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Councilman Tom McCarthy

Councilman Tom McCarthy hopes to win another term on the board. File photo

One lifelong Smithtown resident, business owner and longtime public servant is looking to continue to serve the community he loves.

Town Councilman and Deputy Supervisor Tom McCarthy (R) who first ran in 1997, is looking to win yet another term this November to serve on the town board.

“I felt like people in the town needed a local business person to listen to their problems and to treat them like customers,” McCarthy said in a phone interview of why he first ran for a seat on the board two decades ago. Although he retired in 2007, McCarthy at one point owned seven car rental dealerships throughout Smithtown and Huntington.

McCarthy was raised by his parents in Nesconset, who moved to the area in 1938.

“I loved growing up there,” he said. “It was fabulous. It’s a wonderful life. People always envy you when you say you live in the Smithtown area.”

Throughout his tenure on the board McCarthy has worked to develop and progress revitalization efforts in downtown Smithtown and the surrounding hamlets, expand commercial properties and conserve and improve green spaces and local parks.

Currently McCarthy has his hands in multiple projects, including planting more than 100 trees in areas throughout Smithtown, rebuilding the business district in St. James with infrastructure upgrades, working to purchase the administrative building from the Smithtown school district and more.

Many residents of Smithtown were upset when they heard the school district intended to sell the New York Avenue building to a development company that would establish an apartment complex there. When that plan fell through, McCarthy presented an alternative.

“You have 13 acres of playing fields there,” he said. “You can’t afford to lose that. I want to preserve those fields and come up with a downtown green and park, to give downtown Smithtown an identity.”

The councilman is also working to develop sewers with money from New York State, which the town was able to acquire this past year.

“All of these projects would not be possible without the financial stability the supervisor has given us,” McCarthy said of Smithtown Supervisor Pat Vecchio (R). “He has given me the ability to run with the ball.”

Vecchio had nothing but praise for the work McCarthy has done.

“Tom is a solid, hard working member of the town council,” Vecchio said in an email. “It is for that very reason that I have appointed him deputy supervisor over these many years.”

As for why the residents of Smithtown should continue to put their trust in him, McCarthy said his background is exactly why.

“I’m the only business man on the town board, and running for the town board,” he said. “The people of this town have given me a wonderful life, and I have more to give back to them.”

From left, Kerry Maher-Weisse, Leg. Kennedy, Rich Weisse, Sal Riccibono, Laurel Crotty, Clara Spadafina-Giunta, Kenneth Maher, Councilwoman Nowick, Councilman McCarthy, Pastor Neil Mittelstaedt, Conrad Chase and Leg. Trotta. Photo from Leg. Kennedy’s office

Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset), Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), Councilwoman Lynn Nowick (R) and Councilman Tom McCarthy (R) joined members of the St. James community on June 3 at the St. James Lutheran Church to welcome the opening of the St. James Farmers Market with a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the church.

Open through summer and autumn, the St. James Farmers Market allows locals to browse and purchase locally grown produce from the people personally invested in growing them at an affordable cost. Opening day featured more than simply market stalls — attendees listened to music provided by local musicians, poetry readings by local authors and craft making, among others. “With all the conveniences supermarkets give us today, it is too easy for us to forget that much of the produce we eat can and is grown right here on Long Island,” said Kennedy. “Farmers markets like these help remind us that the food we eat and the people who grow them are right next door.”

The St. James Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. James Lutheran Church on 230 2nd Avenue, and will be open through Oct. 28. EBT, SNAP, FMNP and WIC are accepted. If you are interested in being a vendor, an application can be found at ligreenmarket.org/stjames.