Throughout my 40-year career as a public official and political party leader, I've taken great pride in my record of advancing the public interest. I credit my success, and my longevity, in the rough-and-tumble world of politics to my earnest efforts to always do what I believed was right for the residents of Nassau County -- even if it meant standing up to Newsday when I thought that it was on the wrong side of an issue.
Newsday's suggestion that my opposition to the proposed use of open space funds to purchase the now-defunct Emil's Garden Center in Bethpage was motivated by my concern over voter backlash this November, rather than an absence of merit in the project itself, is erroneous and unfair ["Another reason to stop useless Nassau land buy," Editorial, Man 13].
I believe in the adage that "good government makes good politics," and I have throughout my career adhered to this principle as well as urged my party's elected officials to be guided by it.
After four decades in political life, I've found that the foundation for success at the polls is always in doing the right thing -- for the right reasons -- for the people you serve. Those who act out of any other motivations simply don't stand the test of time.
Joseph N. Mondello, Westbury
Editor's note: The writer is the chairman of the Nassau County Republican Committee.