Tom Cilmi

Suffolk County Legislator - 10th District

For a brighter future.

Recent Activity

A Musical Evening

Join Legislator Tom Cilmi as he and some friends perform an evening of great acoustic music. Performers include:Pete Kletchka (formerly...

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Wing Fling 4

Please join me for some beer, some wings, some great live music by the Suburban Brothers Band (with yours truly...

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Thank You

    "I continue to be incredibly humbled by the support from 10th District residents of all walks of life and all...

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Ronkonkoma Double Track

Legislator Tom Cilmi has filed the following official statement for the record and comments on the LIRR Environmental Assessment of...

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Wing Fling 3

Already familiar with Wing Fling and want to reserve your tickets?  Click HERE and make your contribution in advance...

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Breaking New Ground

On May 23, 2013 Legislator Tom Cilmi joined Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman, several other elected officials, veterans, and members of...

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Affair of the Heart

Legislator Tom Cilmi sponsored a bill to designate the second week in February "Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week."  The bill...

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Santa Comes to Islip

Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi was the Master of Ceremonies at the annual Islip Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade once...

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Be the Magic

Every year I join a great many volunteers as we set up and run the East Islip Soccer Club’s Annual...

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Cilmi Leads Again!

Today at a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Government Operations Committee, Suffolk’s new Deputy County Executive for...

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Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, in his first bid for reelection, scored a decisive victory on Tuesday, November 8, 2011...

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Cilmi in the News

Cilmi Hails Strengthening of Social Host Law. Story here. Cilmi calls budget reform vote "unfortunate." Story here. Legislator Tom Cilmi...

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Suffolk to Expedite Medicaid Applications for Veterans

Cilmi proposes "HOV Lane"

Under a new policy proposed by Legislator Tom Cilmi, Suffolk County would create what Cilmi is calling an "HOV Lane" to expedite Medicaid applications for returning veterans in need.  While everyone knows that on the highway an HOV lane is for speedy traffic, Cilmi said it also means Helping Our Veterans.

The proposal, set to be voted on at the beginning of September 2015 would direct the County's Social Services Commissioner to dedicate at least one Medicaid claims examiner to applications from veterans.  Cilmi said, "Suffolk is home to the largest population of veterans in all of New York.  With the U.S. Armed Forces scheduled to release tens of thousands of military men and women over the next two years, no doubt many of them will find a home here.  It is critically important that we get our veterans the medical help they need when they need it.  They were there for us.  We need to be there for them."

Cilmi said that having a dedicated examiner will also provide applicants with someone who is familiar with the variety of unique challenges facing veterans upon their return.


Republican Legislators Propose Cuts in Borrowing

Potential Savings of $17 million

Legislator Tom Cilmi and the Republican Caucus of the Suffolk Legislature proposed more than $17 million of cuts to the County's 2016 Capital Budget.  The Capital Budget consists of a list of projects which would require bonding or borrowing.  Interest expense typically adds 50% to the overall project cost.

The sum total includes cuts of 10% each to more than forty different proposed projects and would fully defund County Executive Bellone's proposals to borrow $5 million to fund "Start-up NY/Suffolk County" and to borrow $4 million for a feasability study for a north-south bus route along CR-97 Nicholls Road.

Cilmi, a chief architect of the proposal, said, "We keep hearing that Suffolk County is in a permanent state of fiscal scarcity and that Suffolk is running a structural deficit in excess of $100 million. These cuts would preserve necessary projects while forcing contractors to sharpen pencils and would eliminate unnecessary pork."

Democrats unanimously opposed the proposal which failed as a result.


Waste & Abuse in Public Assistance

Cilmi sponsors bill calling for analysis & cuts

Republican Legislator Tom Cilmi sponsored legislation directing the Commissioner of Suffolk County's Department of Social Services (DSS) to identify potential programmatic savings of 10% in the Department's $640 million budget.  The bill directed the Commissioner to also include a state by state comparison of benefits offered.

Cilmi said, "The DSS budget is by far the County's largest budgetary expense, totalling more than our Departments of Health and Public Works combined.  If we are sincere in our efforts to substantially reduce costs and balance our budget in Suffolk County, it makes sense to look in places where we can achieve the greatest savings with the least amount of pain.  In this department, if we saved just 5%, we save $32 million."

