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Jan 18, 2012 10:23 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Comptroller Could Leave For Brookhaven Post

Jan 18, 2012 11:07 AM

Southampton Town Comptroller Tamara Wright was expected to interview for the position of finance commissioner with Brookhaven Town Board members on Wednesday, according to Brookhaven Town officials.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko is expected to introduce a resolution at a board meeting on Thursday, January 19, to appoint Ms. Wright to the position, according to Jack Krieger, Brookhaven Town’s communications director. Mr. Krieger said Ms. Wright was expected to meet with Brookhaven Town Board members on Wednesday to introduce herself.

If appointed, Ms. Wright would replace Brookhaven Town’s current finance commissioner, John O’Neill, whose last official day is February 2, according to Mr. Krieger. Mr. O’Neill is leaving to take a position in Nassau County, Mr. Krieger said.

The position, which pays $133,000 per year, according to a Brookhaven Town official who asked to remain anonymous, would be well above Ms. Wright’s current Southampton salary of $117,300.

Ms. Wright did not return calls seeking comment this week. Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Board members also did not return calls seeking comment.

Newly elected Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera said yesterday that she hadn’t been aware that Ms. Wright was interviewing for a position at Brookhaven Town Hall. However, Mr. Krieger said he was told that Ms. Wright had informed the Southampton Town Board about her desire to move to Brookhaven.

Ms. Wright’s interest in Brookhaven Town follows hesitation by the Republican-Conservative majority of the Southampton Town Board to reappoint her to a two-year term earlier this month. Town Councilman Jim Malone asked the board to consider holding off on reappointing Ms. Wright and Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato to two-year terms in an effort to give Ms. Scalera a chance to interview them.

The reappointments of both Ms. Wright and Ms. Scarlato, which were slated for a reorganization meeting on January 3, were postponed for one week. Ultimately, the Town Board voted unanimously to reappoint them both.

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Ms. Wright's wish to move on is hardly surprising in view of the Republican council members' repeated signals that her present position is insecure. One can only wonder if the opening of the Brookhaven position is part of a larger plan to replace her with a genuine REPUBLICAN apparatchik
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 18, 12 11:40 AM
I agree. I can understand her wanting to leave after the way Malone mistreated her. Unfortunately, if Ms. Wright leaves, Malone will win and the abuse of power will continue.
By Spinny OHO (94), Speonk on Jan 18, 12 11:50 AM
You people are never happy... the board unanimously re-appointed her. The re-appointment was only held off (for a week) because Ms. Scalera had been appointed hours earlier and wanted to sit down with her and know who she was appointing (how is that a bad thing?). Her job is safe for a year and it would have been easy for them to not re-appoint her if that's what they really wanted.

Ever think that Ms. Wright is just looking to get paid (and really, who can blame her). To somehow say ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 18, 12 12:06 PM
The idea that the appointments were only upheld for a week bc Scalera wanted to meet with her (and the Town Attorney I believe) hardly seems genuine. Mrs. Scalera was certified as the winner of a Town Board seat in early November. If she wanted to meet with people to ascertain if she would vote to retain them, why did she wait two months to do so?
By tm (174), mtk on Jan 18, 12 2:56 PM
Great, Southampton loses a gem who did a wonderful job with taxpayer finances. Mr. Malone and new Republican Preston-Scalera should be proud of themselves. If she thought her job was in jeopardy who could blame her for jumping ship.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 18, 12 12:42 PM
To the left side of the aisle....."It's always Bush's fault. Democrats never conspire for anything under any circumstances." Give us a break from all this intellectual dishonesty. Some times "things" are just as they are without any hidden motives.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Jan 18, 12 3:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ms. Wright is simply interviewing for the job. There has been no offer and no acceptance of an offer. The motives are quite simple. The money is better, the job might be better, the job might be more secure, and yes she was upset at the postponement of her reappointment and the uncertainty created by that. Anyone in any job would be doing the same under the circumstances. Having conquered the beast of Southampton Town finances, there may be more challenges ahead for her in Brookhaven or maybe a ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jan 18, 12 7:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
She is a nice person. Always smiling. I would be sorry to see her go.
By jak (1), Southampton on Jan 20, 12 9:00 AM
Those who say Ms. Wright has no cause to complain since she was unanimously re-appointed are wrong. The re-appointment was reached only grudgingly, after difficult negotiations. Worse, Chris Nuzzi and Jim Malone have been beating up on the Comptroller for over a year now. It's no way to treat the official who cleaned up their mess for them, but the cleanup embarrassed them and previous administrations, so they attacked.

Likewise, those who say it's all about money are wrong. The abuse ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 20, 12 12:09 PM
1 member liked this comment