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Opinion

Editorial: Numbers don't add up for Nassau contracts

Traffic moves past the sign for the red-light

Traffic moves past the sign for the red-light camera on Old Country Road in Westbury on Aug. 18, 2011. Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

With the Nassau County Legislature due to vote on new union contracts Monday, Comptroller George Maragos released a report on their cost and on potential revenue to pay for them. Money from school-zone speed cameras is key. Maragos estimated a high but not unbelievable $58 million over four years. But the controversial cameras haven't been approved in Albany -- and then still would need to be installed.

Another uncertainty is how much revenue is lost because Nassau villages would get to keep the money collected from fines on the roads they maintain.

Maragos' report said the new labor contracts will cost $120 million over four years. That estimate is likely low. With such daunting costs and cloudy revenue, fiscal sense demands that the legislature take a deep look at the risks of these contracts.

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