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Library budget passes; Monteleone, Thornhill win

Board of Trustees Vice President Anthony Monteleone, above, was re-elected, and Otis Thornhill, below, was elected Tuesday. File photos
October 12, 2011 | 07:43 PM
Smithtown voters Tuesday approved the Smithtown Special Library District's $12.6 million budget and elected Otis Thornhill and re-elected Anthony Monteleone to the Board of Trustees.

The budget passed with 960 votes for, 617 against.

The 2012 budget, a 1.2 percent increase over the current year's, requires a 1.75 percent tax levy increase, costing taxpayers in Smithtown about $6.34 additional per year, for the average home assessed at $6,000.

Former trustee Rose Palazzolo was defeated, with 707 votes. Monteleone received 1,140 votes and Thornhill garnered 988 votes. The two trustees will serve three-year term.

"I think the people realized I have only one agenda and that is the improvement of the entire system," Monteleone said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I feel I represent all the people, not one particular geographic area."

The vice president of the Board of Trustees said the most important thing to focus on now is completing the district's construction projects at the Kings Park and Smithtown Main branches.

"The infrastructure was so poor and desperately needed enlargement and renovation, right from the boilers to the roof and we just had to do something," Monteleone said. "We are halfway there and in six months or so we'll have all the buildings open."

In a phone interview Thornhill credited his success in the election to running side by side with Monteleone, as well as getting the support of the library's workers union.

"I was able to be frank and open and honest with them and they apparently wanted me to win," he said of the voters.

Thornhill also said seeing the construction projects through to completion is the No. 1 priority, adding, "It's very important for [the library] to communicate, to get more information out to our patrons Ö to let them know all the services and programs that the library has. In some ways we're a well-hidden secret."

Both trustees said they supported the newly passed budget, with Thornhill calling it one that "preserves the most important elements of what the library programs are going to offer."

In an email, Palazzolo, who lost her bid for re-election last year, said, "I would like to thank all of my 707 friends who voted for me. The rest of the community who voted for my opponents don't get it. Maybe next year they will."

Palazzolo added voters in Smithtown, put out because of construction at the Smithtown Main branch, may not have voted because they didn't want to travel to the Nesconset branch to cast their ballots.

"I feel [the] Smithtown community was disenfranchised by not having them vote in a school like Smithtown High East," she wrote.

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