Speed camera revenue could help end Nassau wage freeze

Jon Kaiman is shown at a Nassau Interim

Jon Kaiman is shown at a Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) meeting in Uniondale on Oct. 9, 2013. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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Revenues generated from new speed cameras could help Nassau's financial control board reach a deal to lift a three-year wage freeze, the board chairman said Friday.

After Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo amended his budget proposal to include speed cameras for Nassau and Suffolk, Jon Kaiman, chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, said, "This could be the piece to make [a deal] economically viable."

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Kaiman said NIFA, which imposed a wage freeze three years ago to help ease a county budget deficit, has sought assurance from Nassau that it could cover the costs of new contracts with its five unions if proposed concessions do not produce enough savings.

"The particular item appears to be sufficient to cover the additional costs," Kaiman said of camera revenues.

The county budget office, in its adopted multiyear financial plan, projects speed cameras and other state initiatives will bring in $8 million in new revenues next year and $12 million every year after that. Cameras would be installed in school zones as a way to deter speeders and increase safety. Kaiman said he was requesting the county to provide a "realistic estimate" of camera revenues.

Representatives of County Executive Edward Mangano did not return a request for comment.

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Two weeks ago, Kaiman proposed unions give up all salary and step increases for 2011 and 2012 and defer payment of their 2013 pay hike until 2016. For that pay increase to occur, he said, Nassau would have to cover the costs with increased revenues.

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