Tony Gallo certainly presents himself like a nice enough fellow. He ran for a seat on the City Council on the same ticket as Mayor Reggie Spinello. Back then, he represented himself as a team player who could be counted on to work with the new administration and support the improvements to Glen Cove that Mayor Spinello has managed to accomplish since he was elected— lots of new businesses, a cleaner city, an improved work force, a popular community garden— yep, all sorts of good things. And all of these things have been accomplished not because of Mr. Gallo, but in spite of his opposition to working collaboratively with the Mayor.
Now, just a year and a half later, Mr. Gallo wants to unseat Reggie by challenging him in a primary for the mayor’s job. You just have to wonder what he’s up to. Reggie has been cross-endorsed by the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Independence Party and the Conservative Party because he’s doing a great job. So what is it that Mr. Gallo knows that everyone else doesn’t?
When he first announced his intention to run an insurgent campaign, Mr. Gallo declared that he went into politics because (1) government took parking spaces away from his father’s fruit store on Cedar Swamp Road when the street was improved, (2) he loves Glen Cove and that’s why he should be its mayor and (3) he’s “all about transparency.”
Well, if he ran for office because of the lost parking spaces, you have to wonder why he didn’t run for the County Legislature. Didn’t he know that Cedar Swamp Road is a county road and it’s not maintained by the City of Glen Cove?
As to his love of Glen Cove, is he suggesting that the guy he wants to toss out of office doesn’t love Glen Cove? Is that what he’s really trying to imply—that a guy who was born and brought up here and who can afford to live anywhere he wants, but chooses instead to live in Glen Cove, doesn’t love it?
And about “transparency” in government, who isn’t for it? I’ve been around here for almost 40 years and no previous mayor before Reggie has had city council meetings streamed to the public so you can watch them on television. No other mayor has regularly put out more information on what’s happening in the city government than Reggie. No other mayor has been more accessible than Reggie. In fact, no other mayor has been as successful in the job as Reggie.
So, to sum it up, if you want to run for public office, there needs to be some rationale, or reason, for why you think you should have the job. Either the guy in office is not doing a good job or you think you can do it a lot better. But you need a reason for running. Right now, running because of parking spaces, love for Glen Cove and being “all about transparency” doesn’t add up to a reason.
Maybe in due course, Tony Gallo will choose to explain to voters why he’s really running for mayor. So far, he hasn’t done that and until he does, his candidacy just doesn’t make any sense.
—Michael A. Levy