The GOP-controlled Hempstead Town Board voted unanimously last week to increase the pay of Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney’s executive assistant, indicating that the dispute between the Wantagh Republican and Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino is officially over.
Sweeney broke with her Republican colleagues and GOP tradition last year by voting against routine personnel resolutions to protest the lack of a pay raise for her $59,680 executive assistant — while Santino’s inner circle got large salary hikes.
King Sweeney and Santino settled their differences last month and agreed to work together — with a little help from Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello and King Sweeney’s father, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). Asked if a raise for her assistant was part of the deal, King Sweeney said then, “I look forward to a productive 2017.”
King Sweeney said last week of her assistant Alex Vassallo’s raise: “I was happy to vote for the item. I think it was a recognition of Alex’s hard work. Supervisor Santino and I are doing all that we can to bring economic development to the South Shore. We’re working together.”
The $4,000 raise, however, is much less than most of the pay hikes given to Santino staffers.
Will there be another increase for her assistant in the near future?
“He’s a hard worker,” King Sweeney responded.