Long Beach has hired its first permanent comptroller in nearly two years as the city attempts to recover from a fiscal crisis.
Acting City Manager Rob Agostisi hired Nassau Community College vice president of finance Inna Reznik to oversee the city’s finances and help prepare next year’s budget.
Reznik, 48, of Bellmore, will be paid $178,500 and start her new job July 8. Her hiring does not require City Council approval, but she met with several council members before she was hired. The comptroller has to live within 50 miles of Long Beach.
“Long Beach is a thriving community and a beautiful community, and I believe in its future,” Reznik said.
She fills a void left by former comptroller Kristie Hansen-Hightower, who left in August 2017 to serve as comptroller for the Town of Southold. The city continues to pay her a $100 per hour retainer as a financial consultant to draft budgets and advise on city finances.
Officials said Reznik will work with Hansen-Hightower and the city’s financial team until she becomes familiar with Long Beach’s fiscal situation. Reznik will be tasked with accounting and will also work with the city’s team of outside financial consultants.
“This is a very specialized market, and supply is very limited, and we needed a certain caliber of person willing to dive in and take on the challenge of this magnitude,” Agostisi said.
Reznik previously served as Nassau Community College’s comptroller for six years before she was promoted to vice president in 2014. She is a certified public accountant and has her MBA. She briefly accepted the North Hempstead comptroller job in 2016, but then turned it down.
Reznik said she still has to review city finances and work with the city to develop a plan for financial recovery.
“I think based on the analysis I’ve done so far on public documents, there is a lot of potential revenue to meet expenses,” Reznik said.
Reznik will come into the city after years of unbalanced budgets that saw the 2018-2019 fiscal year end with a $1 million deficit. The city ended 2017-2018 with a $5.2 million deficit.
City Council members unanimously voted down the 2019-2020 budget, which forced the proposed budget with a 7.9 percent tax increase to go into effect.
The city’s finances are also under audit by the state comptroller’s office, which is also completing a report on separation payments made last year to current and former city employees.