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Long IslandPolitics

Hempstead Village’s new Mayor Don Ryan, trustees take office

Former Hempstead Village trustee Don Ryan, who defeated three-term Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. last month, was sworn in as the new village mayor at Kennedy Memorial Park recreation center in Hempstead on Monday April 3, 2017. (Credit: Barry Sloan)

The Hempstead Village board of trustees Monday night appointed Gladys Rodriguez, a Nassau County social services employee, to the seat vacated by new Mayor Don Ryan.

“I’m very happy and I’m ready to work,” Rodriguez said.

The new trustee will serve a year and would have to run in 2018 to keep the seat, Ryan said.

“She has great respect in the community and is active in many facets of the village,” Ryan said of Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, Ryan, trustees LaMont Johnson and Charles Renfroe and village justice Paul Delle were sworn in Monday afternoon during a two-hour inauguration ceremony at Kennedy Memorial Park. More than 600 people attended.

Ryan, Johnson, Renfroe and Delle won the village’s municipal election last month, defeating outgoing Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. and former trustees Luis Figueroa and Waylyn Hobbs Jr.

Hours later, the new board of trustees held an “organization” meeting in Village Hall where they appointed Rodriguez — who did not attend — as well as several others to positions.

The board appointed members to the village’s Planning Board and Human Relations Council. Renfroe resigned from his role on the village’s Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday night.

Ryan also appointed trustee Perry Pettus — whose seat was not up for election last month — as his deputy mayor. The deputy mayor position pays about $30,000 annually, while trustees make about $28,000. The mayor’s salary is $130,000, according to the deputy village clerk.

The board voted to pay a public relations firm for services on behalf of the village and appoint two members of the local clergy to paid positions, all at a cost of $243,000.

Farmingdale-based Kevin Ryan Public Relations Inc. will collect $78,000.

Sedgwick Easley, pastor of the Union Baptist Church, who spoke at Monday’s inauguration, will earn $65,000 as a research assistant for the trustees. David Gates, pastor at Miracle Christian Center and a member of the Hempstead School Board, was appointed secretary to the village fire department at a salary of $100,000. Gates also spoke at the inauguration.

The board reappointed Miguel Alvarado as associate village justice and approved Mineola law firm Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan LLP to represent the village on election and general municipal law matters as well as the North Main Street Project.

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