Cilmi dismissed claims that much of the money comes from other levels of government.  "While it's true that about half of the total expense is reimbursed to us by New York State, it's still ultimately taxpayer money," he said.

Detractors also pointed to the fact that most of the programs are mandated.  Cilmi said, "It's about time we stand up for the taxpayers and stand up to the liberals in Albany.  We cannot continue to give away more money than virtually any other state in the Nation, and at the same time be able to provide a decent quality of life for our residents.  Our roads are a mess; our water is polluted.  I don't want to pull the rug out from under folks.  All I want is to look for waste and abuse and I don't think 10% is too much to ask."

The bill was defeated by the Democratic majority in the Human Services Committee.


Reporting Potholes Will Be Easier in Suffolk County

Mobile app to be created

Soon, it will be much easier for Suffolk residents to register complaints about potholes, graffiti, overgrown grass, etc. on County-owned roads, bridges, medians and shoulders thanks to a bill sponsored by Legislator Tom Cilmi and passed by the County Legislature.

The bill requires the Suffolk County Department of Public Works and its Department of Information Technology to work together to develop an online portal and an accompanying mobile application to allow residents to report infrastructure maintenance needs.

Legislator Cilmi said, “Through the use of commonplace 21st century technology, this resolution accomplishes a number of goals.  It makes it simpler for residents to report quality of life issues with their government in real time.  It instantly enlists the help of thousands of unpaid inspectors to be the County’s eyes and ears.  It also fits in well with the County’s model of data-driven decision making in creating a visible indicator in the way of the data collected of the County’s needs so that we can allocate resources appropriately.”

According to the IT Department, the app should be ready by the end of the year.




Electrical licensing to be more business-friendly in Suffolk

Cilmi, Zeldin call for single-license requirement for master electricians

The Suffolk County Legislature took a step today towards making Suffolk County more business-friendly for electrical contractors which, supporters say, will translate to lower costs for consumers.

A bill sponsored by Legislator Tom Cilmi and passed by the Legislature (HR-1) asks New York State to allow Suffolk County to be the sole licensing authority for master electricians throughout the County.  In Nassau County, electricians are required to hold more than 27 different licenses in order to work in the variety of towns, cities and villages within the County..  Not only is there a cost associated with each license, but there are additional insurance costs as well.

Presently in Suffolk County only two municipalities, in addition to Suffolk County, require separate licenses or registrations.  Cilmi says his bill will prevent the proliferation of unnecessary, onerous fees and registrations throughout the County by stopping the spread of unnecessary bureaucracy. 

Cilmi worked with State Senator Lee Zeldin to craft Senate bill S.5132, which is mirrored in the Assembly by A.7298.  The State Legislature requires a home rule message from the County in order to act.

Legislator Cilmi said, “This is common sense, good government, good-for-business legislation which is also good for the consumer.  All master electricians are licensed in Suffolk County.  There is absolutely no reason to add extra layers of bureaucracy at the town and village levels which increase costs for consumers and taxpayers, and provide a false sense of additional security.”

Senator Lee Zeldin said, “This legislation will protect electricians and consumers against the unnecessarily complex structure of electrical licensing that currently exists. It’s another way we are empowering our localities and working to cut red tape to give our area businesses the chance to succeed. It’s a win for the electricians’ trade and a win for consumers.”

Charlie Gardner, Government Affairs Director of the National Electrical Contractor’s Association, Long Island Chapter, who worked with Cilmi and Zeldin on the legislation, called it a “home run.”  He said, “Electrical contractors struggle every day to manage their businesses.  Most don’t have administrative staff to keep track of dozens of required license renewals every year.  Multiple licenses do nothing to protect the consumer and simply increase costs and make it more difficult for contractors to operate.  Our members are thrilled to have played a role in getting this done in Suffolk County.”



Be the Magic

Little things can make a big difference

Every year I join a great many volunteers as we set up and run the East Islip Soccer Club’s Annual Fall Classic Soccer Tournament.  This year was the event’s 30th anniversary.  The event is held every Columbus Day weekend and gives kids ages five through sixteen the opportunity to compete against other children from all over Long Island.  Anytime you have an event such as this with thousands of children, there are bound to be many special moments.

