Islip Supervisor Tom Croci Recalled to Military Duty; Naval Reservist Puts Plan in Place for Government Continuity

 ISLIP, NY---Town of Islip Supervisor Tom Croci has been recalled to active military service with the Naval Reserve beginning in July to fight terrorism overseas. The deployment will be Croci’s third since joining the Navy in 1999, and second as a Reservist.

“No greater honor than to be called to serve.” Supervisor Croci said. "This community and our residents, so deeply impacted by the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the war, understand too well the importance military service and are steadfastly supportive of our men and women in uniform. This is one of the reasons I have been so very proud to serve them as their Supervisor. I pledge to them that before mobilizing, I will work to ensure that we maintain continuity in our government and residents continue to receive the very best service and support from their Town and keeping Islip on the right track.”

Prior to his service as Supervisor, Croci served our nation in the highest levels of government both at home and overseas. Twice deployed to Afghanistan, Croci served with a Navy SEAL Team as the Intelligence Department Head. Tom has spent more than 200 hours flying in Navy aircraft, was a team leader for terrorism analysis and was selected for some of the most difficult and sensitive leadership positions in our nation’s military.

A commissioned Naval officer, Lieutenant Commander Croci was picked among the entire nation’s naval force to represent the Navy in the White House Situation Room. Croci has also held the position of Deputy Executive Secretary of the Homeland Security Council for two United States Presidents. He has proudly served as Supervisor of the Town of Islip since January 2012.

United States Congressman Peter King offered his support. “Tom Croci has set Islip Town on a new path, and knowing the depth and strength of his character, I have no doubt that the people and policies he has set in place will continue his vision for the community,” said King. “I know firsthand the kind of threat our nation faces and dedicated Americans like Tom, who selflessly answer the call to defend and protect this nation and who never run from a fight, should make all of us feel proud and secure. Islip residents should take great pride in their Supervisor and his principled approach to running Town government. I wish Tom well and look forward to working together with him in the future.”

Croci intends to appoint a new Deputy Supervisor on Monday to assume the administrative duties in his absence. Current DEC Commissioner Eric Hofmeister, a former Islip Town Supervisor, will carry on the everyday management of town functions, in close consultation with the town board, while Croci completes his overseas tour.

Hofmeister, a CPA and seasoned Islip Department administrator, served as Supervisor in 2006 during a transitional period in Town government. “I am excited to take on this challenge and honored that Supervisor Croci would consider me to stand at the helm in his absence. I have served in a similar role before and feel that experience, along with the support of the Town Board and Town staff, will yield good things for the residents of our Town.”

Councilman John Cochrane, a retired United States Navy Captain echoed support for Croci’s commitment to country, his service to Islip residents and his choice for Deputy Supervisor in Hofmeister. “Tom has my full support and I will assist Eric in his new town position and congratulate him for being selected.”

United States Senator Charles Schumer stated, “Tom Croci’s commitment to our country is unparalleled. Whether he’s serving the residents of Islip or our military, Tom always shows great vision and leadership. I look forward to working with Deputy Supervisor Eric Hofmeister to move forward with Tom Croci’s agenda to improve MacArthur Airport, pave the way for major economic development projects like the Ronkonkoma Hub and secure Sandy recovery funds to help rebuild homes, business and infrastructure.”

Croci thanked his fellow Town Board members for working so hard to combat the tough challenges of 2012 and the complex challenges ahead for Islip Town government. He also credited his current Deputy Supervisor Linda Angello for stepping up to the plate and taking on additional challenges. “I am privileged to serve in government with Linda Angello who graciously stepped up to serve our residents and lend her great skill and professionalism to our Town. We are truly fortunate that she will continue to guide the town in our senior leadership as she devotes her attention to the upcoming union contract negotiations due at the end of 2013. Personnel related costs drastically impact Islip’s budget, more than ever, we need Linda Angello's expertise and experience. As former Governor Pataki's Commissioner of Labor Relations, Islip has the very best possible leader guiding this process.” Croci said.

“This is a man who always puts other people, his family, and his country and the residents first and I have the utmost respect for him. I wish him the best and offer my friendship and support,” said Councilman Steve Flotteron.

While Croci awaits further instruction about his deployment, the commencement of active duty will likely take place in July. The news of his mobilization has led Croci to put a plan in place that carries out his vision for Islip that the residents elected him to perform. A plan that builds upon the successes that he and the Town Board have accomplished which includes:

• Correcting the complex and troubling budgetary challenges in Islip with new fiscal procedures and heavily scrutinizing the way Islip Town government has traditionally spent taxpayer dollars.

• Refocusing the Town's economic development efforts to bring more companies onto the tax rolls to grow the tax base for residents

• Revitalizing Long Island MacArthur airport to attract new airlines and customers

• Strengthening efforts for code enforcement by placing people with strong backgrounds into new roles to help the Town to face the longtime challenges of illegal housing and quality of life issues.

• Implementing new processes in the planning and building department to ensure more fluid customer service and better tracking of permits and plans

• Vigilantly ensuring that the long-term recovery and repair from Superstorm Sandy is performed and the nearly $50 million in repairs and mitigation costs are realized from Federal, State and insurance claim reimbursements.

“Whether in the past duty has called him to Afghanistan, the White House or Islip Town Hall, Tom has accepted every challenge before him with confidence, pride and talent,” NYS Senator Lee Zeldin said. “As a fellow military reservist, I deeply respect, admire and appreciate how critical Tom's service is to our community and nation. I have always been proud to call him a friend and have met so many others who share the belief that Tom Croci is a true patriot and a great American. I admire the manner in which he has tackled the challenges before him whether in uniform or as Town Supervisor. I know how much Tom loves his hometown and how much he loves this country. He would lay down his life to protect what makes our nation great and for that I am most grateful. At this point in time, what's most important to us is that he returns home safely."

Veterans wished Croci well on his future deployment. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #433 Past Commander Joe White said, “I know that I speak for the other members of my VFW Post 433 post which Tom is an active member, when I say that we salute and applaud his patriotism, dedication to duty and country and his professionalism. He stands as a fine example to our youth and how they should stand tall and comport themselves in life.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a former Communication Specialist in the U.S. Army, “As a veteran, I applaud Tom Croci’s dedication to public service and I thank him for once more answering our nation’s call. I have been honored to work closely with Tom to serve our mutual constituents, particularly during Superstorm Sandy. He is steady under pressure and dedicated to the community he loves. I know he has set Islip on a strong path, but I will work closely with the leadership in Islip to provide whatever assistance I can while he is serving our country.”

Croci expressed his desire that in his absence, the functions of Town government remain seamless and transparent to the residents. He credited and thanked his fellow Board members, Councilman Steve Flotteron, Councilman Anthony Senft, Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Councilman John Cochrane for their strong support, tremendous service and dedication to Islip and asks them to continue to support our shared vision for Islip.

Councilman Anthony Senft expressed his sincere best wishes for Croci in the future, “As a former U.S. Army officer, I understand the nature of military service and the sacrifice one must make to their personal and professional life in defense of our great country. I admire Tom’s commitment to our country and his efforts to ensure our freedom. I will pray for his safe return home so that we can continue our efforts to improve the lives of the residents of the Town of Islip.”

Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt expressed concern for the Supervisor’s safe return and the well being of his family in Croci’s absence. “I have known Tom since we were teenagers--we’ve grown up together. The thought of him being deployed concerns me, but knowing the quality and depth of his character, I know we can feel confident that he will do his utmost to protect our country. We are extraordinarily proud of him and we hope to make him proud while he is away.”