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Hempstead Town Board approves appointments at final meeting

Anthony Santino's final Hempstead Town Board meeting as

Anthony Santino's final Hempstead Town Board meeting as supervisor on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Hempstead. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Hempstead Town Board has voted to appoint 15 people to several boards and commissions.

The appointments, including reappointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals, were made Tuesday during outgoing Supervisor Anthony Santino’s final town board meeting. Some of the positions have specific terms. Others must be removed by a town board’s majority vote.

“Santino’s overtly political eleventh-hour appointments severely undermine the people’s desire for a new direction in the Town of Hempstead,” Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen said in a statement Wednesday. “Our new administration is exploring all of their options to see what recourse is available.”

Town spokeswoman Susie Trenkle-Pokalsky said the appointments were made “to assure continuity of service.”

The board voted to appoint four people to the town’s Industrial Development Agency and its Local Development Corporation, which have lacked a quorum since Nov. 24, following recent resignations — including that of chairman Arthur Nastre — and the death of a member. The new members, who serve at the pleasure of the town board and are not compensated, are James Marsh, Anthony La Rocco, Richard De Brosse and John Ardito. La Rocco has declined the appointment.

Councilman Ed Ambrosino, without giving a reason, recused himself from the IDA and LDC vote. The rest of the appointments passed unanimously.

Nastre, who resigned last month as IDA chairman and is a former attorney for the Zoning Board of Appeals, was appointed to the Civil Service Commission through 2021. He had previously been a member of the commission, according to the 2016 town payroll. The town board had appointed Gennaro Cesarano to the commission last month. Members receive stipends.

The board also voted Tuesday to install Kuldeap Prasad, John Ryan and Anthony Errera on the Board of Ethics. They serve at the pleasure of the town board. Ryan is an attorney for the Village of Floral Park, the town IDA and the county Board of Elections.

Joseph Pellegrini, David Weiss, John Ragano and Kimberly Perry were reappointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Joann Ruth Adams was added to the board. They were also installed on the town Planning Board. Their terms end between 2020 and 2022. Zoning board members were paid $38,000 each in 2016, while the chairman, Weiss, received $41,500.

Weiss is the Bellmore Republican Club’s leader, according to the Nassau GOP’s website.

Adams, an attorney, was previously commissioner of the Nassau County Planning Commission and a former aide to former state Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos, according to her résumé. She is married to Thomas A. Adams, administrative judge of the Nassau County Supreme Court, according to his biography on the state court system’s website.

Sheldon Shrenkel, a financial consultant and chairman of the Nassau County Bus Transit Committee, is now a member of the town’s Housing Authority through 2021, following the board’s vote on Tuesday. Christopher Krull was appointed to the Examining Board of Plumbers; his tenure is at the pleasure of the town board and he will be paid $60 per meeting.

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