Jonathan Keyes, who makes $79,000 a year as deputy planning commissioner in Babylon Town, has joined the cash-strapped administration of County Executive Steve Bellone as a $108,400-a-year, chief community development planning specialist. Keyes will work in the same planning and economic department an as his wife, Amy Keyes.

Keyes, 33 of East Patchogue, started last Monday in the newly created job. He was first hired in Babylon as secretary to the planning commissioner in 2008 and has been heavily involved in downtown redevelopment, including the Wyandanch Rising project. The job he is filling was upgraded from community development specialist, which paid $61,337 a year.

Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer said there’s no bad feeling over Keyes’ departure, despite reported differences between Schaffer and Bellone.

Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) criticized Jonathan Keyes’ hiring. “We can’t hire a $40,000 a year guy to fill potholes, but we can spent $108,000 on a guy whose only alleged claim to fame is a bunch of empty stores in Wyandanch Rising.”

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Keyes’ wife, 32, earns $100,589 a year as a government liaison officer in the county’s real estate unit. She ran an unsuccessful race as a Democratic candidate for Brookhaven Town board in 2014.

Rick Brand