Two big decisions facing Nassau County came to the fore yesterday. Neither should progress until the next county executive is chosen.
The county legislature rules committee tabled a proposal to pay consultant KPMG $690,000 for more study of a scheme to “lease” the county sewer system to a private operator for as much as $1 billion. That’s mostly thanks to fierce questioning from Legis. Howard Kopel, who has become increasingly skeptical of the deal, which should be left for dead.
The plan involves trading a big upfront payment from an investor for 40 years of sewer revenue. In theory, the deal would save money because the county would do such a terrible job maintaining and reinvesting in the pipes and plants that a private operator could do the work for far less and still make a big profit. More likely the bills will go up.
Besides, with every candidate for county executive opposing this “lease” plan, spending more to pursue it further just five months before the election wouldn’t make sense even if this foolish plan did.
That November election also makes naming a permanent Nassau County police commissioner a bad idea. Acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter announced his retirement Monday after 25 years with the department. Mangano has named Deputy Commissioner Patrick Ryder to the acting role. Ryder, widely experienced and broadly respected, is a good pick to run things for now.
The election gives candidates a chance to talk about what kind of commissioner they would seek. The voters deserve to hear candidates’ policing vision, and the department doesn’t need a revolving door of leaders.