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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is adding to his communications staff, with a new $125,000-a-year assistant deputy county executive and local communications aide to handle smaller media.
Justin Meyers, a former Town of North Hempstead spokesman, started last week as assistant deputy county executive in charge of communication. “In a government the size of Suffolk County, we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to keep them informed of what we’re doing,” Meyers said.
Pam Robinson, a former editor for the local news website, Huntington Patch, and before that for Newsday, also started last week at the job, which pays $68,000 a year.
County director of communications, Vanessa Baird-Streeter, who has been with Bellone’s administration since 2012, will remain on the job.
Meyers said his position will be paid for from a vacant deputy county executive of finance position, which paid $175,000 a year.
Tim Ruggeri, who was a $96,000 county executive assistant with the communications department, no longer works for the county, Meyers said.
Ruggeri, who lives in Brooklyn, had received a one-year waiver to work for the county, which requires employees to work in Suffolk or Nassau. The Suffolk County Legislature in December defeated a Bellone attempt that would have allowed his appointees to live off Long Island.
Meyers, 29, lives in Nassau County, but said he plans to move to Suffolk. Robinson lives in Huntington.