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Smithtown Historical Society Honors Student Volunteers

Historical Society honors student-volunteers

The Smithtown Historical Society recently recognized student-volunteers for their dedication and service to the society. This year, they presented nine students with the Hancock-Harms Award for their work in the new Junior Educator Program. From left: Smithtown Central School District student-volunteers Angelina Cafisi, Michael Hogan, Great Hollow Middle School Assistant Principal Cindy Nocero, Maddie Raeihle and Kyleigh Kondenar. Anna Chiquitucto from Hauppauge High School (third from right) is also pictured. Missing from photo are Carson Chin, Connor Chin and Trishulla Kanhai.

Photo courtesy of Smithtown Central School District


Amy's Perspective - Town Board Is Not Off To A Good Start

By Amy Fortunato

Town Board Meeting-

Hopeful to find a good seat, I arrived early – 6:30 PM on Thursday, January 25th. The addition of security guards in uniform for the first time were off-putting.  I asked the guards about the need for their presence.  They joked good naturedly.  But, it’s not welcoming. 

I knew there were three presentations scheduled for this regular meeting and advertised as public forums.  Earlier in the day, I queried Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and our Town Clerk, Vincent Puleo about the room inadequate size of the room.  Obviously it would not accommodate the potential residents who are interested in the various, important presentations.  He told me it was too late to change the location.  The advertised public forums to be presented were: King’s Park Market Analysis sponsored by the King’s Park Civic Association, Cell Tower information presentation for consideration of a possible code exception and the Smithtown United’s NY Ave. proposal toward the completion of a Comprehensive Master Plan.   

As the room filled up, I gave my seat to one of the presenters of the King’s Park market analysis report presentation.  Many of us were stranded, waited outside the room on the stair landing until my neighbor Gerry Halloway tried to find a seat.  Gerry is 80 yrs. old, recently recovering from an accident and dependent on his cane to stabilize his balance.  Sadly, the security guard told him there were no seats and Gerry would have to stand.  At that point, I insisted that someone inside the room give up their seat for our senior citizen.  When Gerry was seated, I left the room again to wait outside with approximately ten others.  There was no way to hear the discussion taking place in the meeting room.  Then, we were asked to be quiet because those inside the room were distracted by our conversations.

It’s imprudent to invite Smithtown residents and then clearly NOT anticipate that those interested citizens would actually attend these advertised, public forums.  The room has approximately 35 chairs, which are usually empty.  Granted, this is a recent phenomenon; but this undersized room has been fully populated during the last two, most recent, previous Town Council meetings.  The disappointed consensus of those who tried to attend (stairs, landing and down the hallways) was obvious.  I called the next day to express my concern.  Ed Wehrheim returned my call, but I didn’t experience any satisfaction or assurance of creating a better, more appropriate accommodation.  

The presentations are available on-line; but I was there to participate and show my concern.  It’s time to consider the Smithtown community by providing adequate space and hearing from those concerned and respond accordingly.    


Amy Fortunato is a Smithtown resident who ran on the Democratic line for Smithtown Town Council in 2017.


Appointments Made At January 9, 2018 Town Board Meeting

The following resolutions were approved (appointments) were made by the Town Board at the January 9 organization meeting.

Matthew Jakubowski was reappointed as Town Attorney and Freedom of Information Officer will serve from January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2019

Donald Musgnug was reappointed as Town Comptroller January 1, 2018 -December 31, 2019

Armand De Rose, A. Lawrence Liquori,Larry A. Vetter and Jack Hessel appointed to Conservation Advisory Board January 1,2018  - December 31, 2019. Armand DeRose was appointed Chairman and A. Lawrence Liquori appointed Vice Chairman.

Michael Chicvak was appointed to the Board of Ethics Jan.1, 2018 - December 31, 2020

Eileen Trope appointed to the Handicapped Advisory Board Jan.1, 2018 - December 31, 2019

Michael Felice appointed to the Board of Assessment October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2022

Vincent Puleo appointed as Registrar of Vital Statistics. Susan DeHaven appointed as Deputy Registrar for Districts 5157, 5138, 5141, 5146. January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2021.

Thomas Lohmann appointed Town Councilman January 10, 2018 - December 31, 2018.

Town Board approved Supervisor Wehrheim’s appointment of Patricia K. Westlake and Patricia Thomas to Youth Advisory Board.

Supervisor Wehrheim appointments:

Thomas McCarthy reappointed as Deputy Supervisor

Bradley Harris reappointed Town Historian

Donald Musgnug reappointed Budget Officer (FY 2018)

Joyce Butindari reappointed as Secretary to the Supervisor

Patricia K. Westlake and Patricia Thomas appointed to the Youth Advisor Board Jan. 1, 2018 - December 31, 2020


***Blizzard Alert From Supervisor Wehrheim***


Supervisor Wehrheim has issued the following update on the first Blizzard of 2018 

The Director of Public Safety, Chief John Valentine has coordinated all efforts between emergency responders and all storm preparations within Town of Smithtown departments. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will operate through the Blizzard. 

As of this morning, Superintendent of Highways, Robert Murphy has called in the full fleet (110 snow and ice control equipment) plus all private contractors to remove snow on 480 miles of roadways and State roads (Route 25 Jericho from Lake Grove to Commack Firehouse, 25A from Bread & Cheese Hollow to 25 Jericho 25A Route 111 to Stony Brook Road) in Smithtown. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for our area, which will remain in effect through Friday Morning, 1 AM EST. Travel during the morning commute is considered dangerous to impossible. Heavy snowfall is expected to begin at approximately 8:25 AM EST in Smithtown. 

Expect wind gusts as high as 55 mph, whiteout conditions and significant snow drifts. Damage to trees and power lines is possible, causing scattered power outages. 

Smithtown residents are asked not to travel, unless you absolutely must. Please use extreme caution and remember to travel with a winter survival kit. In the event, you become stranded, stay with your vehicle and call authorities. Please do not park on the streets and remember to keep all fire hydrants free of snow and debris. 

For more information contact the Highway Department at (631) 360-7500 or the Department of Public Safety at (631) 360-7553 


St. James Fire District Answers Fire Call On Vanderbilt Ave

Working Together, Local Fire Departments Tackle Emergency

(click on photos to enlarge)

The St. James Fire District was successful in averting a garage fire that took place at a residence on Vanderbilt Avenue between Rodney Street and Livingston Street on Dec. 18. The fire started just before 10 a.m. and, through the collaborative efforts of several fire departments, was contained and stopped before it had a chance to spread to the attached home or any neighboring buildings. 

St. James Fire District Chief Edward Springer Jr. was first to arrive on scene at 10 a.m. and was quickly joined by First Assistant Chief Ryan Davis, Third Assistant Chief Frank Sapienza, Engine Co. 2, Engine Co. 3, Hook and Ladder Co. 7, the first responder vehicle and the ambulance. 

Numerous surrounding fire departments came to the district’s aid in this emergency. A Nesconset Fire Department engine, Stony Brook Fire Department’s Rapid Intervention Team and a Smithtown Fire Department ladder truck were on site. Nissequogue Fire Department and Centereach Fire Department had an engine and ambulance on standby, respectively. 

“We are grateful that our fast response and emergency services, combined with those of our neighboring fire departments, prevented a potentially disastrous situation,” said Commissioner Edward Springer Sr. “Nobody wants to suffer the devastation of a fire, especially during the holiday season. Thanks to our equipment and the vigilance of our volunteers, we were able to keep our community safe, which is always our goal.”