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Long IslandSuffolk

Bellone inauguration comes a day early

Suffolk Executive-elect Steve Bellone plans to be inaugurated a day before incumbent Steve Levy's term ends. Officials cite cost. The ceremony will be Dec. 30 at the 450-seat Van Nostrand Theater at Suffolk Community College's Grant campus in Brentwood. Holding it there on New Year's Day, a Sunday, could have meant paying employees as much as double time and a half.

"We knew it would trigger overtime, and it's just expensive," said Regina Calcaterra, Bellone's transition co-director, due to be chief deputy. "Right off the bat we want to show we're being frugal and thoughtful about using taxpayer money." Bellone still assumes authority Jan. 1. -- Rick Brand

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