Town Board sets public hearing date for DeSena’s building department reforms

Town Board sets public hearing date for DeSena’s building department reforms
North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena speaks to reporters in front of town hall March 23 on her upcoming proposals to reform the building department. (Photo courtesy of the Supervisor's office)

The North Hempstead Town Board Thursday night set a date for a public hearing regarding two building department reforms Supervisor Jennifer DeSena proposed recently.

At the April 28 meeting, the Town Board will consider the adoption of a local law amending town code that mandates the town building department commissioner to make a decision on expedited permits within seven days and removing the Town Board’s ability to override the department’s decisions.

The resolutions are aimed at preventing corruption and streamlining town government operations, DeSena has said. All six members present voted to set the date. Councilman David Adhami was not present Thursday night due to illness.

DeSena commended the board for their collaboration regarding this matter. The two-and-a-half-hour meeting was by far the least contentious since DeSena took office in January, a far cry from previous meetings that have oftentimes been tense.

“Thank you all for working together on this,” DeSena said before the vote.

At her State of the Town Address earlier that day, DeSena expanded on the resolutions and categorized the current laws as “legally improper.”

“During our research into the subject, when my team spoke to building departments from the municipalities, they were met with shock and disbelief that this was actually in the town code in North Hempstead,” DeSena said.

The Supervisor previously that she has more plans coming for the building department but it will not be a quick fix. She has consistently said the department is in need of a “culture change.”

“We didn’t get into this problem overnight and we aren’t going to get out of it overnight,” DeSena previously said.

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