Teresa Haft are not life-long public employees pulled from the same political clique as every elected official in town. They understand the challenges and opportunities in Smithtown and they have the energy and ability to work out the solutions.

Howard operates his law firm in Commack and was a member of the Smithtown Board of Ethics. Howard has the experience of running a business in Smithtown and has a particular insight into the Town Council. Teresa Haft is a volunteer with the Smithtown Fire Department and has been with the Red Cross Huntington/Smithtown Disaster Action Team for ten years. Teresa knows how to handle a crisis and understands the value of preparedness.

Remember to vote for Howard Knispel and Teresa Haft for Smithtown Town Council Tuesday November 8th.


Ed Maher
Chair Smithtown Democratic Committee
37 Avenue A
Kings Park, NY 11754

Margaret November 05, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Maher has some nerve. It is a fact that every Democrat in office does nothing but spend and tax. The 40 years of Democrat control in the House and Senate put our country in this mess. The only way to save America is to vote every Democrat out of office. We need to elect Conservatives in order to get America back to being the great country it once was.
stella November 05, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Creighton & Wehrheim; Neither man has a Web Site to tout their accomplishments for 2 terms Today, all honorable candidates have a website, unless they have something to hide. What's appalling is, this town has a $22 million dollar surplus - For What? Creighton & Wehrheim are hording Tax Payer Money, that rightfully belongs to the citizens. To add insult, Creighton & Wehrheim approved a “hurricane clan up tax” . No other town in Nassau or Suffolk County uncured a cleanup tax. Creighton ( R ) & Wehrheim ( R ) are Tax Happy Mavens, not the Democrats Citizens of Smithtown have 2 choices, pay more taxes, or vote for new candidates. I’ m crossing party lines and voting for new candidates that are not taxing hoarders like Creighton & Wehrheim have proven to be.
Frank Mercuri November 05, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Margaret you got it right. Stella there is nothing wrong to have a surplus. it is better than being in debt. Surpluses add to the security needed to accomplish a mission after a disaster. The last snow storm that struck us, Smithtown had the funds to clean up the roads immediately where other towns did not. Smithtown has vison where others think that a surplus is to spend it on everything and anything. This country is on the brink of bankrupcy due to the spending in Washington. The problem I have with the democrats of today is that they only think for the presnt and leave out the future. Supluses are the savings for a raininny day. I venture to guess that those who criticize surpluses have savings and investments to assure a secure future. Why shouldn't towns and government do the same. That is smart thinking and good management. Logic would dictate that if there were no surplus when push comes to shove, taxes af a greater magnitude would have to be imposed. If one does not think that Smithtown does a good job, then remember the next big storm snow or otherwise,where Smithtown will take action immediately and other towns will continue to be at a crawl. As far as I can remember, Smithwon's cleanup was much faxter than any other town surrounding it. Go for the surplus las though it were your savings bank or investment company.
stella November 05, 2011 at 07:49 PM
voters will decide if excessive taxing is the best way to go or your flawed logic
Denise Creighton November 05, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Stella, I am not quite sure that having a website makes one an "honorable" candidate. However, Bob Creighton's website has been up and running since September.
stella November 05, 2011 at 08:40 PM
Creighton & Wehrheim know how to tax and tax $22 million dollar surplus is ridiculous - way to big, we got hook winked No other town has a surplus 400% over the needed reserve provision. We can't expect more from your father Bob Creighton or Wehrheim. Both man never had previuos business experience or understands financial modeling. They made a mistake, fess up, and return the millions to the tax payers. President Bush returned his surplus to the tax payers after he was elected. But then again President Bush had a good education, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He also ran several companies. The incumbents have no business experience, and are over taxing this town. You’re having a problem excepting your father’s track record. Smithtown can do better. The voters will decide if they wish to be overtaxed by Creighton & Wehrheim.
Denise Creighton November 05, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Bob Creighton ran his own business for years. As far as an MBA or Harvard education, I don't see that as relevant. I would just like to point out, however, that I have no problem ACCEPTING my father's track record. I take EXCEPTION to your misrepresentation of fact. Ed Wehrheim and Bob Creighton are two MEN(most people know to use the plural form, Stella) who are true public servants who have served Smithtown residents well.
stella November 05, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Of course you don't understand how relevant an MBA degree is. Neither you, nor incumbents Creighton & Wehrheim have earned one. If you had earned an MBA degree you would understand the value. There are NO misrepresentation of facts, Creighton & Wehrheim have over taxed the citizens with unnecessary reserves that are truly egregious. Smithtown can do better. The voters will decide if they wish to be overtaxed by Creighton & Wehrheim.
