Nassau Legis. Laura Curran, a Democratic candidate for county executive, released a plan Thursday to curb patronage and cronyism in county hiring, saying she would create a merit system for filling seasonal and part-time positions.
Curran (D-Baldwin) released her plan at a news conference in Cantiague Park in Hicksville, one of several county facilities where politically connected officials have historically received part-time patronage jobs, she said.
“Patronage affects every Nassau resident, whether they are seeking a county job or paying for the county jobs that now go to those who are hired for who they know, not what they know,” Curran said.
“If we are truly going to make our government work for the people again, we need be hiring the best and brightest, and stop handing out cushy jobs to the politically connected at the expense of Nassau taxpayers,” she said.
Curran said her plan would bar all county executive appointees from holding leadership positions with political parties or clubs. She said she also would prohibit members of her administration from asking job applicants about their political affiliations.
Curran will face Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) and County Comptroller George Maragos in the September Democratic primary. Nassau Republicans have selected former state Sen. Jack Martins as their candidate for county executive.
Earlier Thursday, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25 endorsed Curran’s candidacy.
Also Thursday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat, announced his support for Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman for county comptroller.