The North Hempstead town board has appointed the wife of the town's Democratic leader to the $78,030-a-year post of deputy town clerk, with a nearly $9,000 raise from her previous job.
Concetta Terry, who is married to town Democratic Party leader Gerard Terry, has worked for North Hempstead for 10 years, most recently handling residential and commercial tax inquiries in the receiver of taxes office. Her annual salary was $69,369.
Republican town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio voted against a series of personnel decisions, including Terry's, at Tuesday's meeting.
The vote was 4-1, with Democrats, including Supervisor Judi Bosworth, voting yes. Democratic Councilwoman Viviana Russell and the board's other Republican, Councilman Angelo Ferrara, did not attend.
Afterward, both Terrys declined to comment.
De Giorgio said after the meeting that Terry's new role "is a very different job," adding, "she's making $3,000 more than the woman who did her job before her."
Former deputy clerk Kathleen Visconti retired in May after nearly five months on the job and was listed as having a $75,000 annual salary.
The deputy town clerk prepares board agendas, manages records and posts legal notices. Town officials said Concetta Terry previously worked for the clerk of the Nassau County Legislature, handling similar tasks.
There was no public job posting for the position given that it is a "confidential" job, town officials said.
"If someone is privy to personnel and town board matters . . . it's got to be somebody who I can put trust in, and who can be discreet about the goings-on in the office," said Wayne Wink, the Democratic town clerk.
Wink said Terry "stood out as the most qualified person."
Gerard Terry has a contract to be paid as much as $66,000 this year as a counsel to the zoning board of appeals.
That fee represented an increase from up to $60,000 in 2013. The town board has hired him this year to advise on legal matters for a fee of up to $36,000.
There was no pressure from party leaders to hire Concetta Terry, Wink said, adding that with retirements and reassignments, the clerk budget has a projected net savings this year of more than $117,000.
Terry's salary is the budgeted salary for that position, he said.