Gail Vizzini named SCCC finance chief

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Gail Vizzini, head of the Suffolk Legislature's budget office for the past seven years, will take over next month as Suffolk County Community College's vice president for business and financial affairs.

The appointment to the $178,373-a-year job caps a 37-year career in county government -- 30 of them with the legislature's Office of Budget Review, which provides lawmakers with the information to dissect and alter county executive budget proposals.

In her new post, Vizzini will oversee capital and operating budgets for the college, which has 25,000 students and three campuses. "She will bring a unique combination of fiscal and budgetary expertise, along with demonstrated skills in presenting fiscal and budgetary information, making her a strong addition to the college's senior administrative team," said SCCC president Shaun McKay.

"I've always had a fondness for the college, the opportunity presented itself and I look forward to the challenge," Vizzini said. "I think my knowledge of the county is an asset. I know all the principals and I've analyzed the college budget since I first came here as an analyst."

Vizzini's move to SCCC follows a period in which the college went through two top financial administrators. Her last several years in the legislative budget office also dovetailed with a tumultuous fiscal cycle in which Suffolk laid off 230 employees. She had three years left on her four-year term with the legislature.

Legis. Jay H. Schneiderman (I-Montauk) said Vizzini "guided us through some very challenging economic times and she's always been right on the money."

Legis. Thomas F. Barraga (R-West Islip), the legislature's most ardent fiscal conservative, called Vizzini "extremely knowledgeable, straightforward," saying she "never politicized any issue."

Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne R. Horsley (D-Babylon) said he and Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay (D-Holbrook) will meet today to discuss whether to select a successor from within the office or open the search to outside candidates. Vizzini's appointment takes effect Dec. 10.

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