The name and title of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano takes up three-quarters of the sign welcoming visitors to the county’s Grant Park in Hewlett.
That made it a convenient backdrop Thursday for Democratic county executive candidate Laura Curran’s pledge to leave her name off nearly all official property if elected.
“I can’t think of a more thoughtless exercise in vanity than allowing the county executive to waste money by putting their name on taxpayer-funded signs and everywhere else they can find space,” said Curran, a county legislator from Baldwin. “This decades-old practice only serve to enhance their own personal political branding while adding no public value whatsoever.”
Curran, who has already pledged to end the use of taxpayer funded promotional mailers, spoke about an issue Newsday highlighted in 2014, after Mangano, a Republican, had placed his name on the golf pencils at Eisenhower Park and elected highway superintendents in Suffolk County had plastered theirs on trash cans and road barriers.
That story prompted Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, a Republican, to remove his name from most of the signs in front of town parks and facilities — replacing it with the town parks department hotline.
In Nassau, Mangano has continued a practice that his predecessors in both political parties had long enjoyed. His administration has said it costs very little in county funds or manpower, as most signs have nameplates that are easily replaced.
“Ed Mangano is very proud of the many park improvements made countywide and it has been a long-standing practice of the parks department to place the county executive’s name on such signs,” Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said in a statement.
The practice of putting the names of elected officials on most Nassau County property also extends to the temporary signs that alert motorists to road improvements and on the plaques dedicating new county buildings.
On those signs, the name of the district’s county legislator is typically listed with Mangano’s.
“Is Legislator Curran now against that, too?” Nevin asked, noting that Curran’s name has appeared on such signage.
Curran said Thursday that her name and those of fellow legislators often appear on those signs without them being consulted. She said she would end that practice as well.
“It’s not only a waste of money and an insult to taxpayers, it’s also a symbol of all the upside-down priorities in our county government,” Curran said.
Curran is seeking the Democratic nomination for county executive in a race with County Comptroller George Maragos and Assemb. Charles Lavine of Glen Cove.
Leaders of the Nassau Republican Committee back former State Sen. Jack Martins of Old Westbury for county executive.
Mangano, who is facing federal corruption charges — and has pleaded not guilty — has not yet said if he will seek a third term.