We were once the ideal suburb, the place families aspired to and dreamed of, but now it seems people can’t wait to flee Nassau County, and almost none of our young people are coming back.
In order to reclaim the greatness of Nassau’s past, we must address the serious issues that face our future, and the election for Nassau’s next county executive should be the center of that discussion.
Throughout the course of this campaign, Tom Suozzi has held an open and honest conversation with the residents of the county about the changes needed to move us forward. You may not have always liked what he had to say, but you had to respect that he was giving it to you straight.
It’s unfortunate that Ed Mangano has not done the same. Mangano says he stands behind his record, but he declined to do so numerous times in public debates with Suozzi, including the nonpartisan League of Women Voters debate and the locally televised News 12 debate. Newsday’s Joye Brown was right when she wrote that Nassau deserved a live, televised county executive debate.
Mangano says he has fixed Nassau’s finances, but his fiscal mismanagement has buried us under a mountain of debt. In fact, Nassau’s debt is at a record high.
In 2001, when voters elected Suozzi to take over from Republican County Executive Tom Gulotta, Nassau was labeled the “worst-run county in America.” Suozzi turned things around, and built a strong fiscal foundation that has crumbled under Mangano’s leadership during the past four years.
Things got so bad that a state agency, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, took over the county’s finances during Mangano’s first year in office, and his poor fiscal management resulted in three consecutive credit rating downgrades. NIFA has repeatedly assailed Mangano’s leadership, citing “budget gimmickry and habitual borrowing to pay operating expenses.”