Howard Weitzman, a former two-term Democratic Nassau County comptroller and a current member of Nassau County's financial control board, was praised Monday following his death as a "dedicated public servant" and "tireless advocate."
Weitzman died at his home Monday morning in Roslyn surrounded by his family, said his wife, Suzanne Weitzman. He was 75. His wife said he died of complications of amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder. Weitzman had spoken about his fight with the disease.
Suzanne Weitzman called her husband of 52 years a "loving husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother and uncle." She also called him a "straight shooter," adding, "He loved life. ... He was an avid boater and avid tennis player."
Howard Weitzman was remembered and praised by many in Nassau County's political establishment.
The 19-member county legislature held a moment of silence for Weitzman on Monday afternoon, and County Executive Laura Curran tweeted that county flags will be lowered to half-staff "in tribute to his memory."
Nassau Legis. Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) said Weitzman would be credited for helping to right the county's finances and added: "Some will say he was responsible for bringing the county back to fiscal solvency."
Weitzman was first elected comptroller in 2001 on a ticket with Thomas Suozzi, a Glen Cove Democrat and candidate for county executive. They won. Suozzi, now serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Weitzman "had a brilliant mind and was very devoted to helping people."
As an example, Suozzi said that when Weitzman was comptroller, "he had a creative idea related to a prescription drug card that saved people millions of dollars. He was just a very talented man, very devoted to his family and very honest. He was a great help to me when I was county executive. We were facing such a difficult financial crisis at the time, and he was a great help in figuring out how to move the county forward."
Jay Jacobs, chairman of the state and Nassau Democratic Party, said Weitzman was a "hardworking comptroller" and a "longtime member of the team — the Tom Suozzi team, the Democratic team from when he was first elected in 2001."
Suozzi and Weitzman were defeated in 2009 and 2013 by the Republican ticket of Edward Mangano for county executive and George Maragos for comptroller.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state board that controls the county's finances and to which Weitzman was appointed in 2016, said in a statement: "With the passing of Howard Weitzman, Nassau County has lost a tireless advocate and dedicated public servant. Howard's contributions as a Village Mayor, Nassau County Comptroller and a NIFA board member are an example for what public servants should strive to achieve for their communities."
NIFA board Chairman Adam Barsky added separately: "I have lost a friend whose wisdom and advice I had come to rely on as NIFA seeks to help the county. Howard Weitzman leaves a monumental legacy and represents the best in public service."
Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said in a statement: "For decades, Howard Weitzman called upon his vast intellect and fiscal expertise to serve the residents of Nassau County. Whether his role was that of a local elected official, our County Comptroller, or a NIFA board member, his style of leadership embodied the type of wisdom and dignity that was a constant throughout his life."
A graduate of Queens College, Weitzman, a certified public accountant, previously was mayor of the Village of Great Neck Estates, where his wife said the couple lived for 35 years until they moved to Roslyn eight years ago.
In addition to his wife, Weitzman is survived by a daughter, Catherine Diamond of Honolulu; sons Peter Weitzman of Westfield, New Jersey, and Matthew Weitzman of Forest Hills, Queens; a sister, Leslie Kornfeld of Monroe, New Jersey; and four grandchildren.
A private funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Temple Israel of Great Neck. Burial is to be in Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens, Queens.