Letter: Nassau debt worse than portrayed
Newsday's analysis of Nassau County's debt, "Nassau's debt, explained" [News, Oct. 28], clearly demonstrates that when I left the office of county executive in 2009, the county's debt, including the property tax refund liability, was $3.61 billion. By the end of County Executive Edward Mangano's first term, it will have increased more than 7 percent to $3.88 billion.
The article omitted, however, the additional $110 million that Mangano borrowed from New York State government to pay for pensions. If included, that makes a 10 percent increase in debt during Mangano's tenure, to more than $3.99 billion. That's the highest in Nassau's history.
Even more concerning, as noted in the article, is that Mangano's reliance on short-term borrowing is "pretty heavy" and means that county leaders are "not living within their means on an ongoing basis and are pushing bills off to the future."
Unfortunately for Nassau taxpayers, Mangano has not heeded the warnings of financial experts. According to his multi-year plan, he intends to borrow an additional $3.2 billion over the next four years.
Thomas Suozzi, Glen Cove
Editor's note: The writer served as Nassau County executive from 2002 to 2009 and is running for the post again in next week's election.
Some construction unions for Mangano
In response to the letter about private-sector unions endorsing Thomas Suozzi ["Private sector unions support Suozzi," Letters, Oct. 27], that's not true of all private-sector unions.
Carpenters Local 290, based on Long Island, is very active politically and is one of the largest unions in the Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council. We strongly endorse Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano for re-election.
Mangano has completed the deal for the new Nassau Coliseum and has brought in many jobs through the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, where I serve as a senior board member. Mangano also has plans for a new crime lab, a family court building, and ice skating in Eisenhower Park.
Besides Local 290, other building trade unions that endorse Mangano include Plumbers Local 200, Iron Workers Local 361, and Operating Engineers Locals 138, 30, 15 and 15d.
Mangano has earned our support and, more important, our vote on Election Day.
Christopher Fusco, Hauppauge
Editor's note: The writer is the president of Carpenters Local 290.
Blame for tax assessment system
Bashing either political party for a Nassau assessment system that has run amok is both unfair and wrong ["Better ideas for assessment reform," Letters, Oct. 20].
Creators of our assessment system were not fortune-tellers. They had no idea that assessment protests would turn into a major industry for some in the legal profession. To investigate every grievance in depth would require more time, more county employees and more money than Nassau has -- and will ever have -- without raising taxes.
The only people who can bring meaningful change are people who care passionately about changing the system.
Howard Blankman, Port Washington
Editor's note: The writer served from 1986 to 1993 as a member of the Nassau County Board of Assessors.