How times have changed in the Town of Hempstead.
Little more than a year ago Erin King Sweeney, a relative newcomer to the Hempstead Town Board, shocked Republican colleagues by voting against routine personnel resolutions offered by Supervisor Anthony Santino — a protest against the GOP supervisor’s hard-line leadership.
She went on to publicly question Santino policies and pursue proposals to increase oversight. She also accused Santino of trying to silence her during contentious board meetings.
By last week, Santino had been voted out of office and was working as an administrative assistant at the county board of elections, and Laura Gillen had been installed as the town’s first Democratic supervisor in more than a century.
And Sweeney had been named Town of Hempstead majority leader by her four Republican colleagues on the seven-member town board.
“I don’t think I embarked on a linear approach to become Majority Leader,” King Sweeney quipped in an email. “It was a combo of being underestimated, not giving a hoot about the consequences and fighting like hell.”
King Sweeney, the daughter of Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), said she plans frequent meetings with Republican colleagues to “hash things out and get things done and work together . . . This is about moving forward, not settling scores.”
She added, “I am trying to bring us back to Republican principles and move forward. I think the residents want that: Efficient services and good government.”