Suffolk County is the only county out of 62 in New York State that has both an elected Comptroller and a Treasurer. But, that may soon change. The office is also open for re-election, without a bid from the incumbent, due to term limits, for the first time in twelve years.
On July 16, at the H. Lee Dennison Building in
Happauge, Suffolk County Legislators Bill Lindsay and Sarah Anker joined County
Executive Steven Bellone in signing legislation that will give voters the
option to merge the offices of treasurer and comptroller in a special referendum to be on
the ballot in the upcoming November elections. The newly consolidated position
would be organized under the title of Suffolk County Comptroller.
Bellone’s office issued a press estimating the cost savings of merging the offices will save tax payers $1.29 million, eliminate duplication of services and increase efficiencies within Suffolk County government.
While saving money is always popular with voters the move has irked current Suffolk County Treasurer, Angie Carpenter, who won re-election last year. The provisions of the bill stipulate the position of treasurer would be eliminated as of midnight on December 31, 2017. Joseph Sawicki, who has served as the Suffolk County Comptroller since 2002, and received the Democratic, Conservative and Independence Party endorsements in his last two elections, is prohibited from seeking reelection under the term limits provision.
The race for Suffolk County Comptroller is wide open after Suffolk County Republican chairman John Jay LaValle declined to accept the nomination of his party. Candidates for the election, according an article in Newsday include John Kennedy, the Suffolk legislature’s Republican minority leader, Democrat James Gaughran, chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority, Islip Town Board member Steve Flotteron, Judy Giglio of Riverhead, Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, and former town board members Donald Musnug of Huntington and Christopher Nuzzi of Southampton.
The Republican Party is expected to nominate its candidate to replace John Jay LaValle Friday.