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Babylon -- Richard Schaffer Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard
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Babylon -- Richard Schaffer

Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer likely will be appointed by the town board next week to a temporary post as supervisor. He would serve until a November election for the remainder of the term, which expires in 2013.

Schaffer said he plans to continue the work started by predecessor Steve Bellone. In particular, Schaffer said he wants to bring to fruition Bellone's vision for Wyandanch Rising. The $500 million public/private redevelopment is reaching a critical stage, Schaffer said. The redevelopment of Geiger Lake Park -- which will turn the space into a water park, botanical garden and conservatory -- is under way and the town hopes parts of it will open this summer, Schaffer said.

Regarding the budget, Schaffer said he wants to meet with the town's financial team to "see where the pressures will be and try to stay ahead of those pressures." Schaffer, who served as supervisor from 1992 to 2001, also said he wants to focus on creating jobs and attracting businesses and will meet with various chambers of commerce and village mayors.

(April 27, 2011)(Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)

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LI's top pols weigh in on challenges ahead

Newsday asked the leaders of Long Island's 13 towns and two cities what they saw as their biggest challenges for 2012. Scroll through the gallery to read their answers:

This story was reported and written by Aisha Al-Muslim, Stacey Altherr, Jennifer Barrios, Bill Bleyer, Denise M. Bonilla, Sarah Crichton, Emily C. Dooley, Mitchell Freedman, Carl MacGowan, Emily Ngo, Candice Ruud and Patrick Whittle.

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