Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.
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Dobie: Kim Kaiman hiring smacks of favoritism
What was Judi Bosworth thinking?
Barely a week into her tenure as North Hempstead Town supervisor, Bosworth chose Kim Kaiman, the wife of her predecessor, fellow Democrat Jon Kaiman, to head the town agency charged with attracting business and tourism to North Hempstead.
Kim Kaiman did not emerge victorious from a field of qualified candidates. There were no others. The job apparently was not advertised and there were no other resumes through which to comb.
Bosworth says she had every expectation the hire would raise questions but insisted, “The choice was absolutely not dictated by anyone.”
Bosworth said she has known Kim Kaiman personally for years and believes Kaiman has the personality, ability, dedication and knowledge of the town to serve well as deputy commissioner of finance and executive director of the North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corp., a $78,000-a-year post. And officials from both major parties in town agree the business agency has been ineffective and needs a shake-up.
Both are beside the point. So is the fact that the appointment sailed through the town board (which does include two Republicans); that mostly was a testament to the new and less-combative tone Bosworth has brought to Town Hall. The problem is that by not considering anyone else — say, someone with more of a marketing background or more experience in working with businesses — Bosworth is susceptible to claims that she has engaged in nepotism.
True, nepotism has been around as long as paying jobs have existed, and it's certainly not unique to politics. But it matters more when it's the public's money being spent to hire someone's relative — especially when the someone was a larger-than-life personality who left a huge footprint in the town when he left.
Bosworth says she has demonstrated her independence from Jon Kaiman in other hires she has made of people with no connection to the former supervisor. The hiring of Kim Kaiman clouds that picture.
Bosworth asks that Kim Kaiman be judged on her performance. Fair enough. And she may do well, indeed. But that doesn't mean that the process that put her in place passes the smell test.