John Venditto is the 59th Supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay and took office January 1, 1998. He brings nearly three decades of experience in public service to the Supervisor’s office, having served as Town Attorney from 1991 to December 1997 and as a Town Councilman from 1981 to 1991.
As the chief elected officer of the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor Venditto is widely respected as a hardworking, creative and dedicated lawmaker with a record of accomplishment. He has a unique blend of ability and experience that comes from serving the Town both as an elected and appointed official. No problem is too small to warrant his full attention. He shows the same concern for securing new fencing for a ball field as he does when drafting complex legislation to safeguard the Town’s future.
Supervisor Venditto is a fiscal conservative who works hard to make government efficient and provide quality public services at the lowest costs to taxpayers. All proposed spending is thoroughly analyzed. The result is lean, cost-efficient and fiscally responsible budgets that make strategic investments in parks, planning and the environment, while providing the level of recurring revenue necessary to maintain all the essential services and programs that help make Oyster Bay’s communities among the finest in the nation. Under the Supervisor’s leadership, the Town is continuing the conservative fiscal management and prudent spending that have earned the Town of Oyster Bay one of the highest credit ratings available.
Preserving the suburban character of the Town’s neighborhoods is Supervisor Venditto’s highest priority. He rid the Town of so-called “adult entertainment” establishments. Using all the tools available to the Town, Mr. Venditto, as Town attorney, succeeded in closing down all six of the adult nightclubs and video stores that have attempted to operate in the Town of Oyster Bay. These closings were designed to send a clear message that the adult entertainment industry is not welcome in the Town of Oyster Bay. He has also spearheaded the enactment of moratoriums in various areas of the Town to provide a ‘time out’ for planners to study specific areas of the Town and put in place zoning controls to curtail practices that could erode the unique character of the Town’s neighborhoods. The goal is not to prevent change or ‘freeze’ buildings in time, but rather to guide and manage change so that it is done in a manner that protects and preserves the look, feel and sense of place of these neighborhoods.
Recognizing the importance of proper planning to ensure against the over-development of the Town, Supervisor Venditto has initiated a number of community improvements plans to focus on the current and long-range growth and development of our communities. Some of these community plans, such as the Oyster Bay Hamlet Revitalization Plan, the Glenwood Landing Waterfront Redevelopment and Revitalization Plan, the Hicksville Hamlet Plan and the Syosset Downtown Redevelopment & Revitalization Plan, have already been completed and are being implemented. These plans will eventually become part of Vision 20/20, a comprehensive plan that will provide a blueprint for future planning in the Town. In addition, he spearheaded the modernization of the Town’s half-century old zoning code, bringing it into the new millennium and making it more user-friendly.
Protecting and enhancing the environment and recreation facilities for future generations is one of Supervisor Venditto’s top priorities. He developed the Town’s acclaimed “SEA” Fund program for open space preservation and park improvements and expansion. Under SEA Funds I, II and III, totaling $120 million, the Town has acquired more than 100 acres of land and undertaken a variety of park improvement projects, including new playing fields, two new community centers, new playgrounds, and refurbishing pools and basketball courts, to name a few. Under his direction, the Town has also undertaken an unprecedented renovation and building of Town parks, beaches and community playgrounds. Additionally, he played an active role in the development and growth of the Town’s award-winning S.O.R.T. recycling program and S.T.O.P. household hazardous waste disposal program and initiated the Electronic Waste Recycling Program.
One of Supervisor Venditto’s proudest achievements in the area of recreation is the development of the Town’s first indoor ice skating facility. Located in Bethpage Community Park, the handicapped accessible Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center combines modern user amenities with environmentally sensitive and energy-efficient design. The exterior is designed to reflect the park setting, while inside skaters enjoy an NHL-size rink, a food concession with indoor and outdoor eating areas, and a brick fireplace. There are also elevated bleacher seats for spectators and community meeting rooms for use by local organizations.
Supervisor Venditto has also taken the lead on other environmental fronts. In February 2004, he formed the Green Energy Task force to develop and implement clean energy programs and initiatives throughout the Town. Oyster Bay was the first Town on Long Island to adopt an annual Clean Energy Action Plan. The task force meets regularly to continue assessing the Town’s use of green energy sources and how more green energy might be incorporated into the daily operation of the Town through such venues as the use of energy star products in Town construction projects, alternative fuel vehicles, and solar and wind power at Town facilities. The Town has already made strides in energy conservation and reducing greenhouse emissions by incorporating alternative fuel and electric vehicles into the Town’s fleet. The Town is currently in the process of converting 31 sanitation trucks to compressed natural gas (CNG) and purchasing 13 CNG-ready vehicles. They will fuel up on the recently completed CNG fueling station at the Town’s Department of Public Works complex in Syosset, further reducing the Town’s dependence on foreign oil and helping reduce greenhouse emissions. Other energy saving measures include converting to energy-saving lighting in all of its facilities, implementing curbside and office recycling programs, which save energy by reducing the fossil fuels needed to extract and manufacture new products. The Town sets an example by using recycled products such as paper, toilet tissue and plastic lumber, which typically use less energy to produce than new products. The Town is now exploring the use of green power, which is generated from ‘renewable’ sources, such as wind, hydroelectric or solar energy, at one of our Town facilities.
