The shake-up in Albany following Sheldon Silver stepping down as speaker of the Assembly has resulted in Assemblyman Fred Thiele, of Sag Harbor, being appointed to a leadership post.
Thiele, who is the only Independence Party member serving in the state legislature, has been appointed by new Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, to be the secretary to the Assembly Majority Conference and as the chairman of the Assembly Small Business Committee.
Thiele had previously served as the chair of the Assembly Libraries and Educational Technology Committee.
“I am honored to be selected as part of the new leadership team by Speaker Heastie,” Thiele said in a statement Monday. “More than that, it is an opportunity. We have the chance to enact much needed and long overdue reform that will bring openness and transparency to State government in Albany. I have previously stated my support for decentralization of authority in the state Assembly, limits on outside income and full disclosure of outside income by legislators, as well as the desperate need for campaign finance reform. I look forward to efforts to restore integrity and trust to state government.”
In addition, Thiele has also been asked to chair the Assembly Small Business Committee.
Thiele, who previously chaired the Assembly Task Force on University/Industry Cooperation, stated, “Over 400,000 enterprises qualify as small businesses under New York State Law (100 or fewer employees). This represents 97% of all business in New York State. As New York continues to recover from the recession, government needs to foster both new innovative start-up businesses and long established successful small businesses to create good paying jobs. This means tax reform, regulatory relief, and incentives to make New York businesses competitive. I am mindful that on the East End of Long Island nearly every business from agriculture, fishing, retail, and real estate to construction and health care is a small business.”
He added, “I welcome these new responsibilities, but as always, the 1st Assembly District comes first. I see these leadership roles not only from a statewide perspective but as a way to improve the lives of the people who elected me to office.”