Updated 12/9/09, 11:15 a.m.
The transition process in Mineola has begun, as County Executive-Elect Ed Mangano is putting together a staff before he is sworn in on Jan. 1.
Mangano’s first major staff move was announced last Wednesday, when he named Assemblyman Rob Walker as his new chief deputy county executive. Walker, 34, served as Mangano’s legislative intern in 1996.
Walker, a Republican from Hicksville, represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes East Meadow and Salisbury. His mother, Rose Walker, a Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman, was elected last month to Mangano’s legislative seat.
It is still unclear what will happen with Walker’s assembly seat once it is vacated, a decision that is in the hands of Gov. David Paterson.
“It has been the greatest experience,” said Walker. “Now I get to serve not only the residents of the 15th district, but the remaining residents of Nassau in my new capacity.”
Mangano won a tight election against County Executive Tom Suozzi, who conceded the race on Tuesday after a nearly month-long recount.
With less than three weeks to go until Mangano is sworn into office, Walker said hundreds of people are being interviewed for top county positions.
“It really is about bringing the best and brightest into Nassau government, people who live in and understand Nassau,” Walker said.
During a press briefing on Monday, Mangano introduced Tim Sullivan as the next deputy county executive for finance. Sullivan, of Garden City, was previously a budget director for the county Legislature and a deputy director for the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority. Sullivan is currently an executive at the Long Island Power Authority. He will begin working on a volunteer basis during the transition until his position officially begins on Jan. 1.
Mangano said he intends to forego many managerial appointments, as well as their assistants, in an effort to reduce the budget and staff in the county executive office.
“My approach will be thoughtful, measured and surgical,” Mangano said. “My goal is to turn our shared value of smaller, more affordable government into real results. True reform is on the way.”
Mangano said he would provide more updates throughout the transition process. He included Gregory Peterson, an East Meadow resident and former Hempstead town supervisor, among a group of people the transition team has been in contact with to review various governmental operations and finances.