North Shore mayors, officials appointed to DeSena’s transitional team

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North Shore mayors, officials appointed to DeSena’s transitional team
North Hempstead Supervisor-elect Jen DeSena (left) and Nassau County Executive-elect Bruce Blakeman (right) announced the members of their respective transitional teams last week. (Photos courtesy of both officials)

Mayors and other elected officials on the North Shore were selected to serve on Town of North Hempstead Supervisor-elect Jen DeSena’s transition committee, according to a news release last week.

Town officials said the 17-member transition team is tasked with providing counsel to DeSena as she begins to form her new administration before taking office on Jan. 1. The team is headlined by Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral, Village of New Hyde Park Mayor Chris Devane, Village of Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar, Village of East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz, Village of East Williston Mayor Bonnie Parente and Village of Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss.

Other members include former Town Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio, former state Sen. and Mineola Mayor Jack Martins, Village of New Hyde Park Deputy Mayor Madhvi Nijjar, Village of Mineola Clerk Joseph Scalero, Albertson Civic Association President Edward Scott, North Hempstead Housing Authority Tenant Commissioner Desiree Woodson and others.

“The transition team has provided invaluable assistance to me as I prepare to bring the changes to town government that voters sought on Election Day,” DeSena said in a statement.

DeSena, a registered Democrat who ran on the Republican line, defeated town Clerk Wayne Wink for supervisor by less than 1,000 votes. DeSena touted the Town Board’s decision to increase the supervisor’s budget by 15 percent next year, which will cover costs to obtain experienced individuals to serve in various positions under her new administration.

“This decision gives our administration the additional resources it needs to recruit exceptional candidates for key roles in town government,” DeSena said.

The supervisor’s office includes the town historian and director of business and tourism, whose budgets will 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.

Nassau County Executive-elect Bruce Blakeman, the Republican who defeated Democratic incumbent Laura Curran in November, also outlined his transition team, which includes individuals from a variety of sectors.

Included on the team are Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling, Nassau County Health Commissioner Lawrence Eisenstein, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, Whitmore Group CEO James Metzger, Family and Children’s Association CEO Jeffrey Reynolds, Hofstra University President Susan Poser, Town of Hempstead Clerk Kate Murray, and Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.

“This transition team is united in its mission to make Nassau County more affordable and safer while creating new jobs and growing the economy,” Blakeman said.  “I look forward to working with these dedicated professionals and thank them for their public service and commitment to our community.”

Last month, Blakeman appointed Floral Park native Arthur Walsh to serve as his chief deputy county executive. Walsh, who is also part of Blakeman’s transition team, currently serves as the general counsel at Nassau Off Track Betting.

In an interview with Blank Slate Media last month, Blakeman said he was “fairly certain” new staff members would be brought on to serve in various county departments but will not choose his staff based on party allegiance.

“I have to assemble a team that I’m comfortable with,” he said. “So I’m sure there’ll be quite a few changes, but that doesn’t mean that it will be a wholesale change across the board.”

Blakeman also announced the establishment of an online portal where residents interested in serving in his administration can submit their resumes at www.ServeNassau.com. Residents can also visit the site to learn more about the hiring process and learn more about Blakeman.

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