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Long IslandPolitics

Munsey Park trustees hire clerk-treasurer to fill vacancy

Munsey Park Mayor Frank J. DeMento, center, said

Munsey Park Mayor Frank J. DeMento, center, said the village's new clerk-treasurer understands the needs and wants of residents. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Just weeks after firing its longtime village clerk-treasurer, the Munsey Park board of trustees has hired a replacement.

Tara Gibbons will fill the post through the rest of the mayoral term, which expires in 2019. The board voted 5-0 at a Wednesday public meeting to appoint Gibbons.

Village officials did not respond to questions about Gibbons’ resume, salary, start date, or who would be training her for this role.

In its June newsletter to residents, the village indicated that candidates should have “strong customer service, finance, organizational and computer skills and be able to contribute to a more user-friendly environment for the residents of the Village.” The position comes with health care and a pension.

Mayor Frank J. DeMento said that an extensive search had been conducted and that the village received a “fair number” of applicants, and then organized several interviews.

Gibbons has a bachelor’s in business administration from Molloy College and a master’s in education from Hofstra University, DeMento said, adding that Gibbons was well-versed in the computing system used at the village.

“Best of all, we are sure that she understands the needs and wants of the residents of Munsey Park,” DeMento said.

Gibbons replaces Barbara C. Miller, of Glen Cove, who worked in village governments for more than three decades, previously serving in administrative positions in Manorhaven, Roslyn Harbor and Upper Brookville. As village clerk and treasurer in Munsey Park, she was paid about $82,000 a year.

Village officials did not respond to requests for comment about the reasons for Miller’s termination, stating only that her term had expired. After the appointment, DeMento took public comments. Former Mayor Harry Nicolaides, who served for more 17 years, said that he chose not to ask questions, after previously being accused by village officials as being adversarial for questioning the board’s hiring decisions.

On a separate agenda item later in the meeting, DeMento called residents “the peanut gallery,” refused to recognize specific people for comment and scolded residents for comments previously made to Newsday.

Gibbons’ appointment follows weeks of administrative ambiguity in the village, after the board in May created a village administrator position and appointed DeMento’s brother-in-law, Daniel Breen, to fill the job that critics said duplicated the village clerk’s role. Two weeks later, officials said that Breen declined the position.

DeMento previously told Newsday that board members didn’t know whether they would proceed with filling the village administrator position.

The board also voted 5-0 to reappoint Deputy Clerk Maureen McLean.

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