Former Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman has begun work as a fiscal consultant to North Hempstead as budget season begins after the departure of the town's comptroller.
Weitzman, 68, of North Hills was elected Nassau comptroller in 2001 and served until he lost a bid for re-election in 2009. His run for the seat in 2013 also failed. He began consulting with the town's comptroller's office Tuesday and is due to work three days a week and make up to $20,000, he said.
Weitzman said he has been in "semiretirement," doing financial consulting. Supervisor Judi Bosworth asked him to assist the town after former comptroller Kathleen Mitterway resigned to take another job.
"There was an absence at the top of the comptroller's office. I was asked . . . if I would consider working on a consulting basis to help them get through a crunch they're having to prepare their budget for 2015," Weitzman said.
Bosworth said the appointment has the backing of the town board, which must approve the selection at the Sept. 9 meeting. The proposed contract would pay $100 hourly, officials said. "I polled each of the town council members to explain to each of them the bind that we're in," Bosworth said.
Weitzman will report to Aline Khatchadourian, the town's finance director, and be responsible for matters "related to the preparation of the budget, accounts payable, payroll, accounts receivable," he said.
Bosworth said the town will search for a permanent replacement for Mitterway, whose last day was Friday.
Officials would like to keep the town within the tax cap of 1.56 percent, given rising labor costs. "This is a no-growth budget, and we have to make sure we stay in the cap," Bosworth said. "The town's very fortunate to be gaining Howard's experience in finance and budgeting. . . . I don't think there's a question about his reputation for hard work and integrity."
The supervisor must submit a draft of the budget to the town clerk by Sept. 28.