Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announces a $45 million deficit...

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announces a $45 million deficit deficit reduction plan in Mineola. (July 23, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County will cut 200 employees and cancel $19 million in public works projects under a $45 million deficit-reduction plan that County Executive Edward Mangano announced Monday.

"We made some very painful choices to put us in balance," Mangano said.

But Jerry Laricchiuta, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, the largest county union, warned that county services would suffer.

"There is no way this county can deliver the services anywhere near the level it once did," Laricchiuta said.

Mangano said about half the 200 terminated positions will come from layoffs. Another 62 are county employees who recently accepted an early-retirement incentive and about 40 come from law enforcement retirements.

The personnel reductions are expected to generate $10 million in savings this year and roughly $25 million annually, Mangano said. Those savings will go toward the $150 million in recurring labor savings that the county's financial control board, the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority, has called for, Mangano said. The new round of cuts boosts recurring savings to $120 million for the year, Mangano said.

The administration is still in the process of determining the employees to cut, due to "bump and retreat" rules that allow workers with seniority to move down to lower-ranked positions, said Katie Grilli-Robles, a Mangano spokeswoman.

Nassau has laid off about 400 employees since December 2011, said Mangano. The county workforce is now about 7,300 employees.

Mangano's plan also includes $3.8 million in cuts to youth and mental health programs that went into effect July 5. Mangano left open the possibility of restoring the funds, saying it would "require a bipartisan effort."

Responding to the cuts in programs and county expenses, Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said Mangano "needs to tell us how many of his political benefactors' contracts are part of that list."

Mangano declined to respond.

Under the plan, departmental spending will decline by $12.2 million. Cuts include $1.5 million for uniform replacement and $770,000 for vehicle replacements, according to a list the administration provided.

The $19 million in canceled improvement projects includes $5.8 million for streetscaping and $440,000 in park projects.

County Comptroller George Maragos and legislative Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) joined Mangano at the news conference. Maragos commended the plan for not relying on borrowing, and both Schmitt and Mangano said the county would not turn to property-tax increases to fill the budget gap.

"We're going to continue to meet this deficit with cuts," Schmitt said.

Reducing the deficit

Among the cuts in Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's deficit-reduction plan are:

Jail Vehicle Replacement: $15,000

Streetscaping: $5.8 million

Office Equipment: $500,000

Park Improvements: $440,000

Computers: $37,000

Wantagh Marina Bulkhead improvements: $583,000

Garage door replacements $700,000

Source: Nassau county executive

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