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Croci names Islip Town appointments

Tom Croci at Suffolk County Republican Headquarters in

Tom Croci at Suffolk County Republican Headquarters in Hauppauge. (Nov. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

The incoming Islip Town administration announced more key appointments Wednesday -- and said top managers who remain after Jan. 1 face pay cuts.

Supervisor-elect Tom Croci named Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt acting deputy supervisor, saying while it makes "good government sense" to have a nonelected official in the job, the outgoing administration cut the role from the budget.

Bergin will do the job -- at no extra pay -- "until . . . we can find the money," Croci said.

Croci is expected to take his official oath of office at Town Hall on Thursday before Monday's ceremonial inauguration at Connetquot High School in Bohemia.
Rob Cicale, who served as town attorney for several months in 2006, is slated to start Friday as deputy town attorney, after Croci's team asked incumbent Alicia O'Connor to resign. Cicale will be acting town attorney until March, when GOP activist John Schettino, a town planning board member, is expected to be appointed. O'Connor, who declined to comment, has been asked to serve as an assistant town attorney, which would require a substantial pay cut.

"We have a new team coming in, and we're looking for a fresh perspective," Croci said.

In his administration's first austerity move, Croci has ordered pay cuts of a minimum of 2 percent among top management -- including incumbent commissioners and deputies.

He will become the top-paid town employee, a move in line with the approach taken by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and what occurs federally, he said. Outgoing Supervisor Phil Nolan makes $103,500, but the two highest-paid employees -- O'Connor and Long Island MacArthur Airport Commissioner Teresa Rizzuto -- are both paid $115,000. Nolan said he considered that necessary "to attract top, specialized talent."

Croci said the supervisor's salary would trim "one or two thousand," adding, "I could hardly ask my commissioners to take a pay cut and not do so myself."

For Rizzuto, whom Croci criticized during the campaign, the move translates to a loss of about $14,000. She had earned about $150,000 a year as a manager for United Airlines before returning to Long Island to be close to elderly parents in 2007.

Wednesday, Croci said, Rizzuto would remain on "at this point" and noted all commissioners would be "judged on their performance." The new board is expected to confirm the appointments at its first meeting next Thursday.

Also Wednesday:

Croci said Rizzuto's deputy, former Islip Supervisor Eric Hoffmeister, will be appointed head of the department of environmental control.

Planning Commissioner Dave Genaway and Bill Mannix, economic development director and head of Islip's Industrial Development Agency, will remain in their jobs.

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