Vecchio Criticized For Smithtown's Failing Roadways

Association for a Better Long Island says it will take Vecchio's death to see progressive roadway repairs; supervisor calls outrage "laughable."

The leader of a top Long Island business group has called out Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, claiming the supervisor will be dead before the town's crumbling roadways are repaired.

Desmond Ryan, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, sharply criticized Vecchio for his refusal to support a  over the next two years. Ryan went as far to state the 81-year-old superintendent will be dead "before voters realize they have an asphalt disaster on their hands."

"The only satisfaction the voter would have had is that Vecchio's hearse could have broken an axle on lousy roads on the way to the cemetery," Ryan said in the newsletter.

The business leader went on further to add:

This is the perfect example of 'kicking the can' so far down the road that the pall bearers will have to step around it. The Supervisor ducked making the decision today because he is hoping someone is going to have to make this infrastructure decision tomorrow. It's not a matter of not fixing the roads. It's a matter of when and who takes responsibility. Mr. Vecchio figures he states a good shot at not having to make the decision required of genuine leadership.

The newsletter article was published alongside a carton that showed a skeleton stepping on a man sitting in a pothole.

Ryan's comments were made in response to Vecchio publicly stating he would not support borrowing $10 million to fix the roadways, as it would increase the burden on taxpayers at a town board meeting earlier this year.

Upon being read Ryan's comments, Vecchio called the claims "laughable."

Glenn Jorgenson, Smithtown's Highway Superintendent, presented a plan under his 2012 Highway Road Program to borrow $10 million bond over a two-year period. His intention is to catch up with repaving miles of roadway and more than 6,000 outstanding sidewalk complaints lodged by town residents.

"I want to borrow that money to get our roads back up to some kind of good standing. We are losing ground, as our roads keep getting older," Jorgenson told Patch in April.

Only Vecchio claimed Jorgenson has never come before the town board with a solid proposal.

"The Highway Department has never presented a plan as to what roads are involved, a grading of local roadways, no kind of in-depth study before asking to borrow money so you know how you will use it," the supervisor said.

Under the town's 2012 budget, Jorgenson has $7.5 million to spend on roadway repairs broken down roughly into $5 million for paving, $1 million for sidewalks and $1 million for curbs.

"We spend $7.5 million a year on road repairs, I really don't know how much more we can spend," Vecchio said.

However, Jorgenson said the town's roads are in desperate need of the money to be brought up to date, and the $10 million bond would allow him to pave an additional 60 miles of roadway each year. He is the process of creating a fully detailed report grading each mile of the town's roadways based upon its condition: poor, fair, good to excellent.

As to Vecchio's complaints about cost, Jorgenson said the bond, if approved, would only cost the average Smithtown homeowner an additional $1 a month in taxes, raising town taxes by $12 a year for two years.

If that seems expensive, the highway superintendent warned the price of repairing the town's roadways, curbs and sidewalks will keep increasing as the cost of oil continues to spike. Jorgenson estimated that the cost could quickly go from $180,000 to pave one-mile to $300,000 by 2013.

Jorgenson said he believe his $10 million road proposal is still a possibility.

"I believe the town council is on board, and I think its going to happen, but I still have to do my political due diligence," Jorgenson.

He will need to get four out of five votes from the town council in order for the plans to be approved. Jorgenson said he believe he has three votes backing him.

