Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman, the Democratic nominee for Nassau County comptroller, announced a plan Tuesday to reform the county’s budget and contracting process.
At a news conference in Mineola, Schnirman said he wants to commission independent audits, target political corruption and identify cost savings. He said he also will work to reform the county contracting process.
Schnirman said Nassau County has failed to follow District Attorney Madeline Singas’ recommendations to reform the contracting process to weed out corruption and identify patronage and conflicts of interest.
“Nassau County has tremendous deficits and failed to get its house in order,” Schnirman said. “Our contract process is ripe for corruption, despite the district attorney’s recommendation two years ago.”
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state board that controls the county’s finances, has directed the county to cut $100 million in spending to close a budget deficit.
Schnirman is running against Republican Steve Labriola, Nassau’s chief deputy comptroller.
The Labriola campaign said it already had rolled out a similar plan.
“Jack Schnirman’s policy proposals are a complete hijacking of the platform” Labriola introduced nearly two months ago,” campaign spokesman Kevin Ryan said.
Labriola, chief compliance officer in Nassau’s Office of Management and Budget, said he wanted to double the number of annual comptroller audits and create a database of the work and criminal histories of county contractors.
Schnirman said that in Long Beach, his administration inherited a $14 million deficit and turned it into a $10 million surplus through year-to-year budgets.
He said he wants the county comptroller’s office to partner with NIFA and the state comptroller’s office to vet and track county spending for contracts.
“It’s time Nassau County does better than an embarrassing D+ in transparency,” Schnirman said.