Christopher Pulitano (Democrat, Working Families, Women’s Equality): Candidate
After years of mediating a successful outcome in divorces and other family issues, Christopher Pulitano is looking to use those skills to make well-balanced decisions for the people of Islip Town.
Pulitano, who now has his own private practice, had once been a guidance counselor at North Babylon and West Islip schools. However, this is his first attempt to run for public office. He said he made the decision to run this year because he’s concerned about the way the Town of Islip is being run.
“We have to take a look at all departments and ask how did these [department heads] get their jobs,” he said, adding that the dumping scandal at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood was an example of the need to follow that procedure. He said that patronage jobs in the town contributed to why what happened there went unnoticed for so long.
“I’ve spoken to people who live in that area, and they said no one in the town was responding to their questions and complaints [about questionable activities going on in the park],” he noted. “There’s not a sense of trust in the town anymore.”
“I’m not a career politician who is beholden to party bosses. I’ll represent the people who elect me.”
Pulitano said there are a number of other concerns he would address if elected, such as the long wait to get businesses off the ground, and the increasing rate of town taxes, which he said have been increased between 40-45 percent over the past few years.
“There is no transparency [in the budget process], no accountability,” he noted, adding that is something he would like to see changed.
“Long Island MacArthur Airport is a ghost town,” he remarked, adding that it’s been losing millions of dollars every year. He said that if elected, he would work to help the airport prosper by better publicizing the many historical, social, cultural and economic attributes of the town. He said more tourists and especially businesses should make it their destination. “We need to work with the county and the state to bring in more [technology-based] businesses.” He said the right leadership is important for that to happen.
The candidate noted that all growth would require development. “We need smart development though, that makes sense to the local community. And we need to hire local labor for it. We just need to get everyone involved to work it through.”
Regarding the Heartland project proposed for the Brentwood area, he said, “It’s a monster project. But we have to see if it’s feasible.”
Pulitano is an avid volunteer for a number of organizations. He is a board member for Hope for Youth and the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Hauppauge Rotary, NY Mental Health Counseling Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and Long Island Connects.
Over the course of the campaign, Pulitano said he has spent a lot of time walking the districts in the town. “Meeting people has been wonderful,” he said. “I love talking to them and hearing their concerns. They are from many different areas, they are of different ethnicities… I want everyone to have a voice [in the town].”
Pulitano, a native of West Islip, now resides in Holbrook with his wife and two daughters.
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