The Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday voted to appoint former Suffolk County Executive Patrick G. Halpin as chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority Board to succeed James F. Gaughran, who was elected to the New York State Senate in November. Halpin currently serves as board secretary, the number two post on the SCWA Board.
The Legislature appointed Halpin by a 14-0 vote with one abstention and three absences.
Halpin, who co-authored a series of reform initiatives promoting transparency, accountability and efficiency shortly after his initial appointment in 2006, was appointed to a third five-year term in 2016. During his tenure on the board, Halpin has played a leading role in helping to position the Authority to thrive in the 21st Century through key technological advancements, vital infrastructure improvements and rigorous water quality standards.
As County Executive, Halpin preserved thousands of acres of the critical Pine Barrens region, an essential step in protecting Suffolk County’s future drinking water supply.
"The Suffolk County Water Authority and its ratepayers will benefit greatly from the appointment of Patrick Halpin as its new chairman," said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo. "Throughout his tenure on the board he has demanded accountability and sought to maximize the efficiency of our operations."
"I greatly appreciate the faith shown in me by the Legislature and look forward to serving as the Suffolk County Water Authority’s next chairman," Halpin said. "The Suffolk County Water Authority supplies drinking water that meets or surpasses all water quality standards while also maintaining the highest bond ratings for a water utility in New York State and water rates that are among the lowest in the country. I look forward to working with the board to build upon Jim Gaughran’s tremendous legacy as chairman and help to prepare SCWA to meet all future challenges."
The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.