Thomas Cilmi has emerged as a reliable scold. It's a valuable role when you're complaining about finances in a county with a troubled budget.
Cilmi, 51, a Bay Shore Republican, criticizes Suffolk for too much borrowing. He says the county should do multiyear budgeting and the legislature should be more transparent in its budget deliberations. He also seeks better auditing of sales tax collections to catch underreporting businesses. He would find savings by switching to a defined contribution system for public pensions, and is working with state legislators to eliminate the county's responsibility to pay tuition for residents in bachelor's and master's degree programs at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Democrat Joseph Hagelmann, 72, of Ronkonkoma, a Board of Elections worker and retired carpenter, wants to create jobs by expanding sewers and improving public infrastructure. Both are solid proposals advocated by many. A strong and vocal watchdog on county finances would provide a greater service.
Newsday endorses Cilmi.