Incoming Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced Wednesday that he would appoint the first woman to head the county public works department.
Even as the Bethpage Republican announced the appointment of private engineer Shila Shah, of Bellmore, to the $135,850-a-year job, the outgoing Democratic majority on the County Legislature rejected Mangano's request to delay approval of a controversial 30-year lease for a new police precinct building in Baldwin.
Mangano, who will take office January 1, introduced Shah at a news conference in Mineola, saying she will bring "professional excellence" to the county.
Shah for the past decade has been a project manager in the design group at LiRo Engineers, Inc., of Syosset.
Meanwhile, Mangano's new deputy county executive for finance, Tim Sullivan, on Wednesday asked the Legislature, which also was meeting the same day, to delay any action on the proposed lease agreement with Grand Baldwin Assocs. until the incoming administration has had a chance to review the agreement.
A half-dozen Baldwin residents, including former Nassau Chief Administrative Judge Leo McGinity, spoke against the lease, questioning terms in which the county pays all costs to renovate part of a private shopping center.
"This is an extremely good deal for the landlord," McGinity said. "It's an extremely terrible deal for the County of Nassau."
Nonetheless, the Democratic-controlled Legislature voted 10-9 on Wednesday, along party lines, to approve the agreement.
Incoming legislative Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) promised to investigate the agreement once Republicans take control of the Legislature in January.