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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Sanitary district problems deeper than Sandy
(Page 2 of 5)
Herald File Photo
The Oceanside Sanitary District 7 headquarters on Mott Street in Oceanside.

Even though he is now a commissioner, told the Herald this week that he has been unable to get a copy of the last budget approved by the board of commissioners.

He plans to address that issue at the next meeting of the commissioners on August 1.

There are many in Oceanside, who say that the rejection of a nine-year incumbent in favor of a relative newcomer, shows that dissatisfaction with the sanitary district and its leaders goes much deeper than simply what happened after Sandy.

They point to a 47-page 2009 audit of the district by then-comptroller Howard S. Weitzman, the last audit conducted of the sanitary district.

According to that four-year-old audit, over a three-year period from 2006 to 2009, Oceanside Sanitary District Supervisor Charles Scarlata earned $667,163 in public pay and benefits, making him one of the most highly compensated public officials on Long Island.

The town audit also showed that Scarlata, 51, may receive a $25,000-a-year payment from Sanitary District 7 for 15 years after he leaves the district -- a deferred compensation package currently worth $299,530. Included in his pay package is a $450-a-year medical and optical allowance. Scarlata also receives the use of a district vehicle and five weeks vacation a year.

Scarlata is not the first member of his family to hold the top sanitary district job, the audit said. His father, Oceanside Republican club leader Michael Scarlata, held the post before him. And, the audit show, although Michael Scarlata retired from the district in December 1998 with an annual pension of about $75,000, he returned two days later as a part-time consultant for the district, making an additional $62,000 a year, plus health benefits. All told, the father and son cost sanitary district taxpayers more than $1 million in pay and benefits from the sanitary district from 2006 through 2008, the years examined by the audit, adding that district taxpayers pay $676 a year in garbage taxes, while the average in Hempstead Town is $420. The audit showed many other irregularities.


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Instead of spending time re-reporting on an audit report from over four years ago, it would be much appreciated if the Herald would cover the countless number of community events that occur every week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Report this

As far as the part of your story that is not a mere rehashing of the comptroller's report from 4 years ago, it would be prudent to not rely on "anonymous" sources. If would be great if you could confirm that this source does not stand to gain any economic benefit, whether personal or through a family member, from the comments on the worker's pay. If the person does stand to gain economically, I would imagine that it would be proper protocol to disclose any such personal benefit.

Friday, July 19, 2013 | Report this

How does one read this article and arrive at the conclusion that the problem lies not with a system in which these transgressions have occurred, but in those who pointed out that they occurred? The greed and self-interest of the Sanitation District's leadership has been sufficiently proven. Your accusations against a whistleblower, however, require some kind of validation or evidence in order to be taken seriously or even casually investigated.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | Report this

The sanitation responded to Superstorm Sandy in a way that was practical and appropriate. There was no way for anyone to have predicted the destruction this storm would cause the after effects it would have on garbage removal. Oceanside sanitation was absolutely fantastic on my block and went above and beyond what we ever expected. I am shocked whenever I see people reporting about the terrible job they did in the aftermath of the storm. They couldn't collect a half of block's worth of garbage without the trucks filling up. Yes, it took a long time for the collections, but given the circumstances that should have been expected.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Report this

DA Rice should start an investigation into the corruption. Heads and pensions should roll starting at the top.

Another waste of tax payer money for a special district that does nothing special.

Looks like the commission gave them carte blanche to do whatever they want.

I'm sure nothing has changed in 4 years.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Report this
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