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EDITORIAL: Mangano should listen to NIFA

There's a biblical admonition about living and dying by the sword, and the new administration in Mineola should heed it. During the campaign, Edward Mangano earnestly carried with him copies of reports by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority that were critical of the Suozzi administration. Now that Mangano's county executive, he's bristling at direction from the very same authority. Go figure.

It's time for Mangano to exit campaign mode and realize he's governing. What that means is that his words and actions have real consequences. He pledged to repeal the tax on home heating fuel, and on his first day, he did just that.

The consequence is that Nassau's 2010 budget could have a $20-million hole. When NIFA wrote to Mangano asking for a budget-balancing plan within 60 days, the Mangano team criticized NIFA for applying "unprecedented" pressure, and said the county executive would be the one setting timetables. Um, no. NIFA is doing its job bird-dogging county finances, and it's a job we all want done well. If this board of financial experts says 60 days, that's what's prudent.

NIFA also raised a concern about $16 million from a cigarette tax that former County Executive Thomas Suozzi wrote into this budget. It doesn't appear likely to pass in Albany.

The Mangano administration shouldn't be so defensive. NIFA is better viewed as a partner than as a politicized sword hanging over the county executive's head. hN