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Hempstead Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen announces staff picks

Among the new staff members are the former head of NIFA, the Long Beach storm recovery adviser and the North Hempstead comptroller.

Laura Gillen, a Democrat, won the election this

Laura Gillen, a Democrat, won the election this November for Hempstead Town Supervisor over Hempstead GOP Supervisor Anthony Santino. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hempstead Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen has tapped a former Long Beach official and the former head of Nassau County’s Interim Finance Authority among the first hires of her new administration.

Gillen is to be sworn in Monday for a two-year term as the town’s first Democratic supervisor in more than a century.

Gillen announced Friday she has hired former Long Beach Public Works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba as her chief of staff to oversee the town’s daily operations.

LaCarrubba previously served as senior adviser of resiliency and recovery for Long Beach after superstorm Sandy, and as the Town of Brookhaven’s deputy supervisor, deputy highway superintendent and parks commissioner.

He said the new Hempstead Town administration wants to improve transparency and efficiency to respond to residents.

“I plan to work with Laura Gillen and the council to bring some much needed change and good government to the Town of Hempstead,” LaCarrubba said Friday. “The residents made a clear vote that they wanted change in picking Laura and wanted to see things run differently.”

A former NIFA Director Adam Haber will join Gillen as executive assistant of economic development and government efficiency, while North Hempstead Comptroller Averil Smith will serve as Gillen’s director of finance.

Gillen tapped Joseph Davenport, the Nassau County chief sanitary engineer, as her executive assistant for infrastructure.

Rebecca Sinclair, a partner at Syosset-based consulting firm CDS Energy Partners, will serve as Gillen’s executive assistant for service delivery and quality of life. She has a background in urban planning and worked in the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.

Matthew Hynes, a former chief of staff for state Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford), will be Gillen’s senior adviser for constituent affairs, to meet with community groups and address resident concerns.

Gillen’s staff will include many returning Hempstead Town workers, but the supervisor’s office will be have a different makeup, said Mike Fricchione, Gillen’s press secretary.

Gillen will carry over some top positions as she takes office, such as town attorney, while she makes selections that will require the Republican-majority town board approval.

“I assembled this team to bring some of the best and the brightest consummate professionals to do the work of the people, not just the work of the party,” Gillen said. “I am hopeful the Town Board will share my vision to eliminate some of the waste. I’ve learned the rank-and-file workers are the heart and soul of the Town of Hempstead and I’m excited to work with them.”

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