Q: What are your thoughts on the state of the county’s finances?
Clarke: One of the biggest mysteries in New York State is: how can one of the richest counties in the entire nation be in such bad shape financially? Another mystery is how can a county that has such a wealth of capable people be so badly run that the Nassau Interim Finance Authority had to come in and take away the county’s ability to govern itself? The answer to that mystery is that the county is so bloated with incompetent leaders in government that it cannot get out of its own way. The county’s finances are a ticking time bomb, and if we do not act fast, I firmly believe we will be another Detroit.
Dunne: Still requires a great amount of focus on rightsizing county government departments.
Q: As challenger, what skills can you bring to the position, and what would be your primary goals and objectives for the upcoming term?
Clarke: As a former market analyst and lawyer, I understand business and have the legal background to create laws that will promote the economy. My plan, when elected, will be two fold: first, I will push for term limits, so that we can finally force these career politicians out of office who do not understand or respect our needs. Second, after we get these do-nothing politicians out, we can start working on fixing our problems with a fresh set of legislators committed to strengthening our county and not their political party.
Q: During your time in office, what do you feel are your biggest accomplishments?
Dunne: Eliminating the energy tax, and stopping the four years of 3.9 percent tax increase built into former County Executive Tom Suozzi’s four-year plan, and stopping the fast food tax.