A town budget and new commissioner
ISLIP TOWN—Last Thursday, the Islip Town Board unanimously passed its final 2016 budget, amounting to a total of $221,282,681 and a tax increase of 0.73 percent, which falls under the state tax cap and will raise the average homeowners’ property taxes $19.15 per year. The board also unanimously passed a resolution appointing environmental engineer James H. Heil as the new commissioner of the Department of Environmental Control.
No residents registered to speak during the short public hearing, which lasted no more than a few minutes. Afterwards, Carpenter said that the lack of criticism was a testament to the “transparency” exhibited throughout the budgeting process, which included posting the budget online.
“An incredible amount of energy went into this document, and we really have tried to address the issue of transparency,” said Carpenter.
Meanwhile, Heil, a Shoreham resident, is set to commence his role on Monday, Nov. 16. He will fill the spot left open by Eric Hofmeister, who resigned from the town last month to work as former Islip Supervisor, now NYS Senator Tom Croci’s district director.
Heil received his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College in 1962 and a Master of Science from New York University in 1969, both for civil engineering. He has an extensive resume that includes tenures as commissioner of sanitation in Brookhaven (1984-88) and commissioner of waste management in Brookhaven (1988-95). For the past 20 years, he served as an environmental engineer for Cashin Associates. In Islip, he will oversee a total of 104 employees for the standard commissioner salary of $101,000 per year.
The DEC responsibilities include running the Resource Recovery Agency, the town compost facility, garbage collection, environmental initiatives, and the animal shelter.
Heil commented on his predecessor, noting, “He’s going to be a tough act to follow. He was a great commissioner, and I hope I can succeed and carry forth what he’s put in motion.”
Carpenter referred to Heil as a “delightful gentleman,” noting that he already has prior working relationships with Hofmeister and DPW/Parks Commissioner Tom Owens.
“His credentials are impeccable, and he is very well respected in the environmental community,” said Carpenter, who noted that a total of five candidates were interviewed for the position. “He has experience working with a number of people our department interacts with, so I think it will be very helpful going forward. I’m excited, and he’s going to do real well for us.”
Overall, Heil said that he is excited to assume his new role within the town.
“The opportunity came up and I was fortunate enough to be selected. It’s going to be a pleasure working for the Town of Islip. They have a good, solid waste program and I’m looking forward to getting started,” he said.
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