Frank Mercuri November 05, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Stella your filled with commnet and criticism I would be glad to read anything other than your distaste of two candidates. Voting for one taxing party to replace another is not an answer. Councilmen do not increase taxes arbitrarily. The complete council has to vote yea or nay and the majority wins. I am not a party follower. I vote dor the person and what they stand for. A letter from a democrat chairperson is politics. My logic is far superior than the history of democrats in power. Yes Bush did retuen the "surplus" back to the people because the Clinton administration said there was a "surplus". The surplaus was phony because he took the social security dollars and added it to the general fund. Did you ever wonder why the SS is in trouble. The moneies collected are supposed to go in the SS fund but was borrowed and replaced with I.O. U.s put in the fund and never paid back. Is here any logic in having Debt? I would like you to research and find out when was the last time fort Knox was inventoried. You will be surprised. Is there any Gold there? Sure Bush has an MBA from harvard. I like Bush but i believe he made a mistake in believing what the democrats said about the surplus. Look at your mony bills and see what is stated on top. Is says "Federal Reserve Note" What does that mean? It means that the federal reserve backs its value. Sure backed by what? We were once on a gold standard then silver, now what? I'll take the 20 mil surplus. It is more tangible.
stella November 05, 2011 at 09:32 PM
With your delightful insight you should work for the Federal Reserve. You appear to have all the correct answers to solve the world’s problems. Smithtown can do better. The voters will decide if they wish to be overtaxed by Creighton & Wehrheim.
Seth November 06, 2011 at 01:13 AM
How do you judge a good business? When it has a surplus not a deficit. Our town has a surplus which can be used if our town ever suffers from what most of this country has suffered from already, huge deficits. We have a surplus not because the town raised taxes but because they didn't spend wastefully and were prudent with our money. Taxes were not increased nor were services lost. Try and understand an issue and not just spout Obama rhetoric.
One Opinion November 06, 2011 at 01:34 AM
Town and Highway taxes are 10% of the budget. School and Police taxes are 75% of the budget. If you are going to complain about high taxes talk to the Board of Education. Unsustainable teacher and police contracts are what cause your tax increases.
Frank Mercuri November 06, 2011 at 02:09 AM
With all due respect I do not have all the answers. As a technical editor, my experience is to do research and read a bit of hisrtory. I am retired and yes i do know a bit about the federal government because i worked for them and understand some of the politics that take place. One need not be a rocket sientist to know the difference between debt and surplus. I do not look to solve the worlds problems just my own and maybe my neighbors, if I can.
Cathy November 06, 2011 at 12:51 PM
As a relatively new Smithtown resident, i have no idea whom to vote for. I am going to sit down today, and find out. Everyone is so passionate about thier party candidate, that i am not sure i am getting the best facts.
SM November 06, 2011 at 02:20 PM
40 year controll of House and Senate? I'm pretty sure Republicans controled the legislative branch at certain times int the past four decades. Also pretty sure Republicans have betrayed their conservative routes and spent tax and spend a lot as well. For instance, from 2005 - 2009 a Republican president and Congress, increased the debt by 4.5 trillion dollars. This is the largest increase by percentage points of GDP and real numbers in any four year period.
Frank Mercuri November 06, 2011 at 02:43 PM
To SM dates are wrong. Congress was in the hands of democrats from 2007 to 2010 Republicans only regained the house in 2010. The spending was under the democrats who intergected a lot of other spending in defense budgets, The senate is still under the control of the democrats.
SM November 06, 2011 at 05:35 PM
So from 05 to 07 the 109th Congress didn't have Dennis Hassert and the Republicans were not in control? They weren't the ones who increased budgets as well? The myth that republicans cut taxs and spending is decades old. Both parties dont' fit into those neat catagories.
Frank Mercuri November 06, 2011 at 07:39 PM
To SM, There are always increases in budgets. It;s a way of life in federal and state government. The trillions fall on the hands of democrats who passed programs that cannot be supported i.e Obama care.
Joy C November 10, 2011 at 04:31 AM
This is why I hate politics. But I vote anyway. I juust hope my tax money goes where the politicians say it will..to schools, roads, snow removal, public works; not to line a politico's pocket or pay for his/her favorite lobbiest. Smithtown is reasonably good. There is one law I wish someone would change, though. I think that owner-occupied single family homes should be allowed to have an accessory apartment--and they should be inspected, permitted/co'd and taxed accordingly. This would help keep people on Long Island, secure more revenue for the town, make sure that the homes are up to code, and legalize what is already being done. Oh, and Stella? I guess the voters decided they wished to be overtaxed by Creighton & Wehrheim. Personally, I'd never buy stock in a company which is operating in the red, unless it was a start-up. You should probably listen to Frank...he appears to know what he's talking about. It's not about parties, it's about money and what is done with it. I would never vote for Bush because his loyalty was skewed ...oil and gas lobbyists, arms dealers, millionaires trying to make money instead of fixing things. Politics is a nasty business; ther is very little of philanthropy about it...just greed. At least Smithtown's politicians seem to spend money on beneficial things and plan for contingencies.


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