Joan Silvestri, Rockland's Republican commissioner to the county Board of Elections, was confirmed Tuesday night by the County Legislature as the county's new personnel commissioner.
Silvestri, a Haverstraw resident, is the daughter of the late state Sen. Thomas Morahan, R-New City, who died July 12, 2010.
Silvestri was nominated by Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef to replace longtime county personnel commissioner Patricia Prendergast, who retired from the county in late 2010.
Silvestri's appointment was approved in a 15-1 vote by the Legislature, with Legislator Michael Grant casting the lone vote against Silvestri's appointment. Grant, D-Haverstraw, said he believes Silvestri is qualified for many positions in county government, but he said he is concerned that her longtime role as a leader in the Republican Party could create the appearance of a conflict in the county's Personnel Department.
Grant said that Silvestri's role as the Republican Elections commissioner is one in which she was selected by the Repubican Party leadership for that post, and that Silvestri has served as vice chairman of the party.
However, Republicans and Democrats on the Legislature spoke out in favor of Silverstri's confirmation and rejected the notion that she would create the appearance of a conflict in the Personnel Department, which oversees the Civil Service employment process for county and local government in Rockland.
Silvestri said she is looking forward to her new role and she sees her main role as being the one who helps find the best possible candidates for government jobs in the county and in local government.