North Hempstead Town has hired a Nassau County budget official as director of finance, more than a year after the previous finance director was given the added title of deputy supervisor and an $18,000 raise.
The Town Board on Tuesday hired Jessica Lamendola for the $118,000-a-year position. Deputy Supervisor Aline Khatchadourian will no longer have the director of finance title. Town officials said Khatchadourian, who is paid $150,000 annually, has taken on new responsibilities after the May resignation of Cindy Cardinal, who served as chief of staff to Supervisor Judi Bosworth.
Lamendola, 34, was paid $93,150 as fiscal projects director/investor relations manager for the Nassau County Office of Management and Budget, and her last day with the county was Friday.
Officials said her job will be to oversee the town’s annual capital plan, work with the comptroller’s office on financing issues, and make sure the town complies with all FEMA grant requirements for its recovery projects.
Khatchadourian was appointed finance director in January 2014 and given the title of deputy supervisor in October 2014. Bosworth said that designation, which had been vacant for most of her first year in office, allows her to fill in for the supervisor at board meetings and sign contracts in her absence.
The town board in February 2015 gave Khatchadourian an $18,000 raise, and officials said at the time the raise was given to “recognize that she was carrying the responsibilities” of two jobs.
The Tuesday vote passed 6-1. After a no vote, Dina De Giorgio, a Republican councilwoman, said “my understanding was we were eliminating the director of finance position, we were making Aline the deputy supervisor, and she was going to wear two hats and she was given a significant raise because of the increased responsibilities. I agreed with that strategy.”
She added, “now we are filling the director of finance position again, Aline is staying the deputy supervisor, with her increased salary. It’s unclear to me why we need a director of finance.”
Bosworth, in a memo to town employees, called the changes an effort “to reorganize my office to increase my effectiveness, while staying budget neutral.”
She said Khatchadourian will “take on expanded responsibilities as all departments will now report to her or one of her direct reports.”
She also said that Robert Troiano, a former Nassau County legislator and the town’s director of operations, will become senior policy adviser. There is no raise with the promotion. His job will be to advise Bosworth on town, county, and state issues and represent Bosworth on the labor-management committee and at community meetings when she is not available.
The town also gave a $13,000 raise to town spokeswoman Carole Trottere, who was promoted to director of communications and special projects from public information officer, according to town board personnel documents.
She will be paid $115,000 annually, up from $102,000. Bosworth said she will be responsible for some community outreach projects, such as the poll sent to members of a community about a pool renovation project.