Letter: Mangano: Debt plan will help county

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Mineola. (May

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in Mineola. (May 11, 2012) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

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Like the Democrats in the Nassau County Legislature, Newsday's editorial is quick to criticize my solutions to end the decade-long policy of borrowing against our children's futures to fund the broken, wasteful spending system left behind by the prior administration ["Mangano dodges spending cuts," June 11]. Yet, both are slow and ineffective in offering any alternative plans. Since taking office, I have cut more than $200 million in wasteful spending while maintaining important services. I have been met with hollow editorials calling for more cuts, without cutting essential services. My proposed legislation does just that.

The bill introduced in the State Legislature last week would use a prior legislative authorization to borrow. The county is not bypassing any law, because the borrowing authorization was already passed by the county legislature and helps implement the 2012 plan approved by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority to stabilize Nassau's finances.

Property tax refunds to residents and businesses have been delayed for more than a year and many of the errors leading to the judgments go back 10 years before I took office. My administration already started the process of ending borrowing for tax refunds by freezing the tax rolls, and moving to a 4-year assessment cycle so that tax assessments can be corrected before bills go out to home and business owners, leaving no need to make refunds. My reforms can and will work, but the prior administration's mess must first be cleaned up completely.

The state legislation I requested would also ensure that current funding is maintained for youth services for more than 20,000 children. The inability of the county to finance the payment of property tax refunds would interrupt the delivery of these essential services and is a matter of substantial state concern. Permitting the county to overcome pure partisan gridlock by utilizing pre-existing borrowing authorization will avoid this undesirable result.

Democrats this year have refused to approve any borrowing until there's a new electoral redistricting plan drawn in their favor. What the Democrats don't understand is that I do not draw the district boundary lines, nor can I compel the county legislature to draw the lines a certain way. That is a job for the appointed redistricting committee.

The rational plea should be for the Democratic legislators to work with me absent political self-interest, and for NIFA to offer specific advice rather than colorful statements.

Edward Mangano, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is the Nassau County executive.

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