Opponents of Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello are seizing on a report by the state comptroller to argue that Spinello is a poor steward of the city's money.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Wednesday named Glen Cove one of 18 municipalities and counties in the state -- out of 1,043 examined -- with "significant stress" in its finances during 2014. Nassau County and the Village of Amityville also were cited.
Glen Cove was one of only three municipalities that moved into a worse category of fiscal stress in 2014, the report said.
"Obviously, it paints a very ominous fiscal picture for the City of Glen Cove," said Councilman Anthony Gallo, who lost to Spinello in the GOP primary but is set for a general-election rematch pending a court challenge to his right to run on another line, the Glen Cove United Party.
DiNapoli is concerned about, among other things, the city's operating deficit, the lack of a rainy-day fund and a high percentage of debt compared with revenues.
Spinello said the report focuses on the effects of the 2014 budget, which he voted against as a City Council member.
In addition, he said the report's concern with cash on hand for 2014 did not account for the millions of dollars in tax revenue that came in between Jan. 1 and Jan. 10, 2015. "This is a timing issue, nothing more," he said. "A report like this is based upon a picture of time."
The mayor said that under his tenure, which began in January 2014, the city has not had to borrow money for cash-flow needs.
But Philip Pidot, a City Council candidate on Gallo's slate, said "that's exactly what they did on Monday" when Spinello and his City Council supporters approved issuing $610,000 in bonds to pay for property tax refunds. The comptroller's office last year said it is "imprudent" for Glen Cove to borrow money to pay for such "routine expenditures."
Pidot said timing isn't an issue because the report only looked at municipalities that had the same Jan. 1-to-Dec. 31 fiscal year as Glen Cove.