Election 2013: Suffolk County legislative endorsements
It's tempting to say Suffolk stands at a crossroads, but in fact the county stands at several. On Nov. 5, all 18 seats in the county legislature are up for grabs, and the moves County Executive Steve Bellone and the next legislature make will have a resounding effect.
The budget is the first concern. Suffolk County is bedeviled by high labor, pension and health care costs, with little ability to raise taxes to meet those spiraling expenses. The result is projected deficits for the foreseeable future. Most of the candidates say we have to increase tax revenue by expanding the economy. But any discussion of that leads directly to all the thorny problems impeding growth in Suffolk County.
The lack of sewers in many places is at least a triple-whammy. It stymies both residential and commercial development, and our aging septic systems are polluting our oceans and aquifer. Agriculture and the tourism that accompany it have huge potential, but bring with them traffic and fertilizer/pesticide problems. And many Suffolk residents prefer things just as they are, except, of course, for taxes.
Legislators must contend with the closed Foley nursing home, siting 1,000 new slot machines in the county, and state demands for a new jail. There's little chance Democrats will lose their working majority in the legislature. They could, however, lose the bulletproof supermajority that makes borrowing easier. Regardless, what's needed are strong, creative voices from all parties to support Bellone when he's on the right track, and direct him when he isn't.
Web linksElection 2013: Newsday's endorsements
article Opinion 10/28/13 Editorial: Schneiderman in Suffolk legislature's 2nd District Legis. Jay Schneiderman has been quietly effective in delivering what his constituents need. ... Read More »
article Opinion 10/28/13 Editorial: Juengst for Suffolk legislature's 6th District Jennifer Juengst analyzes legal and financial sides of issues with the cold eye of a ... Read More »
article Opinion 10/28/13 Editorial: Lindsay in Suffolk legislature's 8th District William Lindsay III promises he'll be an independent voice. Newsday endorses Lindsay. ... Read More »
article Opinion 10/28/13 Editorial: Trotta for Suffolk legislature's 13th District Robert Trotta recognizes that increased sewer capacity is important for growth and environmental preservation and ... Read More »
article Opinion 10/28/13 Editorial: McCaffrey for Suffolk legislature's 14th District In a race between competent candidates with good ideas, experience tips the scale. Newsday endorses ... Read More »
article Opinion 10/28/13 Editorial: Spencer for Suffolk legislature's 18th District Spencer has developed a comprehensive understanding of county government and its challenging finances. Newsday endorses ... Read More »