New administrations took office in several Long Island towns on Tuesday, bringing changes in political party control and promises of working together.
Chad Lupinacci, Huntington’s first new supervisor in 24 years, kicked off his first day in office meeting with media representatives and employees in Town Hall.
Melville resident Lupinacci, 38, the town’s 81st supervisor, was officially sworn in just after midnight Monday.
He said among his first orders of business will be enacting terms limits, making sure all staffing decisions are addressed — including the creation of an advisory or consultant position to help with economic policy in making the town more business friendly and someone to oversee efforts to stem heroin addiction — and making town government more accessible both for customer service and in streamlining the permit process.
In addition to approving term limits on the books within the first “several months” of his term, Lupinacci said adding a downtown parking structure is also a priority.
The first town board meeting of the year on Wednesday will include making appointments and adopting the town board meeting schedule for the year, Lupinacci said.
“You’ll see a large increase in the number of town board meetings; we are going back to at least two a month and some that will occur in the evening,” he said.
One adjustment to be made immediately is to his desk. The 6-foot, 6-inch-tall supervisor said when he arrived for his first day of work Tuesday he found his desk was too low for him to fit his legs under.
“General services is working on that right now,” Lupinacci said.
— DEBORAH S. MORRIS
Hempstead Town officials on Tuesday swore in three incumbent council members who vowed to make bipartisan overtures on the Republican-majority seven-member board.
Newly elected Democratic Supervisor Laura Gillen, who was sworn in separately Monday, was “welcomed to the Hempstead family” by Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin.
“I look forward to working with everyone, regardless of party affiliation,” Gillen said.
She joins the board’s other Democrat, Dorothy Goosby, who was the first African-American elected to the board when she first took office in 1999.
“We work together as a team and so many great things have happened in the Town of Hempstead,” Goosby said.
Incumbent board member Anthony D’Esposito touted the town’s record of cost saving measures and recovery after superstorm Sandy.
“The six town board members may have different opinions, but the six of us are full of heart,” D’Esposito said. “I hope we can put our hearts and heads together across the aisle.”
The board’s newest member, Republican Councilman Dennis Dunne Sr., was sworn in by Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello. Dunne was appointed to the board in June.
— JOHN ASBURY AND STEFANIE DAZIO
Peter Van Scoyoc was sworn in as East Hampton Town supervisor on Tuesday, ushering in an all-Democrat town board with one vacant seat.
Van Scoyoc, who had been a town board member, defeated Republican candidate Manny Vilar in the Nov. 7 election after incumbent supervisor Democrat Larry Cantwell announced his retirement last year. Van Scoyoc said the board probably will fill his own vacant town board seat with an appointment in January.
Second-term incumbent Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and newly elected member Jeff Bragman also took the oath of office on Monday. Town Board member Sylvia Overby was appointed deputy town supervisor, a post previously held by Van Scoyoc.
Confronting water quality issues topped the supervisor’s list of concerns and initiatives for his first term.
Van Scoyoc, 58, noted the town will continue to work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suffolk County Water Authority and other agencies to determine the cause and develop solutions for contaminated private wells in Wainscott.
“What we do on land has a direct impact on our water,” he said during his inauguration speech.
— VERA CHINESE
Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim said he started his first day on the new job at 8:30 a.m., as employees from Parks, Buildings and Grounds — the town department he once worked for and then led — set up his second-floor office.
He met with town council members Lynne Nowick and Tom McCarthy to go over an agenda for the first town board meeting of his administration, on Jan. 9, which he said would likely include voting to appoint a fifth council member and introducing a bond issue for new water mains in St. James.
“I’ve indicated to the council that I’d like to get that slot filled,” Wehrheim said of the open council seat. Leaving his old seat vacant “could be problematic going forward because it could come down to a 2-2 vote,” he said. Wehrheim was in the middle of his term as a councilman when he was elected supervisor in November.
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke said Tuesday that he was busy meeting all city employees, setting up meetings, reading emails from department heads about priorities and discussing potential hires to replace retiring officers and to add a crime-prevention officer position.
During an inaugural address Tenke delivered on Monday immediately after being sworn in at City Hall, he vowed to institute long-term financial planning, in which annual budgets would be “projected out five or 10 years, so that we can anticipate expenses and more readily plan for them.”
Speaking to his five Republican colleagues on the seven-member council, the Democratic mayor said, “Even though we are from different parties, I feel that we can reach across the aisle and work with bipartisan determination for the good of the city.”
Council members also were sworn in on Monday.
— DAVID OLSON