My job on Saturday, driving folks from one side of the park to the other in golf carts..people who maybe have a lot of gear, are physically challenged, late to their grandchild’s game, or maybe tired from a long day.

My job on Sunday, all day on stage with a microphone in my hand announcing winners…who came in first, who came in second, who won the “hardest shot” contest.  The pace is chaotic at times; at other times I feel like a standup comedian trying to entertain a couple dozen young kids as they await the results of their tournament bracket.  What a lesson in improv.!

During my announcements at this year’s tournament, up stepped a fellow with his young son who had played all weekend but whose team had not won anything.  The boy of six or seven years old was upset that his name wasn’t called over the loudspeaker.  The father asked if there was some way I could publicly recognize his son and I of course obliged.  I brought the boy up on stage and said, “Attention everyone…this is my good friend (name extracted) who is one of our players and I just wanted to introduce him to you.”

I felt good about this seemingly inconsequential moment.  The dad thanked me and he and his son walked off.  A few days later I received a letter thanking me for what I did.  He said that by this small gesture, I had made a huge difference in this young boy’s day.  “It’s all he could talk about,” he said.  The first thing the boy said when he walked off the stage was, “He called me his good friend.”

In reading the letter, a tear came to my eye.  At the time I hadn’t thought about how important that small gesture was to this young child.  I’d be willing to bet that his father had no idea how important his letter would be to me.  To me, the letter had the same effect as my announcement had on his child.  The impact of these good deeds was truly magical.

My point is, whether by words or by action, each of us has the ability to create a little magic in another’s life, just as I did for this child, and just as his father did for me.   During this holiday season, and always…be the magic.


Justice System In Need Of Overhaul

Cilmi Asks Newsday to Review

Calling the justice system “clearly broken” in the aftermath of the killing of New York City Police Officer Peter Figoski by reputed career criminal, Lamont Pride, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) is calling for the overhaul of a system which, he says, all too often sets criminals loose to strike again, sometimes with absolutely tragic results.

In a letter to Newsday’s Publisher, Fred Groser, Legislator Cilmi extracted this paragraph from a story appearing in Newsday as grounds for his claim:

“Police said Pride is wanted in North Carolina on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and had last been arrested Nov. 3, but was released by a judge on his own recognizance after it was determined authorities in North Carolina would not extradite him to face charges there.  Pride had a history of violence, including at least five prior arrests in New York and North Carolina on charges ranging from drug sale to grand larceny.” (Newsday, Four More Charged In Death of Cop from Long Island, December 13, 2011)

Cilmi asked the newspaper, which has been known for its in-depth reporting by way of a number of multi-part stories dealing with a variety of the most vexing issues of the day, to undertake a complete examination of the justice system including, but not limited to, the following topics:

1.  Evidentiary rules/standards
2.  Length of time from arraignment to trial
3.  Cost of public defenders
4.  Bail amounts and crimes committed while those accused are out on bail
5.  The justness and effectiveness of current sentencing standards
6.  Plea Bargaining & reduced sentences
7.  The “luxury” of incarceration (three square meals, child care, cable television and better medical benefits than many law-abiding citizens)
8.  Recidivism

Cilmi said, “Newsday has done a very good job over the years distilling complicated topics.  Our justice system is just one of many areas where we need large-scale change.  Officer Figoski’s violent death at the hands of this heartless criminal, and the relentless pain caused as a result, needn’t be in vain if we use it as a rallying cry to fix a system that’s clearly broken.”

Legislator Cilmi acknowledged that crime is an issue much bigger than the justice system.  “Fixing the justice system is obviously only one part of the solution.  There are so many factors leading to criminal behavior…societal, sociological, psychological, etc.  It’s a really big problem; but we cannot allow the size of a challenge to dissuade us from action.  Yes, this is completely beyond the jurisdiction of the County Legislature, but I am not about to chalk this up to someone else’s problem.  I am not going to remain silent when one of America’s finest is senselessly killed by someone who should have been in jail.”