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Long IslandNassau

Urban planning expert to run Hempstead Village Community Development Agency

The cash-strapped Hempstead Village Community Development Agency has hired an urban planning expert as its new commissioner after last year's resignation of its former leader.

The five-member board unanimously approved the appointment of Danielle T. Oglesby during a meeting this week after months of looking for a replacement after Claude Gooding resigned in May 2013.

Oglesby, 33, of Glen Head, who starts March 10, will earn $85,000 a year to help get the agency in order and get the downtown revitalization project rolling again, Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said.

"I chose her because she has the experience and has a proven record," said Hall, who is also the agency's chairman.

Oglesby is the assistant director and previous program manager at the Town of Babylon's Office of Downtown Revitalization, where she has worked since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in urban planning from the State University of New York at Albany and a master's degree in urban planning from Hunter College.

Oglesby was a planner for the Nassau County Department of Planning from 2007 to 2008.

"I am looking forward to working with the chairman and CDA board," said Oglesby, a registered Democrat who was a paid campaign worker for former County Executive Thomas Suozzi during his re-election bid for county executive in 2009.

The CDA has been paying $588,000 annually for the past 10 years to cover a $10 million mortgage it backed on behalf of the now-defunct 100 Black Men of Long Island Development Group, which had acquired the block-long former bus terminal at 100 Main St. The village board has also loaned the CDA more than $300,000 to help cover the agency's payroll.

"I feel this is the person right now and we should give her a chance to see if she can get us dug out of our hole," CDA board member and village trustee Perry Pettus said.

Former CDA board member Dan Oppenheimer, who was replaced after the village trustees appointed themselves to the CDA, said in an email Thursday that Hall introduced Oglesby to the board last year.

"While she has a good educational background and experience in the field, I did not feel she was qualified for the lead position as she did not have supervisory experience," Oppenheimer said.


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