The Town of North Hempstead appointed Director of Finance Jessica Lamendola to serve as interim comptroller on Tuesday night as the town begins a search for a new fiscal watchdog.
Lamendola first joined the town as director of finance in July 2016, overseeing the development and administration of the budget and capital plan, and supervising grant activities. Before that, she worked as the fiscal projects manager for the Office of Management and Budget of Nassau County.
Lamendola’s appointment to serve as acting comptroller came after Averil Smith, who was North Hempstead’s town comptroller since 2015, resigned to become the director of finance for Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen.
The position of acting comptroller, effective March 10, will be on top of Lamendola’s responsibility as the director of finance. This will increase her salary from $121,566 per year to $130,000 per year.
The role of comptroller involves overseeing a number of fiscal matters, including the budget process, annual audits, capital accounts and assets, and cash management for the town and its 19 town-operated special districts, according to a job posting by the town.
In unrelated town business, councilmembers approved an application from 220 North Boulevard Development LLC to renovate an inactive gas station. The move will allow developers to convert it to a self-service station, extend an existing building by 464 square feet and install two underground storage tanks.
The gas station’s official hours will be 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
After an hour of sometimes heated discussion involving the Bayview Colony in Port Washington and Councilwoman Dina DiGiorgio, the town also approved the sale of a land parcel to Randolph and Marcy Todd located on Manhasset Bay, which has involved years of deliberation.
Residents expressed concern about continued access to a local beach, suggesting the clarity of boundaries between private property and the beach needed to be more clearly marked.
DiGiorgio said the town had been involved with the Todds, residents and members of Port Washington civic associations to come to a deal that won’t compromise access to the beach. Among the new conditions was a promise to not install a dock.