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Mangano meets privately with Suozzi

Ed Mangano, the new Nassau County Executive, meets

Ed Mangano, the new Nassau County Executive, meets with incumbent Thomas Suozzi on Wednesday. (Dec. 2, 2009) Credit: Howard Schnapp

For the first time, albeit briefly, incoming Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano met privately in the Mineola office of the incumbent he defeated last month, two-term Democrat Thomas Suozzi.

The electoral rivals met for about 15 minutes before meeting reporters and Suozzi's staff.

"We basically went over an outline of how we wanted to proceed," Mangano, a Bethpage Republican, said after Suozzi introduced him.

Mangano said the man who will serve as his chief deputy county executive, Assemb. Rob Walker (R-Hicksville), would meet in the coming days with Suozzi's chief deputy, Marilyn Gottlieb, to map out details.

Suozzi said he would do everything he could to help Mangano in a transition period that was cut short by a month as lawyers battled over the ballot count before Suozzi conceded Tuesday. Suozzi trailed by less than 400 votes out of more than 250,000 votes cast.

Mangano, who has indicated he will trim the county's top staff, gave no indication of how he would proceed. He played down the possibility of a wholesale house cleaning of current agency heads and officials.

"I will tell you this, that there is no mass process," Mangano said. "Everything will be surgical . . . and thoughtful."

Suozzi urged his top aides to help Mangano. "I urge you to make yourselves available if necessary to be interviewed about what's going on in your departments, what's happening in your departments, and to share as much information as possible," Suozzi said.

The two men provided only generalities about their meeting, and gave little indication of how things might proceed.

Still, geniality was the order of the day.

"I'd like to again congratulate Mr. Mangano on his election as county executive of Nassau County. He's got a big job ahead of him," Suozzi said.

"I'd like to thank Tom for his service to Nassau County and I want to thank him for this meeting. It went very well," Mangano said.

Mangano was asked about his campaign pledge to repeal the 2.5 percent sales tax on home energy use imposed by Suozzi and the Democratic legislature earlier this year. Mangano has vowed repeal; Suozzi said such a move would blow a $39 million hole in the county budget and puts its credit rating in peril.

"We did not [talk about it]," Mangano replied with a smile.

"We talked about that for six months," Suozzi said with a laugh.

Lawyers for Mangano, Suozzi and the Board of Elections submitted papers ending court supervision of the election.

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