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Nassau Dems press Mangano to support bill on pay raises

Some Nassau Democratic county legislators, joined by community activists, called Thursday on GOP County Executive Edward Mangano to support their proposal to end giving stipend raises to legislative leaders the way Republicans did last month.

"Less than one hour after being clocked in without public notice, the majority pushed through hefty salary increases," said Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove). "My caucus and I voted against it. . . . Our proposed local law will prevent such shameful steamrolling again."

Mangano, who was a 14-year legislator until this year, did not buy into the request.

His spokesman, Michael Martino, said: "The issue of raises has already been addressed by Majority Leader Peter Schmitt . . . [but] the county executive will continue to work with the legislature to improve Nassau County for the taxpayers."

The Democrats' news conference outside the legislature's chambers was yet another attack on the Jan. 25 raises, even though Schmitt, the presiding officer, has already said the raises will be rescinded.

But Schmitt, of Massapequa, who proposed the hikes, has left the door open for lawmakers to receive raises at a later date. Moreover, he said he will push for the raise reversal the same way they passed - by procedural resolution requiring no public notice.

The raises hiked Schmitt's salary from $67,500 to $99,500; his deputy's from $62,500 to $84,500, and Yatauro's from $63,500 to $90,500. Yatauro vowed not to take the increase or to give it away.

The Democrats' new proposal asks that all raises - not just base salaries - conform to the county charter that calls for raises by ordinance, not a procedural resolution. That would allow the county executive a veto; public notice would be given, and the raises would not go into effect until the next election.

In a written statement, Schmitt said: "The issue of legislators receiving raises is over. I'm not going to do what Legislator Jacobs as presiding officer tried to do three times before me. The charter is sufficient and is the controlling document as to legislators' salaries. We have to move on and solve the problems left to this county by the Democrat majority."

But Bob Young of Bellmore, an organizer for the Roll Back the Raises campaign in Hempstead Town, said: "The public needs to have full disclosure."

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