Letter: Nassau debt worse than portrayed

Nassau County Executive candidate Tom Suozzi during a Nassau County Executive candidate Tom Suozzi during a press conference at the Long Beach boardwalk. (Oct. 28, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

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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.

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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.
 

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