BRENTWOOD - Steve Bellone was sworn in today as Suffolk's eighth county executive, and he wasted no time addressing the challenges that he will have to tackle in his new capacity.

The former Democratic Babylon town supervisor took the oath of office on the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College as his wife, Tracy, and numerous political leaders looked on.

Bellone, who replaces Steve Levy, outlined some of the key issues that he will have to address, among them job creation and county government reform.

Despite all the pomp and circumstance during the ceremony, next week Bellone takes over a county that has a lot of serious financial problems, among them a deficit that some experts have put at $100 million.

"I think he's got good will behind him," says Legislator John Kennedy (R-Nesconset). "I hope various sectors come to support him. We'll look to go ahead and facilitate him where it's prudent, and we will absolutely oppose where it's not."

For the complete inauguration ceremony of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.

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