While Nassau’s financial control board is pressuring the county to close projected multimillion-dollar budget gaps this year and next, county lawmakers have agreed to boost their spending on mailings this year to nearly $1.3 million.
Legislators voted unanimously in committees Monday to transfer $167,000 in unused funds into their 2015 postage budget of $1.1 million.
GOP spokesman Frank Moroney said Republicans plan one more countywide mailing before the end of the year, probably about scheduled property tax grievance seminars.
Democratic spokeswoman Lauren Corcoran-Doolin said the move will allow lawmakers to send mailings this month for January events including mammogram van visits and tax grievance workshops.
Former Democratic legislative candidate Dean Hart, who heads an advocacy group called Long Island Citizens for Good Government, said, “In one the worst economic times in Nassau County history, residents can ill afford to spend more money on what have historically been political campaign mailers at the taxpayer’s expense. There’s a solution to save Nassau County taxpayers $1.3 million, and it’s called email.”
But Moroney noted that the money already has been budgeted, though not for postage. “You have to communicate with your constituents particularly when you’re talking about tax grievances.”
Republicans came under fire in October when at least three GOP legislators sent government paid mailers that claimed they had held the line on property taxes despite a tax increase this year. All county lawmakers were running for election.
Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, who subsequently was elected to the full-time job of district attorney, asked for a federal investigation of the mailings. She said Tuesday in a statement: “With Nassau’s dire financial condition, it’s an absolute outrage that tone-deaf legislators think that the public wants more self-promotional junk mail from politicians.”
Hart also filed complaints with the state comptroller and state attorney general about the mailing, but received no responses, a spokesman said.