Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Survey confirms suspicion — U.S. is stressed
- Nassau move looks odd to us
- Hear the candidates vying for congressional seats
Making Their Points
Get up close with your candidates
This is a busy season for the editorial board as its members meet with more than 60 candidates for state and federal office. This week, Republican incumbent Lee Zeldin and Democrat Anna Throne-Holst visited to seek the board’s endorsement in the 1st Congressional District. So did Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Jack Martins, who are battling it out for the open 3rd Congressional District seat.
Click on the links to see what the candidates had to say. A warning: They are long and wonky.
Amanda Fiscina and Sam Guzik
Finally, a point of bipartisan consensus and gender agreement has emerged in this vitriolic presidential election:
It’s stressing all of us out.
Some 52 percent of Americans say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of anxiety, according to the Stress in America survey compiled by the American Psychological Association. It’s the demographic splits that are fascinating.
Stress is felt equally by men (51 percent) and women (52 percent), and by Democrats (55 percent) and Republicans (59 percent).
The report was released Thursday, but it was compiled from a survey done in August, well before the spike in revulsion from the recent spate of tawdry revelations and heated attacks and counterattacks.
So probably even more of us are reaching for the TV remote, the antacids and the sleeping pills than the numbers indicate. Which is in itself, you know, also stressful.
Follow the money
Usually, police commissioners argue for more money for their department. Certainly, they have a big say in how that money is allocated. But it was unusual Thursday when Thomas Krumpter, acting commissioner of the Nassau County police, testified to the county legislature that a $105 fee increase on all traffic and parking tickets is essential to pay for 150 new officers and 81 new civilian employees.
Krumpter also said that if the money doesn’t materialize, programs such as walking a beat, emergency response teams and major investigations would suffer. This is what we call the “grandma-will-die” scenario.
What makes Krumpter’s testimony so unusual is his views on how the money ought to be raised. There are numerous options, from raising property taxes, increasing other fees and cutting costs. Putting the commissioner in front of politicians to argue that if this one very specific fee is not enacted, crime-fighting will suffer, is strange.
From the administration’s point of view, these legislators refused to pass a nominal tax increase last year, and it is they, not County Executive Edward Mangano, who are looking for cover to pass what would be an unpopular fee.
Krumpter argued that his statements are not unprecedented and pointed to then-Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton’s vocal support for a tripling of trash fees in 2006 to cover a huge bump in the size of that department.
But Bratton also was able to argue that the needed reduction in crime, which did come with the expansion, would save taxpayers a fortune. And the city was truly troubled by lawlessness, while Nassau is legendarily safe.
And it’s worth noting that subsequent studies showed that only a small fraction of the money raised by the garbage-tax increase in L.A. went to pay for new cops.
Mangano’s new ticket fees are projected to raise $64 million next year. But the 2017 budget for the police department is only $49 million higher than the 2016 allocation.