The resumes of the two candidates for county comptroller, Democrat Jack Schnirman and Republican Steve Labriola, make clear that both have solid educations and a range of relevant experience.
We were most impressed by Schnirman, though. For us, he represents Nassau’s future, while Labriola is part of its past.
Schnirman has a degree in international relations from Tufts University and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has been the Long Beach city manager for the past six years, and before that was the chief deputy supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven.
Schnirman pulls no punches when it comes to the county’s finances. He tells it like it is: The county has yet to get its fiscal house in order, and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority remains a necessity, despite 17 years of its oversight. We agree.
For too long under County Executive Ed Mangano, the county has borrowed to balance its books. Schnirman has called out the county for the practice. Labriola, on the other hand, has not. In fact, he appears to believe Nassau’s financial outlook is rather rosy, and a financial control board is no longer needed, this despite the borrowing — to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — and a broken assessment system that continues to cost the county hundreds of millions of dollars.
Schnirman’s four-point plan for the comptroller’s office, which includes increasing transparency and modernizing the system the office uses, is encouraging. His “scorecard,” which would track the county’s progress toward financial stability, is an excellent idea that would allow taxpayers to quickly and readily understand the true state of the county’s fiscal health.
We encourage you to vote for Schnirman on Tuesday.