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Brightwaters in 'no rush' to pick official

Mayor Joseph A. McNulty.

Mayor Joseph A. McNulty. Credit: Handout

Nearly two months after Brightwaters Village officials said they would form a committee to find a new Public Works and Highway Department director, they have not moved on the matter, which critics say is an obvious effort to keep a politically connected interim director employed.

"The village board has a history of saying one thing and doing another," said John Valdini, a former Brightwaters trustee and member of the opposition Common Good Party. "This is just the latest example."

Mayor Joseph A. McNulty, of the village-majority Citizens Party, announced the interim appointment of former Village Trustee Charles Fischer, also a member of the Citizens Party, in early July, following the June 22 retirement of George Peterson.

McNulty said in early July he would impanel a committee to search for a successor and said last week suggestions that the appointment was political were "absolutely not true."

But, McNulty said, there was "no rush" to convene a committee, and he praised Fischer.

"He's doing a magnificent job," McNulty said. "There's no rush. We're going to do it -- absolutely going to do it."

McNulty declined to set a timetable.

Fischer resigned from the board after it voted to rescind a controversial health insurance benefit for the village's elected officials.

As interim director, Fischer earns an annual salary of $62,400 and is eligible for village health insurance.

Fischer has declined to comment on the matter.

"He is unbelievable," McNulty said of Fischer. "Everything is in the computer, organized. His management skills, his dedication to the village -- it's just amazing what the man can do."

Trustee John J. Riordan, a member of the Citizens Party, said it's a "shame" some residents are alleging political favors.

"We have no idea whether he'll stay permanently," Riordan said. "There's no handcuffs."

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