Former Long Beach City Manager Charles Theofan dies

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For nearly 25 years, Theofan worked for the county, city, the Town of Hempstead and the Village of Hempstead. During his career in Long Beach, Theofan held other positions including acting fire commissioner, tax assessor, corporation counsel and counsel to the Zoning Board of Appeals. He was also commissioner of the Town of Hempstead’s Planning and Development Department.

When the Democrats reclaimed City Hall in 2006, Theofan went to work for the Town, where he served as commissioner of planning and economic development.

“He was a devoted and dedicated public servant,” said Town Councilman Anthony Santino. “And he really poured his heart into everything he did. It wasn’t just a job for him — everything he did during his tenure in the town, he was a guy who really wanted to make a difference for the community and residents, and he did it with his whole heart. He never did anything half way.”

Theofan lauded for response to Irene

Theofan’s most recent stint as city manager came after an unpopular 25 percent property tax increase under the previous Democratic administration. During his tenure, the city was not only commended for its response to Irene, but for a number of capital improvement projects and the reopening of the Long Beach Animal Shelter, Mangano said.

“He also worked to prevent overdevelopment in the city, and he opposed certain projects,” Moriarty said.

But Theofan was also criticized at times, most notably for the administration’s handling of the Quiksilver Pro N.Y. event in 2011 that resulted in the cancellation of the surf competition’s attendant music and action sports festival in the aftermath of Irene, and for a cash-flow shortfall in November 2011 that led the city to borrow $4.5 million to make its payroll by Christmas, and to meet its payout obligations for a number of retirees.

Theofan’s appointment to the county came just months after he left office amid claims of fiscal mismanagement and a credit-rating downgrade by Moody’s. Theofan attributed the city’s cash-flow shortage at the time to costs associated with Irene.

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