Jennifer DeSena was sworn in as North Hempstead town supervisor on Sunday and said the hallmarks of her administration will be efficient government and greater accountability to taxpayers, while taking a swipe at her predecessor.
Speaking from an indoor tent to a crowd at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park, DeSena vowed to remove politics from the fray on what she called a “historic” day for North Hempstead.
“For too long, North Hempstead Town Hall has been riddled with politics, discord and staff in-fighting,” DeSena said. “Politics have been placed ahead of our taxpayers and town services have suffered as a result, there’s no denying it. As of today, partisan power party politics will no longer have a place in Town Hall.”
In November, DeSena was the first Republican nominee to win the town supervisor election in over 30 years, succeeding Judi Bosworth, a Democrat who did not seek re-election. DeSena was sworn in by County Legislator Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, in an event hosted by Elaine Philips, a Republican who was sworn in as county comptroller on Tuesday.
Also present were New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, among others.
DeSena, a registered Democrat who ran as a Republican, campaigned on making town government streamlined and more efficient, citing issues with North Hempstead’s Building Department.
“I promise to streamline the top-heavy town management, cut wasteful spending and bring efficiency to a government known for dragging its feet on even simple matters,” DeSena said. “My number one priority going forward is to make North Hempstead the best it can be while putting our residents first.”
One town council member, Mariann Dalimonte, took issue with DeSena’s remarks.
In a statement to Blank Slate Media, Dalimonte said: “On Sunday, Supervisor DeSena had an opportunity to serve as a uniting force, but she chose instead to once again spread divisive misinformation. As part of the Town Board, alongside Supervisor Bosworth, we have ensured that North Hempstead ran more efficiently and effectively than ever before. The level of transparency in Town government over the past several years is truly unparalleled.
“The Town’s leadership team is extraordinarily proud of its track record of balanced budgets, our Aaa bond rating, and exceptional quality of life services and initiatives. Looking forward in 2022, the Town Board majority vows to remain focused on what really matters to the residents of North Hempstead. We will be unveiling our list of priorities in the coming days.”
Weeks ago, DeSena said the board was planning a “deceitful post-election stunt” regarding the budget for her administration. She later backtracked from those comments, saying she had been misinformed.
Brian Devine, a spokesman for the supervisor, said the councilwoman’s comments were misguided.
In a statement to Blank Slate Media, he said: “By referring to herself and her fellow Democratic Councilmembers as the ‘Town Board majority’ Councilwoman Dalimonte is showing her true colors. She clearly has no interest in working with Supervisor DeSena in a bipartisan manner for the residents of North Hempstead. So far, Democratic Councilmembers seem only interested in serving their own political self-interest, as evidenced by the dirty political tricks they are currently engaged in.”
Also sworn in were Town Clerk Ragini Srivastava and Councilmen Dennis Walsh, who represents District 3, both Republicans, and Robert Troiano Jr., a Democrat representing District 1. District 5 representative David Adhami, a Republican, was not present Sunday.
With the inauguration, the Town Board is split between four Democrats and three Republicans.
In Hempstead, Supervisor Don Clavin, Town Clerk Kate Murray, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby as well as Councilmen Anthony D’Esposito and Dennis Dunne were sworn in Tuesday morning. Each won re-election in November.
Speaking to the crowd on the Senior Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby Plaza at Town Hall, renamed in 2020, Clavin thanked those in attendance as well as his supporters, which included town and state officials. Clavin also expressed gratitude for his colleagues at Town Hall, ranging from board officials to department employees
“Today is really about saying thank you,” Clavin said. “We all work together for the betterment of the residents. We do it together because we are one big team in the Town of Hempstead.”