Palmina Grella, a veteran of Nassau County, N.Y.'s budget office for over 20 years, resigned yesterday as the county's budget director.
Ms. Grella cited "personal reasons" for her unexpected departure, but sources said she had become increasingly frustrated over contention between Democratic members of the county's Board of Supervisors and Nassau's Republican county executive, Thomas S. Gulotta.
The six-member board is currently deadlocked over a plan proposed by Mr. Gulotta and approved last month by the state Legislature that would allow Nassau to sell up to $65 million in deficit bonds and levy a new 1% mortgage tax. The plan, opposed by the three Democrats on the board, would help the county close a projected deficit in its fiscal 1992 budget, which closes Dec. 31.
Ma. Grella, whose resignation is effective Oct. 2, will be replaced by William R. Marshall, who will start today as the county's deputy budget director. Mr. Marshall, who had been the first deputy receiver of taxes for the town of Hempstead in Nassau County, will serve as Ms. Grella's deputy until her departure.
Ms. Grella, who began in the county's budget office in 1969 as an analyst, was appointed acting budget director in April 1991. She became budget director in September 1991.
David Vieser, a spokesman for Mr. Gulotta, said in a statement that, "Pam was a consummate professional. We wish her all the luck."
Mr. Vieser also said the move is unrelated to efforts by county Democrats to further trim the county work force. Several Republican county officials have charged the Democrats with blocking the deficit bailout plan until Mr. Gulotta fires his political appointees. Mr. Vieser said that Ms. Grella was appointed by the county executive, but that she was not on "any hit list."
"There was never any suggestion" that she should be fired, Mr. Vieser said, adding, however, that Ms. Grella was scheduled to receive a decrease in salary.
Responding to speculation that her resignation was tied to the county's political turmoil, Ms. Grella said, "I'm leaving for personal reasons. This is purely my own decision."