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Levy and Mangano jest, talk business

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy meets with Nassau

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy meets with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano on Dec. 22, 2009 in Hauppauge. Credit: Newsday File / Howard Schnapp

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy teased members of the Long Island Association Thursday about his gubernatorial aspirations.

At the outset of his speech, Levy said, "Over the last several weeks, I have been pondering a very big decision in my life that affect my career and my future. And I said when it was time to announce my decision, I would do it on Long Island." Then came the punch line. "I have decided," said Levy, "I will be declining NBC's offer to host the 'Tonight Show.' "

Levy's jest came during a joint appearance with his new Nassau counterpart, Republican Edward Mangano, in their first state of Long Island address before nearly 400 people at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

Levy also assailed the governor's budget for axing incentives that come from Empire Development Zones, saying incentives are needed to keep taxes stable.

However, he supported changes that would allow the state to recoup incentives if projects do not produce the jobs expected.

Levy also called for increased funding for sewers to redevelop downtowns, touting still unfinished plans to create a Ronkonkoma hub with 300 to 500 new housing units.

Mangano, meanwhile, talked about forming a downstate suburban lobbying triumvirate with Levy and new GOP Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. They will meet next month.

He also took an indirect shot at his predecessor, Tom Suozzi. "People are tired of being told we will get things done that never come to pass," he said. "I have a vision for Nassau County that sounds simple, but in reality is very difficult. My vision is simply to get things done."

The two officials, in jest, also had their first policy disagreement when t James March of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association asked the county executives to support the idea of Long Island becoming the 51st state. "I don't know if Nassau is ready for the 51st state in my first term," said Mangano. However, Levy added, "Then we could really be governor."

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