Former Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman, a member of the Nassau Interim Financial Authority board, died at 75 on Monday.
Weitzman, a Roslyn resident and Democrat, was first elected as comptroller in 2001 and served two four-year terms before losing a 2009 re-election bid. Weitzman was appointed to the finance authority, which oversees the county’s finances, by then Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in 2016.
After graduating from Queens College as an accounting major, Weitzman worked in the financial industry for nearly 50 years, including serving as a partner for KPMG, a global accounting firm. There, he oversaw the firm’s regional health care accounting, tax services and consulting. He became a certified public accountant in 1971.
In 1989, Weitzman was elected as the mayor for the Village of Great Neck Estates after spending the previous six years as a village trustee. After six years as mayor, Weitzman was appointed by County Executive Thomas Gulotta to the county’s Board of Assessors in 1995.
Weitzman was also appointed to the state’s Commission on Government Efficiency by Gov. Elliot Spitzer in 2007 along with serving as chairman of the state’s Association of Counties Committee on Taxation in Finance. Weitzman also served on the boards for a variety of charitable, educational and civic organizations throughout his governmental career.
A handful of local officials shared their thoughts on Weitzman’s death.
“Everyone here in the Comptroller’s Office is sad and surprised – and so many of us share fond memories and have wonderful stories about Howard,” Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman said in a statement. “Howard made a lasting impact on our community, and we will forever be grateful for his service. Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.”
“Sad to hear of the passing of former Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman, a long-time public servant to our County,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement. “County flags will be lowered to half-staff as a tribute to his memory.”
Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) praised Weitzman for “his vast intellect and fiscal expertise” while serving Nassau residents in various roles.
“Whether his role was that of a local elected official, our County Comptroller, or a NIFA board member, his style of leadership embodied the type of wisdom and dignity that was a constant throughout his life,” Abrahams said in a statement. “We are tremendously saddened by the news of his passing and pray that his memory will always be a blessing for his family, friends, and loved ones in the days ahead.”
The Legislature held a moment of silence for Weitzman on Monday afternoon.
“He was just a very talented man, very devoted to his family and very honest,” U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said in a statement. “He was a great help to me when I was county executive. We were facing such a difficult financial crisis at the time, and he was a great help in figuring out how to move the county forward.”’
Finance authority Chairman Adam Barsky told Newsday that he “lost a friend whose wisdom and advice I had come to rely on as NIFA seeks to help the county. Howard Weitzman leaves a monumental legacy and represents the best in public service.”
Weitzman died in his Roslyn home Monday morning, his wife, Suzanne, told Newsday. Efforts to reach her or another member of Weitzman’s family for comment were unavailing.
In addition to his wife, Weitzman is survived by his children Catherine Diamond, Peter Weitzman and Matthew Weitzman, his sister Leslie Kornfeld, and four grandchildren.
Temple Israel of Great Neck will hold a private funeral service for Weitzman at 11 a.m. on Thursday.