Trees are an important element in the suburban landscape and Supervisor Venditto has implemented an aggressive tree-planting program. Since becoming Supervisor, the Town has planted, free of charge, more than 20,000 trees as part of the Town’s curbside tree planting program. As well as absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide, trees provide shade for buildings and streets, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool buildings. He also oversaw a major revision to the Town Tree Ordinance to better address the removal of trees, as well as the protection and enhancement of the town’s tree resources on both public and private properties.
In June 2007, the Town of Oyster Bay became the first Town in Nassau County to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Oyster Bay was also named a “Cool Town” by the Sierra Club in recognition of its efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.
The protection of our underground aquifer, which serves as the Town’s only source of drinking water, has always been a high priority for the Town of Oyster Bay. Under Supervisor Venditto’s leadership, the Town took a major step in protecting land within the Town’s Special Groundwater Protection Area (SGPA) with the creation of an Aquifer Protection Overlay (APO) District and a Recreation District and the rezoning of certain properties to the new Recreation District or to a lower density residential district. The purpose of the APO District, the Recreation (REC) District and other rezonings is to provide additional regulations for properties located within the SGPA as designated by the Nassau County Public Health Ordinance (Article X) and by the New York State Environmental Conservation Law (Article 55) and offer further protection for the aquifer.
One of Supervisor Venditto’s main goals is to make it possible for all Town seniors to remain here, among family and friends in the communities they helped build. He has introduced numerous programs and legislation to facilitate this, including lowering from 62 to 60 the age at which seniors can take advantage of free-discount Town programs; creating 1,038 new units of affordable senior housing, bringing the Town total to 1,476 units with more on the way; initiating free senior bus transportation; offering reduced rates at Town beaches, pools and the Town Golf Course; expanding property tax exemptions for seniors, veterans and physically challenged; and providing grants to moderate- and low-income seniors and the physically challenged to finance much-needed home repairs and modifications. Supervisor Venditto has also been responsive to the need for housing for first-time homebuyers by creating the Next Generation Housing Residence District (RNG-12) classification, which allows for 12 units to the acre of price controlled, owner-occupied townhouses with garages. Two developments containing “Next Generation” housing have already been approved.
Recognizing residents who strive to make the community better, Supervisor Venditto created the Town’s “Women of Distinction” awards program, honoring the role of women and their outstanding contributions to the Town of Oyster Bay. He also helped develop the “Kids of Distinction” awards to recognize the noteworthy achievements of young people.
To ensure that working parents have more child care choices closer to home, Supervisor Venditto led the way in enacting a new law streamlining the application process for those seeking to open qualified day care facilities in the Town. And, by opening a new facility in Massapequa, the number of children served by the Town’s own Pre-School Program has almost doubled.
A longtime Massapequan, Supervisor Venditto was educated in Massapequa public schools. He earned his B.A. with a major in political science at St. John’s University and his Juris Doctor at St. John’s University School of Law. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1976 and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in 1979. His professional affiliations have included the New York State Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a founding member of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Nassau County.
Community service and public service go hand-in-hand. Supervisor Venditto has an impressive tradition of service to his community through a wide range of organizations and activities. He is a member and past officer of the Columbus Lodge #2143, Order Sons of Italy in America, and a past member of the Commission for Social Justice of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, Order Sons of Italy in America. He is also involved in the Knights of Pythias as a member of Mid Island Lodge #828 and as Honorary Deputy Grand Chancellor, State of New York. Additionally, he is a member of the American Committee on Italian Migration and an honorary member of the North Massapequa Fire Department. Combining his concern for young people and his love of sports, Supervisor Venditto has served as a coach for Farmingdale Travel Soccer, C.Y.O. Boy’s and Girl’s Basketball, P.A.L. Basketball and Girl’s Softball. In addition, he is a member of Massapequa American Legion Post #1066 and Massapequa B.P.O. Elks Lodge #2162. He and his family are parishioners of Maria Regina R.C. Church.
Supervisor Venditto and his wife, Christine, a teacher, reside in North Massapequa and are parents of three children, Michael, Nicholas and Joanna and grandparents of Andrew John.