Oyster Bay supervisor candidates sound off in debate

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HICKSVILLE -

Five candidates squared off in a fiery debate for town supervisor in Oyster Bay Thursday night.

The jam-packed crowd booed current Town Supervisor Joe Saladino inside of the Hicksville Public Library after he spoke longer than his allotted time -- moments after he attacked a pair of his challengers, Democrat Marc Herman and Independent Robert Ripp.

"He will not commit to leaving his dentistry," Saladino said of Herman. "He wants to be part-time supervisor."

He went on to blast Ripp, too, accusing him of cyberbulling.

"That's despicable, Mr. Ripp," Saladino concluded.

Rivals were trying to tie Saladino's Republican administration to that of former Supervisor John Venditto. Venditto is facing federal corruption charges along with several other former town officials and associates. The town appointed Saladino to replace Venditto after he resigned earlier this year.

"There's something rotten in Oyster Bay," Herman said. "And once we're in, we're gonna figure it out. We're gonna unravel it."

But Ripp, Reform Party candidate John Mangelli and Progressive Jonathan Clarke, all argued that neither major party could be trusted to clean up the town's corruption. 

Saladino has argued that his administration is already cleaning up the mess, pointing to new anti-corruption and transparency measures. And one of his Republican running mates, Councilman Lou Imbroto, wanted to make one point perfectly clear.

"I've been on the board for six months," Imbroto said. "The supervisor has been on the board for seven months. We had nothing to do with any of that."

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