It was quiet in the press room in Mineola Friday evening.
Then, six minutes before Nassau County government shut down for the week, the deadly “ping” of an incoming e-mail could be heard.
The e-mail read: A RESOLUTION DECLARING A CAPITAL BUDGET EMERGENCY PURSUANT TO 310(D) OF THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT LAW OF NASSAU COUNTY.
The capital budget is rarely news. Sometimes, reporters go entire months without discussing it over drinks with colleagues. An “emergency?”
The all-clear sounded the next day, Saturday, when Michael Martino, press secretary to Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, said the administration was pulling the item back from consideration by the county legislature on Monday.
He said the projects to be funded were innocuous, although he didn’t have specifics, and the “emergency” part dealt with procedure, not content.
Democrats were not so sure. They wondered, speaking not-for-attribution, whether Mangano had some surprise planned for his state of the county speech Monday night.
They wondered whether he had attempted to woo a handful of Democrats away from Minority Leader Diane Yatauro, who theoretically controls the vote of the eight Democrats.
The 11 Republicans need two Democrats to create the supermajority needed to approve bonds issued under the capital program.
They wondered whether Mangano was simply repeating the pattern of his Democratic predecessor, Thomas Suozzi, who often added items to the legislative calendar at the last minute. And Democratic legislators, in the majority until this year, would consider them without a peep.