Nassau County executive candidate Thomas Suozzi criticized incumbent Edward Mangano Monday for having failed to create a comprehensive list of storm preparation projects a year after superstorm Sandy battered the area.
At a news conference in Long Beach, Suozzi, a former two-term Democratic county executive, said he would form a team of environmental, engineering and public works experts to create a report of all storm preparation projects, including road elevations and evacuation plans for seniors.
Suozzi said the document would help track the progress of projects and help the county make a case for federal funding.
"We need a government that will actually plan in a comprehensive way to deal with these very serious, complex issues, in a mature way that brings in professionals," Suozzi said. "We're not a bunch of local yokels here. We have a 1.4 million population in Nassau County. We have a $2.5 billion budget. . . . We need to deal with these issues in a professional manner."
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said the county was awaiting information from municipalities regarding infrastructure needs before creating a final document that Nassau will submit to federal officials in January.
The plan is under way and the county is waiting for additional information from local governments "prior to the January 2014 deadline set by the federal government," Nevin said. "Keep in mind, the final rules and regulations for homeowners were just finalized last week and the federal government is just beginning to move forward toward infrastructure improvement programs. Rest assured, there is significant work already under way to protect our citizens from future storms."
Suozzi said the administration was taking too long, noting that over the summer New York City created a 600-page report of projects.
Suozzi also received the endorsement of the New York State League of Conservation Voters and Long Island Environmental Voters Forum Monday. Both groups cited his previous record as county executive, including passage of two environmental bond acts in 2004 and 2007, that provided $150 million for open space and conservation projects.
Monday at an event in Bethpage, Mangano unveiled Sandy-related sculptures created by local artists as part of a county art contest. The winners received $20,000 in prizes from a private donation.
"Every crisis, every storm and every natural disaster provides all of us with the ability to call upon our inner strength to begin the job of recovery," Mangano said in a statement.