Steve Bellone sworn in for final term as Suffolk executive
Steve Bellone was sworn in for his third and final term as Suffolk County executive.
Bellone took the oath at 11 a.m. in Babylon. He was sworn in by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer with elected officials from both sides of the political spectrum in attendance.
The 50-year-old Babylon native thanked his supporters who contributed to his campaign. Bellone also got personal when mentioning the loss of his sister and the toll that took on him and his family.
Bellone did not speak about any specific plans to deal with the county's budget crisis. He says he wanted to bring together people from all parties and levels of government to address those problems.
"I wanted to not get into policy so much today," Bellone said. "But just to speak more broadly about where I want us to go as a county and the opportunities we have to really give an example to the state and nation of ethical governance and what we can do."
Last month, Bellone was reelected, beating Republican John M. Kennedy Jr.
Republicans have been critical of Bellone's tenure, saying he hasn't done enough to address fiscal problems in the county.
"We didn't hear any real answers to many of the questions people are asking about," says Republican Legislator Kevin McCaffrey, of Lindenhurst. "Affordability and not being able to stay here, especially our young people and senior citizens."
This is the last term for Bellone as county executive, because there's a 12-year term limit in Suffolk.
Bellone will be working with a County Legislature controlled by his party with 10 Democrats and eight Republicans.
The inauguration ceremony took place at The Argyle Theatre.