Adam Haber and Tom Suozzi came out swinging in their Tuesday night debate in the Democratic Primary campaign for Nassau County executive. The winner of the Primary election on Sept. 10 will face Republican incumbent Edward Mangano in November’s general election. Mangano narrowly defeated Suozzi in the 2009 election when Suozzi sought a third term.
The half-hour debate was broadcast live on Cablevision’s News 12.
Suozzi touted his accomplishments while county executive, saying under his administration the county had “eight proven surpluses and 13 bond upgrades.” He said he is the “only candidate with a proven ability to implement a vision for the future.”
But Haber retorted that the surpluses and upgrades “Suozzi speaks about is what all politicians say.” Haber said that Suozzi left office with a $120 million deficit. “Since Tom took office,” Haber said, the county has lost “over 100,000 good, middle-class jobs.”
“We are on a path laid out by Suozzi and Mangano that clearly is not working ... I will do better,” Haber said.
Suozzi: Mangano has made things worse
Suozzi said that when he took over as county executive, Nassau “was the worst run county in America ... Mr. Mangano made things worse.”
Suozzi said that the county needs to redevelop 5 percent of its space. He criticized Mangano for just “borrowing, borrowing, borrowing.” “We must stabilize the county’s finances. I’m the only candidate to have done that.”
On the Coliseum deal that Mangano recently forged with the Barclay’s Center’s Bruce Ratner, Suozzi said “This plan is not ambitious enough … It’s absurd” because it doesn’t make use of the entire area available under the Town of Hempstead’s new zoning plan.
Suozzi said that the “borrowing, borrowing, borrowing, borrowing” that Mangano has been doing “is bankrupting the future of the county.”
Suozzi “proud” of tax cap law
Suozzi added that he was a strong advocate for the 2 percent property tax cap and that he “is proud of the work I’ve done to make the tax cap a reality.”
On the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, Suozzi said that it had been dumping raw sewage before Superstorm Sandy and that Mangano “failed to do his job” and that the Mangano administration “has no believable plan in place,” to fix what’s wrong.