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New chairman, 2 members join Babylon Town’s IDA board

The Babylon Town Board has appointed three new

The Babylon Town Board has appointed three new members to the town's Industrial Development Agency. Credit: Steve Pfost

The Babylon Town Board has appointed a new chairman and two members to the board of the town’s Industrial Development Agency.

The appointees to the posts, which pay $6,500 or $7,000 annually, include a special assistant to Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, a union carpenter and an official from the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing & Consumer Affairs, Babylon officials said.

Justin Belkin, a project manager at Canon U.S.A. Inc., will chair the board of the agency, which grants tax breaks to local businesses to boost the town’s economy. Belkin’s corporate and finance experience qualified him for the position, said Matthew T. McDonough, chief executive of the IDA.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” said Belkin, 40, of his new role. “I take it very seriously.”

Belkin, of Deer Park, said he has served as a volunteer special assistant to Schaffer, a Democrat, for the past year. Belkin is a member of the town’s Democratic Committee.

He replaces Patrick Halpin, a former Suffolk County executive whom Schaffer asked to chair the town’s Planning Board, Schaffer said. Halpin, a Democrat, replaces former Planning Board chair Lev Brickman, who moved out of Babylon Town, Schaffer said.

Marcus Duffin replaces Chris Ferencsik, who also moved out of Babylon, as a member of the agency board, McDonough said. Duffin, 37, of Amityville, said he is a community liaison at Suffolk’s Labor Department. He is also a Democrat and a member of the town Democratic Committee.

“Him I’ve known for a long time,” Schaffer said of Duffin. Duffin’s experience at the Labor Department makes him a valuable addition to the agency, Schaffer added.

Thomas Gaulrapp, a Democrat and Lindenhurst resident, replaces Sandra Thomas on the agency board. Gaulrapp is a carpenter and union representative, McDonough said.

Gaulrapp’s union perspective will be useful on the board, Schaffer said, adding that he has known Gaulrapp since Gaulrapp was a high school student.

Schaffer said he asked Thomas to replace Mike Johnson as chair of the town’s Accessory Apartment Review Board. Thomas, a Democrat, is a longtime civic leader in Wheatley Heights, Schaffer said.

“I’ve known her for so long,” he said.

Schaffer said he proposed reassigning Thomas and Halpin but didn’t recall who originally proposed appointing the other new members.

The town did not interview other candidates for the positions, he said.

McDonough praised the new appointments.

“They’re going to be a great addition to the board,” he said.

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