Republican Councilman Robert Creighton on Monday night said his decision to run for Smithtown supervisor is about one word: change.
"We have to get away from the attitude that government is against the people. That is the impression that comes across even on very simple things," Creighton said.
The Republican councilman said he can count 35 vacant storefronts along Smithtown Main Street, something that can't simply be blamed on the economy but the town's business policy. He named Huntington, Northport, Bay Shore, Islip, Port Jefferson and Patchogue's thriving downtowns as examples to follow.
"I could give you 25 - 30 instances of different businesses, small businesses, innocuous businesses who never should have had any kind of problems. ..." Creighton said. "Those people were put through the horrors of hell by the Town of Smithtown, certain people in the Town of Smithtown."
To kick off a series of changes, the councilman promised the town will have a new master plan by January 2014. Elected to the town board in 2008, Creighton said he's been promised a new master plan was in the works for going on five years, but it is still only in the draft phase.
"We will have it if we have to go outside the town to get it done. We cannot procrastinate as we have been doing for years," he said.
Creighton said he also intends to push through changes for the Hauppauge Industrial Park, the town's biggest tax revenue base. A proposal to lift restriction on maximum building heights and parking restrictions in the industrial park on the table since January 2012 but has been met with nothing but resistance, according to the councilman.
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The councilman said two storms that have swept through Smithtown, Superstorm Sandy and the Feb. 8 blizzard, have illustrated areas where the town needs to make improvements.
If elected supervisor, Creighton said he will work with Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen to enact his proposed $10 million Road Improvement program, which was voted down in 2012.
"We will repair the roads in this town if we have to bond for it. It's not a terrible expense for taxpayers," Creighton said.
Creighton will run against Vecchio in a Republican primary on Sept. 10, to see who will be the party's candidate in the November elections.