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Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello last week joined in criticism of the county’s elected officials for giving out raises to their appointees while union workers’ pay remained frozen for three years.
At Thursday’s regular GOP executive leaders meetings, Mondello publicly complained to County Executive Edward Mangano, Comptroller George Maragos, County Clerk Maureen O’Connell and the county legislature’s Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves about raises they gave to employees who can be hired and fired at will, according to several attendees.
Mondello said the raises were not good government, not good politics, and he added, it was not a good time despite their recent victory at the polls because times are tough and people are still hurting. “You need to govern smart,” he told the officials, including Mangano, who had railed against his Democratic opponent Thomas Suozzi for raising his own salary when he was county executive.
Mondello declined to comment on Thursday's remarks, but they were not unusual. In 2009, Mondello demanded that the late Legis. Peter Schmitt, then the new presiding officer, rescind raises he handed out after Republicans regained control of the legislature. Mondello called the pay increases then “insensitive.”
In 2011, Nassau’s financial control board imposed a county wage freeze but the county attorney contended it applied only to union employees -- which has been disputed by union leaders and the control board.
On Friday, Mangano said he would give new job titles to his appointees who received raises to avoid violating the wage freeze. Spokesman Brian Nevin said Mangano acted in response to a letter from Jon Kaiman, chairman of the county's financial control board, not to Mondello.