With his wife Erica at his side, right, DuWayne Gregory...

With his wife Erica at his side, right, DuWayne Gregory is sworn in as Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature by county clerk Judith Pascale. (Jan. 2, 2014) Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Now that DuWayne Gregory has been elected presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, we hope he exhibits the same degree of independence as William Lindsay, who served a record 10 years in the post before he died in September.

Gregory, of Amityville, is a Babylon Town Democrat, like County Executive Steve Bellone, who has expressed frustration at times when the legislature does not unanimously approve one of his proposals. Gregory has bucked Bellone on occasion, and was not the executive's preference for the post. That's encouraging.

On the other hand, Gregory agonized about raiding the sewer stabilization fund to plug a 2014 budget hole -- citing both principle and the danger of setting a precedent -- but ended up voting for the budget. We hope he stands firm in the future.

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