Mastic Beach hires former Garden City auditor as village treasurer

Mastic Beach Village Hall on April 20, 2014. Mastic Beach Village Hall on April 20, 2014. The building is located at 369 Neighborhood Rd. Photo Credit: Carl Corry

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James Olivo, a veteran Nassau County auditor and former president of New York State's Government Finance Officers' Association, has taken over the financial reins of Mastic Beach as treasurer.

Olivo will be the fourth administrator to handle the village's fiscal affairs since Mastic Beach was incorporated in 2010.

Village trustee Gary Stiriz on Wednesday blamed the high turnover rate in part on the position being part time, and said some treasurers found better jobs elsewhere.

Olivo, 59, of North Merrick, replaces former treasurer John Morris, who worked on the village's $4.3 million budget despite being amicably terminated days before its adoption because of a disagreement over health insurance.

Olivo, who was formerly appointed to the position at Tuesday's village meeting, said he needs a change of pace as he nears retirement.

"I'm pretty confident I can help the village," he told the more than 130 residents in attendance. He told residents that the village appears to be in good financial position, but that he needs more time to go over the books.

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Olivo said he spent 32 years as the auditor of Garden City and is an adjunct professor in the business department at Molloy College in Rockville Centre. His experience also includes a stint as president of New York State's Government Finance Officers' Association, a private group that assists government financial officers. He graduated from Hofstra University in 1977 and later obtained a master's degree there.

Board members, in a 4-0 decision, voted to give Olivo the position at a reorganizational and work session meeting last week. The move caused some criticism among several homeowners at the meeting who spoke out against the hire in favor of someone closer. To permit the hire, the trustees passed a law last week allowing the village treasurer to live in Nassau County. Before the village code was amended last week, the treasurer had to live in Suffolk County.

Village officials said Olivo was the most qualified candidate of the four applicants. He will earn about $18,000 annually, won't work more than 20 hours per week and won't have village-provided health insurance.

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