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Supported by Republicans who control the towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano campaigned for re-election by attacking his opponent, former Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi, on two main issues:
Suozzi raised property taxes and gave himself a hefty raise, Mangano complained in numerous campaign ads.
After Mangano won the rematch -- and Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray won their re-election bids -- the Oyster Bay Town Board voted to raise town property taxes 8.8 percent and Hempstead elected officials moved to increase their own salaries by $10,000 and $5,000 each.
Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said he’s not surprised.
“The truth of the matter is virtually every other year, when they’re not running for office, town Republicans raise taxes. That’s virtually every even-number year,” Jacobs said.
“Now Kate Murray and her group now want to raise their own salaries after slamming Suozzi on the issue.”
Jacobs said Suozzi was forced to raise taxes when he first took office in 2002 because Nassau, under former Republican County Executive Thomas Gulotta, was on the verge of bankruptcy. Jacobs said Suozzi’s salary increase was recommended by a bipartisan commission. He noted that every other countywide elected official received similar pay hikes, including the county comptroller and county clerk..
“This business of what they do after the election I think is outrageous. but they do it every time,” Jacobs said. “If the voting public of Nassau County ever paid the kind of attention to what’s actually going on, elections for Democrats would be a lot easier.”
Nassau Republican spokesman Anthony Santino declined to comment.