Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano sent out an eight-page full color mailer to Nassau residents last weekend, touting his management of the county, including its finances — as Nassau’s financial control board was poised Tuesday to order the county to fill a $36 million hole in next year’s budget.
On one page headlined, “Protecting your wallet,” Mangano says he cut wasteful spending and “strengthened finances” — even though the county comptroller estimated this year that Nassau’s total unfunded liabilities, including unpaid tax refunds and pension costs, total more than $900 million.
Mangano also says he has created jobs by attracting or keeping companies in Nassau, without noting that most of the businesses received tax breaks from the county’s Industrial Development Agency. And he extols the county’s “growing film & television industry,” talks about reconstruction underway on the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and points to a drop in crime.
Mangano is fighting multiple federal charges of bribery and corruption. He has pleaded not guilty and said he will not resign.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state board that took control of the county’s finances in 2011, was expected Tuesday night to reject the county’s adopted $2.9 billion budget for 2017 and send it back to the County Legislature to make $36 million in cuts.
The Republican-controlled County Legislature had replaced $36 million in new fees proposed by Mangano with projected revenues from a commercial tax assessment amnesty program that NIFA has ruled too risky to be counted.
Deputy County Executive Ed Ward defended the mailer, though he did not respond to a question about its cost.
“The informational mailer serves as an end-of-year report providing residents with important new information about the county in a number of areas,” he said. “It was a budgeted item sent countywide, bundled bulk rate and (each mailer) costs less than a first class letter”.
Nassau Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin), who intends to run for Nassau County executive next year, said of the mailer: “Spending taxpayer money is bad enough but doing it in the middle of a budget crisis is the height of arrogance. This administration just doesn’t get it.”
Curran said she expected to attend the NIFA meeting and propose ways to save about $20 million while maintaining bus routes and preserving youth programs as well as firefighter and emergency technician training.