Fired Islip planner gets new Brookhaven post

A former Islip Town chief planner who was fired in November for unspecified reasons has landed a new post in the Brookhaven Town planning office.

Dave Genaway was named chief deputy commissioner of planning Tuesday night by the Brookhaven Town Board, filling a new $115,000-a-year post created as part of a departmental reorganization.

Genaway, a Medford resident, had been fired in November by Islip Town board members, who gave no reason for his dismissal.

He had been Islip's planning commissioner since January 2011, with an annual salary of $101,000.

Brookhaven Tuesday night created a Department of General Services as part of a town reorganization. The new department includes management of the town's animal shelter, vehicle fleet, airport and other services.

Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said the new department would save taxpayers money, though there are no immediate savings.

"Many local governments have general services departments," he said during the public hearing yesterday. "I think it will provide for more cost-efficient government."

The board's decision to vote on the restructuring plan was questioned by former town Councilwoman Connie Kepert and other residents of the 4th Council District, which Kepert represented until her term expired on Dec. 31.

The seat is vacant while Kepert, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael A. Loguercio Jr. battle in court over disputed ballots.

E. James Freeman, president of the Gordon Heights Civic Association, said a vote on the reorganization should be delayed until the district is represented.

"We would like to have our voices heard, as well," Freeman said.

Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said the new department would save taxpayers money, though there are no immediate savings.

"Many local governments have general services departments," he said during the public hearing Tuesday. "I think it will provide for more cost-efficient government."

New positions such as Genaway's won't increase costs because they replace other jobs that were vacant or eliminated, town officials said.

Town Building and Fire Prevention Commissioner Martin Haley, a former county legislator, was appointed to head the general services department. The position pays $119,000 a year.

Romaine, a Republican, said the board would hold meetings and take votes while the seat was vacant, adding he had outpolled Democrat Vivian Viloria-Fisher in the district in the Nov. 5 election.

"You have a representative on the board," Romaine said. "I will be happy to take your calls."

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