Brookhaven director of operations Matt Miner, an influential town official whose portfolio ranges from budget preparation and labor relations to waste management, plans to retire next month after 32 years in state and Long Island government, town officials said.
Miner, 55, a former Suffolk County deputy health commissioner and ex-North Hempstead Town public works commissioner, will continue to work for Brookhaven as a consultant after he retires on April 8, Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said. Miner's consultant fee has not been set, officials said.
"He’s one of the finest public servants I have met," Romaine said Thursday when he announced Miner's retirement during a town board meeting. "We’re going to miss him, but in this day and age ... we need his expertise ... and I believe he will be a tremendous help, even as a consultant, as he was as our director of operations."
Miner, who was to have been paid $175,828 this year, will be replaced by Nicole DeLuca, who until recently was chief deputy clerk to Suffolk County Clerk Judith Pascale, town officials said.
Miner, a former state Department of Environmental Conservation environmental engineer who was briefly deputy Brookhaven town supervisor about 20 years ago, said he was proud of helping the town win a $20 million state grant in 2018 to promote consolidation of services.
"I had a long career here on Long Island and I’m looking forward to something else to do," he told Newsday. "For each entity, I've tried to do the best I can."
Miner has been Brookhaven's point man on the town landfill, which is expected to reach capacity and close in December 2024. He helped craft a reserve fund to pay post-closure expenses that are expected to reach at least $35 million over 30 years. The fund is financed by budget surpluses and fees paid by contractors who dump construction debris at the landfill.
Miner sometimes has battled landfill neighbors and environmental groups that faulted the town for problems at the 192-acre facility, such as strong odors and emissions that some believe had sickened staff at a nearby school.
Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment in Farmingdale, described Miner as "certainly knowledgeable and intelligent," though she and Miner often disagreed about landfill issues.
"We worked hard with him to bring the landfill odors under control," Esposito said. "I’m sure the meetings were unpleasant for him at first, but I think he was motivated by the community’s input and concerns."
Will Flower, vice president of West Babylon-based Winters Bros. Waste Systems, which manages the town's recycling plant in Brookhaven hamlet, said Miner helped lead the town through the worldwide collapse of recycling markets in 2018.
"I don’t know that we butted heads so much as he always represented the best interests of Brookhaven," Flower said. "He understood the [recycling] crisis and worked to create a solution for the Town of Brookhaven that resulted in the Town of Brookhaven receiving $1.7 million in 2021 for its recycling efforts....I think he’ll be greatly missed by the town."