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Sunday, December 21, 2014
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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