2017-05-17 / Front Page

In sudden move, Town Councilman Chris Coschignano steps down

Board moves to name Tom Hand his replacement in divided vote
By Carolyn James

Newly appointed Oyster Bay Town Councilman Tom HandNewly appointed Oyster Bay Town Councilman Tom Hand

In a split vote, the Oyster Bay Town Board appointed Massapequa Water Commissioner Thomas Hand to the board, replacing Councilman Christopher  Coschignano who stepped down suddenly today.

Coschignano indicated more than a month ago that he was not seeking reelection, and the Oyster Bay Republican party nominated Hand to run for his seat in November. This latest move means that Hand will serve as an appointed Councilman for six months before he runs for the office.

The vote to appoint Hand was 4-2, with Councilmen Anthony Macagnone and Councilwoman Rebecca M. Alesia casting no votes. Macagnone, who was at odds with Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joe Saladino this week over a mailing that Macagnone charged was more a political endorsement for Saladino than an informational piece for residents, said he could not vote for someone to serve in the seat who is a party nominee.

Voting to appoint Hand was Saladino, and council persons Michele L. Johnson, Joseph Muscarella and Louis Imbroto, who said he voted for the appointment because he did not believe that the community should be left without representation on the board.

Hand makes the third Oyster Bay Town Board official to be serving in an appointed capacity, joining Saladino who was appointed in January and Imbroto two months ago.

Hand lives in Massapequa Park. He has more than 25 years of senior management experience in logistics and lectured in labor relation courses at Dowling College, according to his profile on the Massapequa Water District website.  He received a bachelor’s degree in business and a master in labor and policy studies from the State University of New York. As a senior manager for a Fortune 100 Company he received CEO honors for outstanding contributions in the areas of quality, cost reduction and productivity enhancements.

Hand serves on the Associate Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of New York and also a Board Member for The Christina Renna Foundation (CRF), a non-profit organization to assist in cancer research for children. He also worked on committees for March of Dimes and American Diabetes Association.

He is married and has two children.

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