Written by Wendy Kreitzman Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00
When Jon Kaiman stepped down from his job as Supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead on Sept. 23, he had a new job waiting for him: Governor Andrew Cuomo had appointed him special advisor for Long Island Storm Recovery, at $150,000 per year.
Two days later, Cuomo announced he was giving Kaiman another new job: Chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA). But it’s hardly patronage; the NIFA job is unpaid.
“Jon Kaiman’s in-depth knowledge and expertise regarding municipal finance make him an outstanding choice for this important position,” Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth (10th district) said.
NIFA is a state-mandated financial oversight board created in 2000 to ensure that Nassau County implements necessary steps to close its budget gaps. The seven-member board is appointed by the governor, with two members recommended by the Nassau County Legislature and one recommended by the state comptroller. Kaiman replaces Ronald Stack, who has served on the board since its inception.
Cuomo stated that he was “pleased” to announce Kaiman’s appointment, along with new NIFA board members Paul Annunziato and Lester Petracca.
“Each of these individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will benefit both state government and Nassau County.” Cuomo said, adding that he is “confident that their contributions will help to ensure responsible fiscal planning for the region and ultimately protect taxpayer dollars.”
The new appointments come very shortly before the board must approve the county budget, and are seen by political insiders as supporting current County Executive Ed Maragos, a Republican, over former county executive Thomas Suozzi, his Democratic challenger this year.
Kaiman, a longtime Great Neck resident, told the Great Neck Record that he is ready to “immerse” himself in Nassau County’s finances, the budget and controls. As NIFA chairman he will work with county legislators and county officials “to get these issues solved.”
And Kaiman offered assurances that he’s “not on anybody’s side.” His goal is to “help work through the issues and come to a resolution.”
“This is a fascinating and compelling job and I look forward to starting,” he said.