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Letters: Nassau's controversial land deal

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano works in his

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano works in his office in Mineola on Sept 12, 2013. Credit: Howard Schnapp

What a crazy deal. Give Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano $10,000 in donations, and you can get a $99,000 county job, and then a $26,000 raise, because you supposedly have to do a little more work, when you're already overpaid ["Land in foreclosure," News, April 24].

Then you sell your property to the county to establish a "cultural and educational center" about something called agricultural history, all on a street that has absolutely no visibility except to local residents.

The cancellation of the $700,000 house restoration project at Old Bethpage Village Restoration demonstrates that the county does not have the money for projects like this, except if it happens to be one of Mangano's follies.

As far as the ethics of this, that's a nonissue. Nassau has none. Just look at what has been approved for raises to various government employees regardless of the wage freeze.

I'm a 55-year resident of Nassau County. What happened to good government?

Dawn O'Neill, Hicksville

As a property owner, Frank Camerlengo has every right to sell his property. As a taxpayer, I have every right not to buy it.

If I want culture and education, it already exists at the Old Bethpage Restoration!

Roy Firmes, Farmingdale

I am writing regarding Newsday's coverage and Joye Brown's commentary on the purchase of Emil's Garden Center by Nassau County ["The Column: Deal on Nassau property smells," News, April 22]. I am a lifelong resident of Bethpage, as well as a former Town of Oyster Bay councilman.

I know firsthand the high value that residents place on quality of life issues, such as the preservation of open space. It seems that Newsday is more interested in who the owner is, and his profession, than the benefits of this acquisition.

Millions have been spent purchasing open space along Nassau's North Shore. Areas in the middle of our Island have been shortchanged and deemed less important.

I know that preserving this space would benefit my hometown and allow our schools and children to use this site, not only to learn about Bethpage's history, but also to allow them to participate in the planting and growing of fruit, vegetables and gardens.

Even though the Emil parcel is residentially zoned, it has a pre-existing use as a nursery, and the next buyer would have a very strong case to keep that use. This would not offer our town any benefit and could negatively affect those living nearby.

This type of purchase is exactly what the open-space fund was created for.

Len Kunzig, Bethpage