Robert Trotta sees problems everywhere: the county's budget process, its police contract, its sales tax estimates, its borrowing, its contracting process, its generous tax breaks. The former Suffolk County cop is not wrong on many of the issues, and is vexed by the slow pace of change. But he needs to channel his frustration and work with people to solve problems. Legislating is not policing.

Trotta, 54, a Republican from Fort Salonga, has some interesting ideas for the economy, like a public-private partnership to put a lodge-indoor water park on the grounds of the former Kings Park psychiatric center, now part of Nissequogue River State Park. He is a vigilant watchdog on police matters and is appropriately critical of the county's absence on federal task forces dealing with drug and gun issues.

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His opponent, Democrat Richard Macellaro, 63, a former home health care administrator, has made several runs for office. His dedication and willingness to serve are admirable but he is not as knowledgeable or passionate as Trotta.

Newsday endorses Trotta.