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Gillen on Hempstead hiring, promotion freeze: 'The candy store is now closed'

Hempstead's Supervisor Laura Gillen issued an order to freeze hiring and promotions in the town.

News 12 Staff

Apr 17, 2019, 4:46 PM

Updated 1,861 days ago

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Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen has issued an order to freeze full-time hires, promotions and raises in Nassau County's largest town.
Gillen, a Democrat, says that since the start of 2019, the Republican-controlled Town Board has approved over $400,000 worth of unbudgeted personnel hires and more than $500,000 worth of personnel promotions and raises. The raises range from $2,500 to $16,000, with the average coming in around $6,000.
"The candy store is now closed," Gillen said at a news conference Wednesday.
But Republicans stand by the personnel changes. In response to Gillen's comments, Hempstead Town Board Majority Leader Erin King Sweeney issued a statement saying in part: "...all the personnel actions that the board has undertaken are well within our municipal budgetary parameters and in accordance with civil service guidelines."
Political analyst Jerry Kremer says the timing of this debate is not a coincidence, as 2019 is an election year for several board members and Gillen.
Town Councilman Anthony D'Esposito, a Republican, called Gillen's news conference a "publicity stunt."
The supervisor's office says any department head who defies Wednesday's directive could be subject to disciplinary action.


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