Two years before he’s up for re-election, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has put out a full color mass mailing, touting reforms he says will make “our community great for ourselves and future generations.”
The six-page foldout, paid by Bellone’s campaign fund, has nine photos of Bellone, who trumpets his record of holding down general fund property taxes and staying within the state tax cap. He also cites his record of reducing crime, protecting water and for six years taking less pay than allowed, saving $200,000.
“The county executive feels its important not to just communicate with residents at election time but make sure they are aware of our various programs and policy initiatives,” said Bellone spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter.
The mailing says it “was not paid for with government tax dollars,” but instead was funded by “Bellone for Suffolk,” the county executive’s $2.1 million campaign fund. Bellone aides say the mailing went to 150,000 homes and cost under $80,000.
Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) called the piece “propaganda.”
Trotta said Bellone has increased fees on car registrations, mortgages, alarms, and red light camera violations, while borrowing $153 million from the sewer fund and $300 million from the state pension fund to balance county books.