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Politicians weigh in on NIFA overhaul

Departing North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman was appointed

Departing North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman was appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to replace Ron Stack as the chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state oversight board in control of the county's finances. (Sept. 18, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Nassau officials continue to speak out about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s decision this week to appoint North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman to replace Ronald Stack as chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state board that took control of the county’s finances in 2011.

Nassau County Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) said in a statement she had pleaded with the state to create a financial oversight board for the financially struggling county in 2000 when she served as the Legislature’s presiding officer.

“The Nassau Interim Finance Authority was formed three months later and Ron Stack has been a member of this board since the beginning. He is an expert in the field of municipal finance and has served this board with nothing but dignity and professionalism,” she said.

"In my opinion, it is a travesty to lose not only Mr. Stack's leadership on this board, but his institutional knowledge of the county and his expertise," Jacobs said. "To replace him, while in the middle of debating the 2014 budget and other critical financial decisions which are looming, absolutely makes no sense. I certainly have the respect for Jon Kaiman's leadership but NIFA needs the continuity and historical background which Mr. Stack offers, especially at this critical time."

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who sponsored the creation of the NIFA when he was a state assemblyman from Great Neck, also issued a statement:

“Ron Stack is a recognized expert in municipal finance and an individual of complete integrity. During his tenure as chairman of NIFA, Ron understood that Nassau County's systemic budget problems would not be fixed overnight. He has endeavored to bring a steady and pragmatic approach to encourage needed fiscal reform,” DiNapoli said.

“As state comptroller and a resident of Nassau County, I thank him for his dedication and determination to put the county on a path toward financial stability,” DiNapoli said.

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