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Blakeman team asks Nassau political appointees to resign

More than 300 Nassau County political appointees were asked to resign by Dec. 3 at the request of Christopher McGrath, chairman of Nassau County Executive-elect Bruce Blakeman's transition team.

The resignation request stems from the change in administrations from outgoing County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat, to Blakeman, a Republican member of the Hempstead Town Board.

The letter has been standard practice in the various political regime changes over the years in Nassau County. Those who wish to continue in the new administration can apply for jobs.

In 2017, Curran transition chairman Thomas Garry requested the resignations of 200-plus employees in then-Republican County Executive Edward Mangano's administration. Curran kept about 160 of those employees and sent termination letters to 100.

Politically appointed, or at-will positions, include numerous nonunion jobs, many of them in the six-figures: Deputy county executives, department commissioners, county attorneys and members of Curran's public relations team.

"It's something that's been sent out by every exiting administration, and that's normal. Some people are going to retire, some people aren't going to continue, and some people are going to want to continue, so that's why we do it this way," McGrath told Newsday in an interview on Wednesday.

McGrath said Blakeman will evaluate the employees that have applied to keep their jobs, and then make selections. "If he can make it better," McGrath said of a potential county department, Blakeman will make personnel changes. "If he can't, then he's not going to make a change."

Earlier in the week McGrath met with Helena Williams, Nassau's chief deputy county executive, along with Arthur Walsh, Blakeman's pick to succeed Williams, and Brian Nevin, a former Mangano aide and current spokesman for the Town of Oyster Bay.

"As you are aware, the County has begun a transition to the new administration," Chief Deputy County Executive Helena Williams wrote in a memo delivered to more than 300 political appointees on Monday, and obtained by Newsday.

Williams continued: "During previous changes of administration, existing County employees were asked to submit a letter of resignation. Christopher McGrath, head of the transition team, requested resignation letters from each of you. Please plan to submit your resignation effective December 31, 2021 to 2021NCResignation@nassaucountyny.gov by Friday, December 3, 2021."

Williams wrote that employees who want to continue to work in the new administration should submit resumes to www.servenassau.com.

McGrath praised Curran's staff for so far orchestrating a smooth transition.

"This transition has gone very smoothly, between administrations," McGrath said. "That does not surprise me knowing Laura Curran as long as I have."

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