The city announced the hiring of a new public works commissioner this week amid the many recovery projects that continue to address the need for increased resiliency across the barrier island.
John Mirando will fill the role formerly held by Jim LaCarrubba, who played a leading role in the city’s recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy and stepped down at the end of August. City officials said that LaCarrubba continues to oversee Federal Emergency Management Agency and New York Rising recovery projects, and is being paid $750 per week.
Mirando, whose annual salary will be $160,746, holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College, and has a New York State Professional Engineers license. He was previously a vice president of Dvirka and Bartilucci, an engineering firm based in Woodbury and served as the director of public works and the village administrator in the Village of Sea Cliff.
Mirando has also held public works and administrative positions in East Rockaway, Freeport and Garden City.
“John has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said. “He has been a leader in the public works community on the local, state and national levels, and he has received numerous awards for his community involvement. I look forward to working hand in hand with John and our great workforce as the city continues to rebuild stronger, smarter and safer.”
Mirando is a longtime volunteer firefighter, having served as a chief and captain of the Rockville Centre Fire Department and as a member of the Nassau County Firefighters Museum Board of Directors. He has received numerous awards for his civic engagement, including the Community Service Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1790 and the Man of the Year award from the East Rockaway Chamber of Commerce.
He arrives in Long Beach at a time when recovery and resiliency efforts continue four years after Hurricane Sandy. The Army Corps of Engineers broke ground on its $230 million coastal protection project along the barrier island’s oceanfront in August. Officials have estimated that the rehabilitation and construction of new groins, or jetties, as well as the replacement of 5 million cubic yards of sand along seven miles of shoreline, from East Rockaway Inlet to Jones Inlet, will take several years. The city’s Department of Public Works will be working with the Army Corps to ensure that the project — divided into two phases — moves swiftly and smoothly.
The city is also moving forward with two bulkheading projects along the bayfront, including a $12.8 million project outlined in Long Beach’s New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan. Officials told the Herald last week that 40 percent of the design is complete, and that construction could begin next year.
A separate $20 million project along Reynolds Channel, involving the construction of a seawall and a “Dutch dam” system to protect the city’s industrial district, has been approved by the state, officials said, and they are hopeful that construction will begin before the end of next year.
“With so many ambitious plans already in the works, I’m ready to hit the ground running,” Mirando said. “As a longtime resident of Nassau County’s South Shore, with children who live and work in Long Beach, I’m extremely familiar with this neighborhood. Given the monumental rebuilding effort that is already under way, it’s truly an exciting time to join the Long Beach team.”