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North Hempstead appoints Riordan to supervisor post

North Hempstead has appointed Town Attorney John Riordan

North Hempstead has appointed Town Attorney John Riordan to be supervisor, its third in as many weeks. Photo Credit: David Pokress

North Hempstead has appointed Town Attorney John Riordan to be supervisor, its third in as many weeks.

In a 4-2 vote Tuesday, the town board named Riordan, also a retired judge, to the supervisor post vacated last week by Jon Kaiman. Riordan is to be sworn in Monday, town officials said.

Kaiman left to become a Sandy recovery czar for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and Christopher Senior, the deputy supervisor, automatically became a nonvoting acting supervisor.

The vote split across party lines. The two Republicans, Dina De Giorgio, a candidate for supervisor against Nassau County Legis. Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck), and Angelo Ferrara, opposed the measure.

Both cited the coming budgets, and Ferrara said the Democrats' bid to install a fifth, voting member signaled a desire to pierce the tax cap. For the board, a supermajority of five votes is required to override the tax cap, which for the town is 1.66 percent. A draft of the budget, presented to the board Tuesday, stays under the tax cap at 1.65 percent.

But Democratic board members said that was not why they wanted to install a new supervisor.

"I hope that it's not the intention of this budget to go over the tax cap," said Viviana Russell, the Democratic councilwoman representing District 1.

Democrats stressed that the roles of deputy supervisor and supervisor required two separate officials.

"It's a very sensitive time for us, trying to make this budget as sound as it possibly could be to present to our constituents, " said Anna Kaplan, a Democrat who represents District 4.

The board voted to install Linda Zuech, chief deputy town attorney, as acting town attorney.

Senior, who has worked with the town since 2004, will have clocked in two weeks as the acting supervisor. He stayed put, though, leaving Kaiman's office untouched. "It's been a fun run," he said.


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