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North Hempstead parks commissioner leaves, third recent top departure

North Hempstead Town Hall on Oct. 14, 2018,

North Hempstead Town Hall on Oct. 14, 2018, in Manhasset. The town's director of government research will be the acting parks commissioner until the town finds Jill Weber's replacement. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Jill Weber, North Hempstead’s Department of Parks and Recreation commissioner, has retired, making her the third town official to leave a top-level position since December.

Weber, 59, of Oceanside, retired on June 28. She oversaw the town’s 52 parks, 80 full-time and more than 300 part-time and seasonal employees for 4½ years. The parks department has an operating budget of $17 million. Weber’s annual salary was $131,057.

Director of government research Steven Pollack will be the acting parks commissioner until the town finds Weber’s replacement, officials said. His salary increased to $125,000 from $75,798.

“We thank Jill Weber for her service to the Town during her tenure as Parks Commissioner and we wish her well in her retirement,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement.

Weber, a career parks and recreation manager, joined the town administration in January 2015. Before that, she worked for the New York City parks department in various capacities for more than 35 years.

“I feel proud of the work I did," Weber said in an interview Wednesday. "I look forward to visiting the parks as a resident of Nassau County."

When Weber oversaw the parks department, Alvan O. Petrus Park in Port Washington was rebuilt. During her tenure, she restructured the parks department to separate the recreation and maintenance divisions, Weber said, and pushed to open the first dog park in town and change some rules to allow dogs in some town parks.  

In her early career, Weber was a horticulturist for Central Park and then Riverside Park in Manhattan. After that, she became a manager for the New York City parks department in the Bronx  before landing a job as the chief of the New York City Parks Opportunity Program. She later became involved in policy, planning, fundraising, community engagement and programming of parks and the beach in Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens.

Deputy Town Supervisor Aline Khatchadourian left her job in January, and Town Attorney Elizabeth Botwin stepped down from her position in December.

Bosworth and council members on Tuesday passed a personnel resolution that approved hiring Leigh Chin to be the deputy town clerk, replacing Eileen Kranberg, who will be the secretary for the parks commissioner. Chin will be paid a yearly salary of $90,000 and Kranberg $96,833.