Some leftovers from Nassau CE Edward Mangano’s news conference Wednesday on reforming the property tax assessment system:
1) Mangano and his team entered the ceremonial chamber accompanied by Edward Ambrosino, the Republican councilman from the Town of Hempstead.
Team Mangano stopped at the podium to begin the news conference. Ambrosino continued through the room and sat in the back row.
Mangano aides did not respond to questions Wednesday about what role Ambrosino, once Mangano’s lawyer in private life, was playing in county government.
Ambrosino is currently an attorney with Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale, specializing in issues involving “Industrial Development Agency & Municipal Development Incentives,” according to the firm’s Web site.
One of the litigation partners at the firm, E. Christopher Murray, is also president of the Nassau County Chambers of Commerce, where Mangano had sketched out his initial assessment reform plans at a Feb. 25th meeting in East Meadow.
Ambrosino played a major role in shaping the Mangano administration, several sources said. “He was in just about every meeting during the transition,” one former official in the Suozzi administration said.
2) Mangano was vague on how his freeze on property assessments would work, but he was pretty specific on the savings to the county budget: $50 million next year, $75 million 2012 and $80 million in both 2013 and 2014.
The Democratic minority leader of the legislature, Diane Yatauro of Glen Cove, told our Sid Cassese that she didn’t see how the switch would save money.
And, “I thought we were waiting for the release of a detailed report from his Assessment Review Team, due by June 30, before any changes were enacted,” she said.
Mangano is due to report his long-range budget plans to the watchdog Nassau County Interim Finance Authority on May 1st, and don’t be surprised to see those numbers pop up in that.
“Shades of Tom Suozzi!” one Democrat — not Yatauro — said sarcastically. “Mushy numbers in the out years!”
3) The Republican presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, has promised to be independent from Republican Mangano.
But he stood at the podium with Mangano to endorse the assessment proposal before it comes to the legislature for review.
Schmitt also appeared with Mangano last month to endorse the county executive’s budget modifications.
That political buddy-buddy situation drew the attention of some aides to Yatauro, who pointed it out to a reporter, who was rude enough to ask if they remembered how often Yatauro stood next to her Glen Cove neighbor, Thomas Suozzi, while he was county executive and she was the presiding officer.