The Smithtown General May 02, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Years of wasteful spending and mismanagement have led us here. Lucky for me my road is on tap this year and some work has begun. A portion of curbs were repaired, not all. But some nice town official has made 3 trips to plant flags and spray paint my lawn already. No work has been done by my house. And the wind took care of those flags the other day. Trip number 4 is coming soon. This guy plants more flags than a caddy.
George May 03, 2012 at 01:07 AM
I do not always support Vecchio but Desmond Ryan remarks are worthy of.... well...national office. He is getting in the gutter with the best of them! Just because Federal and State office holders talk tarsh all the time it does not mean we here in Smithtown should emulate them.
Concerned resident May 03, 2012 at 02:43 AM
When the paving was in-house instead of being subbed out they were getting 3 times more road done for 5000,000 less.the highway dept does nothing but pick up leaf bag and plow snow.jorgenson say that he needs more money. Maybe if he will stop spending money on stupid stuff like getting him and his deputy 2 new fully loaded chevy tahoes and keep the perfectly fine ford explorers they have it will free up a lil bit of extra money that way this guy is a joke. Someone needs to tell this guy that being on charge os not a fashion statement Dan ryan did a better job then him and that's not saying much. Get this guy out of office
chris smith May 03, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I am not a big Vecchio fan, i think he should of been out of office decades ago. But agree this isnt the time to go into more debt.I think there is a emergency surplus fund smithtown can tap into if need be. In a few years the economy should be back,tax rev up ,and more money to go around.This just seems to be political grand standing.
George May 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM
DAN RYAN? DAN RYAN? DAN RYAN? You mean THE DAN RYAN? You must be out of your mind! Of course I am kidding.... you are just one of his sycophants.
SMSF May 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM
thank you to Mr Vecchio to being one of the only politicians not afraid to say no and hold the line on spending!! What about the money we did not use for snow removal this year?? Or did that go towards those new Tahoes mentioned before???
Irondog May 03, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I for one am totally dissatisfied with how the town maintains any of the infrastructure. And I use the term "maintain" very loosely. I think this will be the first year I don't have sand in the street in front of my house from 2 winters ago, probably because it was a light winter this year. Everytime I would call about the sand, I was told the sweepers were on the other side of town. That side of town must have been really clean. Aside from the roadways in complete poor condition, lets talk about other lack of maintenance. Forget about installing curbs, how about doing something where there already are curbs? Why is there so much growth of weeds on both sides of the curb that you can't even see the curb? Where there is town owned property such as medians in the roadways, the weeds (not grass) has to get as tall as my truck before it is mowed. And that is after I call 10 times and get told the town will not maintain it the way people would expect and they leave the rotting weed clippings there to blow in the street. Nice answer. I almost had someone broadside me because they couldn't see over the weeds in their car at an intersection. Nice. How come I can go to any other community outside of Long Island and NYS where taxes are 1/3 of ours and the public lands are manicured perfectly. In some cases, better than the homeowners? Doth our local government have no pride in what our town looks like? There is definitely something wrong with the system and it is failing us miserably.
Kathleen Uhl May 03, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Obviously Mr. Vecchio is still in office because he was voted there. He has been the supervisor since I was in High School and the Town hasn't failed in the least. It has remained pretty much the same for all those years - and that is a testament to him & the leaders. Mr. Dan Ryan should be ashamed of himself saying such horrible statements. If you have an opposition, state it. Don't throw mud. And to say that "Vecchio's hearse could have broken an axle" or talk about the man's death is just cruel and unjust. Yes, he has been in office a long, long time but hello? last time I checked, there were many election days that decided that. I'm glad that he asked for more due diligence before just handing over $10 million dollars. Aren't you? Afterall, that is his job to do.
swataz May 03, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I thought I was the only one who cared about the things you mention in your comment. It really doesn't take much to beautify or otherwise maintain this town, but it appears that there is no pride and no one gives a damn. I see weed bushes growing in some cement dividers, like the one on the corner of Mt. Pleasant and Town Line, for instance. I almost want to weed whack the damn things myself by mid-summer. You mean it would break the bank to properly schedule and dispatch crews to these sites? Please, what a load of garbage. You're right. Towns with 1/10th the revenue outside of LI have beautiful, maintained public areas. Why don't we?
Greg Martinez May 03, 2012 at 04:43 PM
If this story is accurate and this gentleman made these comments along with this ghoulish drawing, then all I can say is that it is very mean and tacky.
Georgiann Anderson May 03, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I've been trying to have my street paved since "08. To the superintendent of Hwy. in Smithtown: As you can see from the correspondence listed below I requested repairs to Radcliffe Rd. Imagine my dismay today when I saw THREE hwy. trucks repairing the street in front of 6 Radcliffe Rd. and meanwhile the rest of the street has pot holes. I'm down to dirt at the end of my driveway #10 and my neighbors don't fare much better. Is there any solution to this? I realize that you are not responsible for what Mr. Ryan did or did not do but since we're all taxpayers where is our fair share? In a message dated 4/9/2008 8:29:07 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Highway@tosgov.com writes: Your email has been received and given to Mr. Ryan for attention. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Georgiann2048711@aol.com [mailto:Georgiann2048711@aol.com] Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 7:17 AM To: Highway Dept Subject: Radcliffe Rd. There are literally gulleys on Radcliffe that when it rains leaf bags get washed down the block. When are we going to get our fair share of highway repair? Our street looks like the South Bronx.
P. J. Miller May 04, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Who voted for him should not be complaining. Vecchio is very political- why do you think the in house cement crew was dismantled? Outside vendors make huge campaign contributions to Vecchio and Wehrheim campaign in turn for town cement jobs.
P. J. Miller May 04, 2012 at 01:48 AM
the outside vendors write big campaign checks - think about it.
Irondog May 04, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I've been approached many years ago by the Commack Board of Ed Superintendant to run for a position because of my outspoken yet tactful personality, financial background, interest in the community, sense of pride and not afraid to say how things are and also my way of telling people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. I've had a very successful 20 year run in my career, well educated, etc. etc. Maybe if I lose my job like the rest of the world wants finance people to do, I will throw my name in the hat and run for some sort of local governement position to try and have a positive impact. When I read these posts, I can see that there are a lot of people out there that could make a change.
Christopher D'Antonio May 05, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I think one of the saddest commentaries that can be made on this post is that this is simply the argument and movement necessary to maintain what transportation infrastructure we presently have. It places the goal of pursuing complete streets, innovative road designs, and community streetscaping that much further ahead of the present. That being said I would like to note Brooksite Drive as a bright spot amongst the town's infrastructure.
rf May 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I have lived on my street for 29 years- it's never been paved. Potholes are filled and refilled and refilled and refilled after every hard rain. Huge strecthes of road in Ft Salonga ARE paved.
Smithtown Rez May 22, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Love the comment above about Vecchio being in office since you were in high school. That is a very "sheepish" comment. Two very clear facts about Smithtown politics: A Democrat will NEVER be voted into office even if more competent and thoughtful than the Republican. This in the minds of the citizens makes sure the area stays appropriately "homogeneous"...which is is laughable and simple-minded. Second, just because Vecchio keeps getting re-elected does not mean he is not a detriment to the Township...it means he has a crony stronghold on the local Republican party who is full of lackeys and folks who benefit from kissing his behind. I vote for the person first, the party second. The Republican party should have already groomed and identified a successor. He is in his 80's, and has an obligation to evolve the party. The fact that nobody has challenged that from the Republican side says that nobody in the local ranks have the leadership qualities or smarts to take the next step. Registered Republicans (I am unaffiliated) should be demanding more.
Vehcchio has got to go February 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Kathleen UHL Please get your head out of Vecchios Rectum. He is a prehistoric Dinosaur and he now needs to move to a place where he can be with his own kind. May i suggest Florida. He can live in a gated community, and hang with his fellow cotton heads. There are plenty of activities he can do down there to occupy his time and be far away from screwing up things Smithtown government.
Pete February 25, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Those comments were made by Desmond Ryan not Dan Ryan
mary wellbourne February 26, 2013 at 01:18 AM
You are disgusting and despicable---learn to be civilized when you write on this blog.


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