Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes (some do more than others). In 2013, then council candidate Efraim Spagnoletti swore to the Nassau County Board of Elections that he resided on Butler Street in Glen Cove. His name and the Butler Street address also appear on the Friends of Tony Gallo July 2015 financial disclosure report filed with New York State Board of Elections. Despite his public statements of residing in “the Orchard” for the past 13 years (around minute 20:10 of the below clip), it would be a mistake if we assumed he lived anywhere else besides Grove…er…Butler Street in Glen Cove.
Spagnoletti must have made another mistake in 2013 when he submitted notarized copies of his zoning board application to the Town of North Hempstead. The documents stated that he, who was the property owner and applicant, resided in Greenvale. Spagnoletti accidentally swore twice to a notary public that he lived there. Those were merely mistakes he made shortly before asking Independence Party members to trust him with their votes in the September primary election.
“‘I believe in transparency first and do not agree with the possibility of private hearings,’ said Gallo.”–Councilman Tony Gallo on the Glen Cove Charter Review Commission. Nossa, Jill. “Glen Cove Creates Charter Review Commission.” Glen Cove Record Pilot 26 Mar. 2015
Councilman Tony Gallo has championed “transparency” and he is “all about the process.” In his fundraising committee’s July 2013 and July 2015 periodic reports, he chose not to disclose the identities of some persons who donated less than $99 to him. New York State Campaign Finance Disclosure regulations do not require that he provide the information. Under New York State Election Law, contributions received under $99 (in the aggregate per election cycle) are allowed to be reported as “unitemized.” By comparison, Reggie Spinello chose to report the identities of all donors since 2013 (some donated as little as $10). There is nothing wrong with Gallo’s decision to report unitemized donations. It just seems odd that his unwavering commitment to full disclosure applies to others but not himself–i.e., “transparency for thee but not for me.” He must have misstated his beliefs at that council meeting.
Gallo and Spagnoletti simply erred in their voting records too. Gallo accidentally voted for Mayor Spinello’s chief-of-staff position at the first city council meeting of 2014. He further compounded his error by joining Spagnoletti and the rest of the council in approving taxpayer dollars to fund that position.
“The Glen Cove City Council unanimously approved its $72.4 million budget, which lowers property taxes on businesses while increasing them for homeowners…The budget drew praise from the three Democrats and three Republicans on the council.”–Phillips,Ted. “Glen Cove approves $72.4 million budget with business tax cut, homeowner tax increase.” Newsday 29 Oct. 2014
“The City of Glen Cove passed the 2015 budget unanimously on Tuesday, Oct. 28, after Mayor Reginald Spinello and the City Council presented the final budget for next year at the City Council meeting, which amounts to a 1.65 percent tax levy increase.”–Simeone, Gary. “City Budget Passes.” Glen Cove Record Pilot 7 Nov. 2014
They must have made a mistake in voting for and praising Mayor Spinello’s budget. Maybe Gallo will decide to vote against and criticize the 2016 city budget as the coming election reaches a fever pitch. His record reveals that he accidentally votes against a budget in election years (he needs to rally his supporters) and votes for it when there is no election.
Gallo and Spagnoletti’s latest oversight was placing a registered Democrat on Team Gallo Republican Party petitions. The candidate is ineligible to run on the Republican line in the party’s primary election without authorization from the Republican Party. Gallo and Spagnoletti did not intentionally collect Republican signatures for an unauthorized, Democratic Party member–they just made another honest mistake.
After reviewing the “mistakes” made by Gallo and Spagnoletti, should we trust them with running anything more than a lemonade stand? Maybe not; nevertheless, a tip of the hat to them for reminding us that politicians can make mistakes as a common man. I dedicate Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” to them.