DeSena backtracks on staff cut claims, says she was misinformed

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DeSena backtracks on staff cut claims, says she was misinformed
North Hempstead Supervisor-elect Jennifer DeSena said she was given misinformation surrounding rumored staff cuts to the supervisor's office last week. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer DeSena)

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor-elect Jennifer DeSena said at a public meeting on Thursday night that she had been given misinformation about rumored eliminations of staff positions in the supervisor’s office.

Last week, DeSena sent out a news release claiming the town was planning a “deceitful post-election stunt” that included terminating five budgeted positions in the supervisor’s office. On Thursday, she clarified her stance on the misinformation and expressed her desire to work with the Town Board to serve the residents in a nonpartisan manner.

“I was told something this week that I’ve now been told was a mistake and I am looking forward to getting started working,” DeSena said. “I hope that I’ll be able to get some new staff in January. I look forward to working with the rest of the board and hope that we’ll be able to do this within the 2022 budget that you all approved.”

The supervisor’s office includes the town historian and director of business and tourism, whose budgets are scheduled to increase by a combined $300,000 next year, according to the town budget. The supervisor’s office also includes people in the financial, intermunicipal coordination, procurement and legislative affairs sectors.

Town officials echoed DeSena’s sentiments of wanting to serve the North Hempstead community and confirmed the budgeted amount for the supervisor’s office will remain the same as was approved in the 2022 budget on Oct. 28.

“With a new supervisor taking office in January, we are doing what we can to ensure a steady transition,” Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey said in a statement. “As we enter this next phase of Town government, all of us recognize the need to protect the progress that has been made. We will continue our efforts to work collaboratively on solutions that will benefit the Town and its residents.”

Councilman Peter Zuckerman said the only way the board can effectively serve the public and continue to improve the town’s reputation is with teamwork and clear communication.

“In the spirit of good government, our team is committed to bipartisan cooperation,” Zuckerman said in a statement. “All seven members of the Board are responsible for determining the Town’s overall vision. The only way the Town’s workforce can successfully carry out that vision is if the elected officials work together and provide clear guidance.”

“All Town Board members play a significant role in town government, and we are each accountable to the residents,” Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte said in a statement. “I am proud to be part of the team that will ensure Town government runs optimally and cohesively without confusion.”

DeSena also thanked outgoing Supervisor Judi Bosworth, who announced she would not run for re-election earlier this year, for her work in serving the community during her tenure and for aiding in the transition.

DeSena, a Democrat who ran on the Republican line, defeated Town Clerk Wayne Wink for the supervisor seat in November, receiving 22,709 votes to Wink’s 21,922.

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