Saturday, August 18, 2012

Earth to Down East, come in...(imagine radio static)

From: Martin VanLith
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:40 PM

Subject: Earth to Down East, come in...(imagine radio static)



Officials: Lesko to resign as Brookhaven supervisor

Published: August 15, 2012 2:56 PM

Mark Lesko is resigning as Brookhaven supervisor to run the Accelerate Long Island project, according to town board members.

Lesko, a Democrat and former federal prosecutor who was elected to office in a special election in 2009, helped found the Accelerate Long Island project, which seeks to transform Long Island into a hub for technology companies.

Lesko, who did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday afternoon, was re-elected to his second term in November.

Current deputy supervisor Kathleen Walsh, a Republican, said his departure means it is likely she will act as supervisor until a special election can be held -- within 60 to 90 days of Lesko's last day in office.

"It's a bit of a surprise," Walsh said Wednesday. "I would love for him to stay around as supervisor because I think he does a good job."

According to Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association, which helped launch the Accelerate Long Island project, Lesko plans to resign as supervisor after Labor Day to become its full-time executive director.

"He brings a passion for the initiative. He has been involved with everything that Accelerate Long Island has done for the last year and a half," Law said.

Lesko's departure will come as the town prepares a parsed-down budget for 2013, which has a town deadline of Sept. 15.

At a June work session with the town board, Lesko warned that Brookhaven could use up its $49 million surplus in two years unless it curtails spending and eliminates some jobs.

His recommendation to consolidate departments, including the Highway Department, into a new Department of Public Works will be the subject of a public hearing Aug. 28.

Lesko had also proposed expanding in height the town landfill, which generates about $45 million a year for Brookhaven, by 50 feet to bring in another $2 million a year. The town was hit with a procedural claim filed Friday by a community group dedicated to stopping the proposed expansion.

But these difficulties, his board members said, are not the reason that Lesko is leaving. "The supervisor is a very difficult job, no matter who's sitting in that seat," said Republican councilman Tim Mazzei. "I don't think the budget crisis had anything to do with that."

"If it were me and somebody made me an offer like this, it would be hard to say no," said Conservative councilwoman Jane Bonner. "He's young, he's energetic, he's a go-getter. As I've come to know him he doesn't like to rest on his laurels."

No comments: