Suffolk: Bellone adds to communications staff

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is adding to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is adding to his communications staff, with a new $125,000-a-year assistant deputy county executive and local communications aide to handle smaller media. (Jan. 23, 2014) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is adding to his communications staff, with a new $125,000-a-year assistant deputy county executive and local communications aide to handle smaller media.

Justin Meyers, a former Town of North Hempstead spokesman, started last week as assistant deputy county executive in charge of communication. “In a government the size of Suffolk County, we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to keep them informed of what we’re doing,” Meyers said.

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Pam Robinson, a former editor for the local news website, Huntington Patch, and before that for Newsday, also started last week at the job, which pays $68,000 a year.

County director of communications, Vanessa Baird-Streeter, who has been with Bellone’s administration since 2012, will remain on the job.

Meyers said his position will be paid for from a vacant deputy county executive of finance position, which paid $175,000 a year.

Tim Ruggeri, who was a $96,000 county executive assistant with the communications department, no longer works for the county, Meyers said.

Ruggeri, who lives in Brooklyn, had received a one-year waiver to work for the county, which requires employees to work in Suffolk or Nassau. The Suffolk County Legislature in December defeated a Bellone attempt that would have allowed his appointees to live off Long Island.

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Meyers, 29, lives in Nassau County, but said he plans to move to Suffolk. Robinson lives in Huntington.
 

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