Local NY gov. The Local Government Practices Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1618 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government

Local NY Gov.

The Local Government Practices of Oyster Bay, New York

In order to have a better community in which to live and work, I believe it is important to have an understanding of how the government works at the local level. By having this understanding, one is empowered with the tools and knowledge to make the community even better. It also creates a sense of belonging and involvement one may have not had before. It promotes participation and encourages people in the community to exercise their rights. By holding back and not acquiring this knowledge and appreciation of one's hometown government, one does not have the right to complain, voice their opinions or find fault with outstanding problems or issues with the government. Complacency is far too prominent in our society today. Many people do not think that one individual or vote can make a difference. Still I believe this is not true and by getting involved at the local level combats this feeling and aids in inspiring involvement at other levels.

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This paper will examine the local government of Oyster Bay, New York, a town located on New York State's Long Island. This paper will discuss the existing administrative structure and leadership. How do the town officials attain office and what are their responsibilities once they are there? The paragraphs below will explore recent issues the government has handles or become involved with for the town's better interests. How were these issues resolved? What kind of action was needed for the outcome? This paper will examine the local government's effectiveness in serving its citizens. What kinds of services are available to the public? The paragraphs below will also offer ideas for possible changes that I would make it I had the power instilled in me.

Administrative Structure

Term Paper on Local NY gov. The Local Government Practices Assignment

The administrative structure of the town's government is typical for a community of its size. As with other levels of United States government, this local government runs along the same premise. Therefore this government runs democratically, meaning that every citizen has a say or vote in how the government is ran and the town is managed. This applies to how its government officials are brought to office and how its decisions are made. Officials reach office by being voted in by their citizens. Because of Oyster Bay's population, the town does not warrant having an official position labeled as "mayor." The town is not large enough, however, it has a Town Supervisor who oversees the town's government process and manages the town's everyday functions. The town of Oyster Bay oversees the welfare of smaller towns in area or hamlets such as: Hicksville, Massapeequa, Farmingdale, Brookville, Cove Neck and East Norwich to name a few (oysterbaytown.com). These are towns that are too small in population to establish their own forms of local government and therefore, fall under the jurisdiction of Oyster Bay. These hamlets piece together the town.

The Town Supervisor manages a group of local government representatives from different hamlets within the town. The councilmen and women make up the town board as an official government body. These councilmen and women are appointed to the board and aid the Town Supervisor in making decisions. These councilmen and women must be re-appointed but there is not a limit of how many terms they can serve. The town has a clerk who handles Oyster Bay's court system. This person manages filings and other court documents for public use. The town also employs a Receiver of Taxes. This person is responsible for handling all taxes for the town including payment of citizen property taxes on a yearly basis. Both of these positions are decided through elections.


John Venditto is the 59th Supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay and took office January 1, 1998. He has nearly two decades of experience in public service to the Supervisor's office. He served as Town Attorney from 1991 to December 1997 and as a Town Councilman from 1981 to 1991. As the leader of Oyster Bay, Supervisor Venditto is respected as a hardworking, creative and dedicated lawmaker. He brings 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. Whether his concerns range from securing new fencing for a ball field or drafting complex legislation to safeguard the Town's future, both get equal attention. Supervisor Venditto considers himself a fiscal conservative who works hard to make government efficient and provide quality public services at the lowest costs to taxpayers. He has cut spending and has kept Town taxes below 1989 levels. Homeowners are paying approximately $37 less in Town taxes now in 2001 than 12 years ago (oysterbaytown.com).

After looking at the town board's information page and biographies, it is safe to say that most of the board has decades of experience with local government issues, community service awards and years of providing service to the town. This year there are only two new members to the board. The addition of these new members will give the board fresh ideas to consider and possibly open up new dialogue.

Recent Issues and Resolutions

Recent issues that have affected life in Oyster Bay, New York are not very different from many towns in the area. Social concerns like housing, animal control and the environment seem to be at the forefront. Also issues of historical preservation and education are important to its people. The town also concerns itself with national and international causes like the Tsunami Relief. An issue unique to the area is continued remembrance of 9/11 and providing assistance for victims of the tragedy. Both of these issues are prominently displayed on the town web site as issues that have been resolved. Still it is Venditto's work for supporting the town's preservation and limiting urban development that stands out presently. He announced the Syosset Hamlet Plan Committee, in cooperation with the Town, is distributing a survey to both residents and business owners to help develop a plan to improve downtown Syosset. This will put into effect a sequence of events to get the citizen's opinion on what should be done. However citizen involvement is not unusual when it comes to the welfare of the town. The local government has a history of working with its citizens. For instance, Collin Nash writes "Oyster Bay civic association members who opposed the development have not conceded defeat, and in yet another lawsuit, this time intended to block the development, one local group is claiming that the town's decision to allow the development was arbitrary and capricious" (par. 2) when referring to a 1997 fight over land development. This issue still remains a topic of open discussion as urban development of land become more prevalent to allow for housing. The town continues to want to protect its environment of beaches and parks but is there a healthy solution to a decades old problem? This issue I believe will continue indefinitely.

Local Government Effectiveness in Serving Citizen's Needs

The town of Oyster Bay has been ranked of America's best towns to live, learn, work and play (oysterbaytown.com). This fact only becomes more evident as one looks at the resources available to the community. Not only does Oyster Bay provide a sense of natural beauty with its parks and beaches but it also maintains its historical glory. It does this by providing excellent recreational sites that encourage its citizens to get out and about. Many of the town's services are typical like public safety, schools, hospitals and libraries. The town goes a step beyond excellent service by providing childcare programs and housing programs not found in most places. The town has a housing priority in place that provides laundry facilities and a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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