The Town Board appointed Walter Edwards as deputy parks director at its meeting Tuesday.
The vote was 3-2, with Gene Cook joining Democrats Mark Cuthbertson and Joan Cergol to approve Edwards, while Ed Smyth and Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci opposed his appointment.
It was the second time Edwards’ nomination had come before the board. At the Feb. 23 meeting, Cook had abstained on both Edwards and Cable Todd Jamison, who was favored by the Republicans.
“Walter Edwards happens to be an excellent candidate,” Cook said Thursday.
On Dec. 15, the board promoted Bill Musto from deputy director to director, to succeed Greg Wagner, who had resigned.
The appointment led to a quick exchange between Cuthbertson and Lupinacci after the supervisor said, “my opposition is not in terms of the candidate but things are functioning fine without a deputy, and it would be a cost savings” to leave the job open.
Cuthbertson immediately challenged the supervisor, saying, “I know you have a mask on but I don’t know how you say that with a straight face,” pointing out Lupinacci had previously supported another candidate to fill the job. Lupinacci said he had spoken with the department about the need to fill the position, ad noted he was wearing a mask because he had staff members in the room for the virtual meeting. After a pause in the exchange, Cergol said, “In any case, we welcome our new deputy don’t we?” and the board moved on.
In other park/recreation news, the board approved agreements to allow:
- Camp W to provide swimming lessons to campers at the town’s Dix Hills pool.
- The New York Rangers to rent ice time at the Dix Hills ice rink for hockey camps
- George Dixon to use the Dix Hills golf course facilities to conduct junior golf clinics
- Barbara Williams to rent ice time at the Dix Hills ice rink for hockey camps