Gov. Paterson on New Year's advised incoming Nassau Executive Edward Mangano not to repeat the borrowing mistakes of Thomas Gulotta.
Asked for advice for Mangano on the Republican’s inauguration day, the Democratic governor recalled Nassau’s borrowing under executive Gulotta in the 1990s. “My advice to him, and I think he already knows it…is not to try to solve the county’s problems by over borrowing which is what got the county in so much trouble about 15 years ago,” Paterson told Newsday.
Nassau amassed huge debts because Gulotta, a Republican, borrowed to pay the county’s mounting bills instead of raising taxes. A state bailout of $100 million under Gov. George Pataki helped Nassau avert bankruptcy but helped to pave the way for Democrats to take over the executive's office with the election of Thomas Suozzi in 2001. In November, Suozzi narrowly lost his bid for a third term to Mangano, a county legislator.
Mangano press secretary Michael Martino said, “We appreciate the governor’s sage advice and rest assured we have no intentions of repeating the sins of the past. We are looking forward to working with the governor and the Senate and Assembly to take care of our problems."
Paterson said he hadn’t yet had the opportunity to speak with Mangano but was impressed that he had retained top Suozzi staffers. “To me that just symbolically sends a signal that he wants to get the right job done, and the people have chosen him to do it,” Paterson said after an open house at the Executive Mansion in Albany.