Longtime Islip Town Assessor Ronald F. Devine Jr. has resigned to take a job in Brookhaven Town, officials in both towns said.

The Brookhaven Town Board on Thursday appointed Devine to the post of deputy town tax assessor. Officials said Devine eventually will succeed Brookhaven Assessor James Ryan.

Devine resigned from his Islip job Friday morning, Supervisor Angie Carpenter said.

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"We had heard rumors that Brookhaven had reached out to Mr. Devine, and just today we received his resignation as Islip Town assessor," Carpenter said Friday in a statement. "We certainly appreciate his many years of dedicated service to the Town of Islip, and wish him every success in his new position."

Town assessors maintain property ownership records, estimate property values for tax purposes and review applications for tax exemptions.

"It's a larger town and it's a career advancement," Devine said of moving from Islip to Brookhaven. He said he does not know when he will succeed Ryan.

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"He's a great guy. I hope I can fill his shoes. He's been a wonderful assessor for the Town of Brookhaven," Devine said in an interview.

Devine, 58, who was paid $101,000 annually in Islip, will make $112,000 per year in Brookhaven. His resignation will be effective on Sept. 11, Islip spokeswoman Tracey Krut said. Devine is to start work for Brookhaven on Sept. 14.

Krut said Islip officials have not named Devine's successor.

Devine, a Bayport resident, has worked for Islip in various roles since 1980, when he took a job as an administrative assistant. He became assessor in 1998, Krut said.

Ryan, 62, has been Brookhaven Town assessor since 1993. Town spokesman Jack Krieger said no date has been set for Ryan's retirement.

Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said he had convinced Ryan to remain in the job two years ago until officials could find his successor. Ryan was not available for comment.

"This is a very critical job," Romaine said, noting that assessors decide tax grievances filed by property owners.

Devine is "someone that's been around. He's very strong. He's the assessor for a large town. We believe he's the right person," Romaine said.

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With Sarah Armaghan