Suffolk Legis. Kevin McCaffrey, leader of the GOP caucus, has filed a bill that would allow Republican comptroller John Kennedy to fill several vacancies in office despite County Executive Steve Bellone’s opposition.
The measure would allow Kennedy to promote one account clerk and hire two others. He estimates the move would cost $17,000 for the remainder of the year. While the county executive controls the filling of most county jobs, the legislature enacted a law that permits countywide elected officials to appeal to the legislature to overturn Bellone’s decision to keep budgeted jobs vacant.
Bellone blocked five of six jobs Kennedy requested, for a total cost of $228,000 a year, because the county is facing a budget hole for next year of about $200 million.
McCaffrey says Kennedy’s office conducts audits and enforces the county hotel motel tax law, which brings in new revenues and recoups overpayments made by the county. “This is something that pays for itself,” said McCaffrey.