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Nassau faces decision on borrowing Monday

In this file photo, Nassau County Executive Edward

In this file photo, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano talks about privatization of sewage system at a community meeting held at the County Executive Office Building in Mineola on May 17, 2012. Credit: Newsday/Jessica Rotkiewicz

Nassau administrators, lawmakers, human service contractors and, ultimately, residents, could face some difficult choices if legislators don't approve $41 million in borrowing Monday.

"On Monday, May 21st, Democrat legislators will make the final choice to either implement bonding reform or slash millions in vital county services. There is no other choice as we will not raise property taxes!" County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, said in a news release on May 11 in announcing his proposed cuts.

Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa), the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, said he supported the administration's proposal, under the circumstances. The Republican majority needs support from Democrats to achieve a supermajority required to pass the measure.

Democrats have repeatedly said they would not support borrowing, especially for big-ticket items such as tax refunds, until Mangano explains why it is needed, comes up with a sound fiscal recovery idea and a "fairer" redistricting plan for the county legislature.

The proposed budget cuts could include a furlough of all nonessential employees; closure of all nonessential county offices on Mondays; elimination of the Youth Board and the Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services, officials said. The county will start using red-light-camera revenue for the general fund instead of as dedicated funds for youth and other social service programs.

The Family and Children's Association in Mineola, one of Nassau's contracted human service agencies, sent out an email appealing to its supporters Friday. In it, president and chief executive Philip Mickulas said: "There is a dispute between county Republican and Democratic legislators that has put all of our county contracts in jeopardy. . . . Contact your county legislator and join us at the meeting on Monday morning at the office of the county executive."

With Olivia Winslow


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