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Opinion

Lawyering up

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Nassau County Executive Elect Laura Curran speaks outside

Nassau County Executive Elect Laura Curran speaks outside the Theodore Roosevelt County Executive Building on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 in Mineola. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Daily Point

Curran’s top choice for big Nassau job

Laura Curran is filling in the blanks on her management chart, and the Nassau executive-elect is zeroing in on her county attorney.

The Point has learned that Jared Kasschau, a partner in the Harris Beach law firm and someone with whom she worked closely as a legislator and candidate, is her top choice at this point. Kasschau’s bio on the firm’s website notes, along with his professional accomplishments, that he is a leader of the Rockville Centre Democratic Club.

Tom Garry, the managing partner of Harris Beach, is also vice chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Party and chair of the Curran transition team. His selection caused some carping among Democrats that it projected the wrong image for Curran to have someone high in the party involved with appointing staff in the new administration, because she ran on a promise to end patronage and the county’s back-scratching culture.

The selection of Kasschau is likely to mean that Harris Beach shouldn’t get legal work outsourced by the county. After all, Democrats protested loudly when Edward Mangano awarded contracts to his old firm, Rivkin Radler.

Rita Ciolli

Talking Point

Steve Bellone on the line

Even a month after Election Day, the robocalls haven’t stopped.

This time, it was Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who took to the phones with an “urgent message” about the federal tax bill.

“Congress is right now working on a bill that would impose a massive tax increase on Suffolk homeowners and cause home prices to drop,” Bellone said on the recorded call Tuesday afternoon.

The message went to more than 350,000 landlines and cellphones, all to households with voters who cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, a Bellone spokesman told The Point.

Now that two versions of the tax bill have made their way through Congress, Bellone hopes to encourage President Donald Trump to stop any legislation that ends the deduction for state and local taxes, the spokesman said. To do so, he sent a letter to Trump, and established a petition on change.org, which, during the call, he urged Suffolk residents to sign.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, the petition had more than 4,500 signatures.

Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

Hit by a bus

More cartoons of the day

Pointing Out

What’s the delay?

Remember the shared-services competition announced last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo? The one that offered a $20 million prize to the local government that comes up with the best plan for reducing property taxes by consolidating, restructuring or sharing services?

Brookhaven does. The town is one of six finalists. Its proposal would save $63 million by such actions as giving its five water districts and two sewer districts to Suffolk County, and by doing assessments and mailing out tax bills for villages that lie within its borders.

But the original September deadline for announcing the winner passed. So did Nov. 14, the next target for the big reveal.

The governor’s office says the competition is in its “final stages” and is being reviewed by the state comptroller’s office, with an announcement to follow “shortly.”

Brookhaven officials remain hopeful.

“We’re very interested in proceeding,” Supervisor Ed Romaine told The Point, “because we think it’s the way forward. We have too much government here.”

Michael Dobie

Columns