March 9, 2011 09:27 AM
The Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday in a 16-0 vote confirmed the reappointment of former Suffolk County Executive Patrick G. Halpin to the Suffolk County Water Authority Board.

Halpin, who co-authored a series of reform initiatives promoting transparency and targeting board member perks shortly after his initial appointment in 2006, was appointed to a second five-year term. In addition to the reform initiatives, Halpin has been a leading force in cutting excess expenditures and planning for the future by promoting the establishment of a source water protection program.

“I’m thrilled that the Legislature had the wisdom to unanimously reappoint Pat Halpin, whose intelligence, energy and attention to detail has made him a vital asset to the SCWA board and the approximately 1.2 million Suffolk residents we serve,” said SCWA Board Chairman James Gaughran.

“Pat Halpin is a fully-engaged board member with decades of relevant experience,” said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeff Szabo. “His leadership on issues as varied as environmental stewardship and strong fiscal management are keys to our continuing success in bringing clean and safe drinking water to our customers.”

“Patrick has been a great board member, and I’m proud to have him reappointed,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay.

“The Suffolk County Water Authority is one of the best public water authorities in the nation, providing affordable, high quality drinking water,” Halpin said. “The Legislature should be very proud of this shining example of a regional service. I want to thank the Legislature for their vote and will work hard to fulfill their expectations.”

In the summer of 2007, the three newest members of the SCWA Board, Halpin, Jane Devine and Michael Deering, authored and approved a series of resolutions aimed at creating a culture of thrift, openness and accountability at the Authority. Resolutions were approved that eliminated free medical, dental and optical benefits for board members; eliminated the use of Authority vehicles by members of the board; eliminated the use of Authority credit cards by members of the board and certain personnel; ordered a review of the usage and costs associated with providing Authority vehicles to certain employees for commuting and other purposes; ordered the installation of GPS technology in all Authority vehicles; and required that the SCWA seal be permanently affixed to all Authority vehicles.

Additional resolutions required the prominent posting of board meeting agendas and meetings on the Authority’s website; required the submittal of monthly financial reports to board members and the subsequent posting of such reports on the website; required the development of annual organizational goals and objectives and regular updates to be submitted to board members; and required the posting of job openings at the Authority to be prominently posted on the website.

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.

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