HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s further fallout on sweeping changes made to the union labor contract and personnel moves in the Town of Hempstead, Long Island.
On Tuesday, nearly 200 jobs became officially protected by the Republican supervisor who was voted out of office in November.READ MORE: De Blasio: Cuomo 'Should Be Charged' Over Sexual Assault, Harassment Claims In AG Investigation
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Supervisor Anthony Santino’s final Hempstead town board meeting went down with a splash and a groan.
“And now I am inheriting all of this, I don’t think we have ever seen a situation where the departing elected official has saddled the newly elected official with almost 200 personnel changes,” Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen told CBS2.
Some angry town residents called the proceedings Tuesday a “patronage amendment” and a “no layoff clause scam.” Republican Councilman Bruce Blakeman was among those casting a “no” vote.
“It’s unprecedented,” he said. “I’ve never seen a government give away such an important tool to a union and get nothing in return for it.”READ MORE: Political Consultant: New York State's Impeachment Of Gov. Cuomo 'Could Get Very Ugly'
Protected employees include the brother of Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, whose mother is a secretary in the Highway Department, the brother of outgoing Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, and the town spokesman transferred to receiver of taxes office.
“High powered people protecting their friends,” Rockville Centre resident Regina Connor said. “Not fair.”
Gillen says they’re going to explore all their options.
“It’s unbelievable in scope and cost to taxpayers to at least four million in costs are going to be saddled to the taxpayers for all these personnel decisions,” she said.
Political observer Arthur Kremer says once Gillen is in office she’ll have to look into whether or not the 11th hour vote was done legally.
“Sometimes when people are on their way out or in a rush they make mistakes,” he said.MORE NEWS: Broadway Returns After Nearly 17-Month Shutdown With 1st Performances Of 'Pass Over'
Most shocking, says the new supervisor, is that the board approved changes to the collective bargaining agreement. As a result, no union employees can be terminated for budgetary reasons.