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55 and out?
“Beware March 24th” doesn’t have quite the same ring as “Beware the ides of March,” but when it comes to the leadership of Nassau County, all eyes are on that date: the birthday of County Executive Edward Mangano.
He will turn 55, a milestone that will let him walk away with a little bit of security.
Mangano, under federal indictment along with his wife, Linda, on corruption charges, has weathered his legal storm from Mineola, refusing to leave office or even say whether he will run again in November.
At 55, he will become eligible for both his state pension and county retiree health benefits, having put in just over 21 years with the county, 14 as a legislator and the rest in his current role.
Calculating pensions is tricky, but by our estimate, Mangano would receive around $55,000 a year if he left on his birthday. As a pension-system Tier 4 employee, he would get 41 percent of the average of his final three years’ salary, minus a 27 percent penalty for going out at 55.
That number would have been lower, but in July, Mangano finally took six years of accrued cost-of-living increases he had refused previously because of the county’s dire financial picture, boosting his salary from $174,614 to $191,621.
Asked whether the numbers seem accurate, spokesman Brian Nevin responded that “the county executive has no plans to retire.”
LIA plays the Nassau Coliseum
The Long Island Association is prepared to put in money and time toward a “significant effort” to encourage the New York Islanders to return to Nassau Coliseum permanently.
LIA chief executive Kevin Law told The Point there are still many unknowns about the Islanders’ decision, including whether the team will really leave Brooklyn. But he’s preparing for the possibility that Long Island’s largest business organization will have work to do.
That could include an advertising campaign and a coalition of local officials similar, Law said, to what the association did to support the Long Island Rail Road’s third track.
He said the LIA hasn’t determined how much money to put into such an effort, or when to begin. The association, he said, is waiting for more certainty.
“Ultimately, this is going to be up to the owners of the Islanders,” Law said.
But Law pointed to the history of the Coliseum site, where then-Islanders owner Charles Wang’s proposal for a massive development and renovated arena to get the Islanders to stay was ultimately rejected, leading Wang to eventually move the team to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. (Wang now holds a minor stake in the team.)
Added Law: “Unlike what happened with Charles Wang, I think Long Island needs to roll out the red carpet to help attract them back to Nassau Coliseum.”
Randi F. Marshall
The heart of the matter
Teachers say ‘ConCon’ a con
A statewide referendum on whether New York should hold a constitutional convention is eight months away, but voices against the idea are getting louder.
Now taking up the anti-convention drumbeat is the New York State United Teachers union, which is laying out its objections to a convention in a series of articles titled “Open the state constitution? Heck, NO,” in its newsletter and on its website.
NYSUT representatives focus on the cost, calling a convention a “big waste of money.” But that’s not really what the union’s objections are about. Its central concern is the future of members’ guaranteed pensions and their right to bargain collectively. Opening up the state’s constitution means anything’s on the table, NYSUT officials argue. And that, they say, is unacceptable.
So, the union is providing its local leaders with a “constitutional convention leader tool kit,” with discussion points, sample letters and more. The union is encouraging members to “spread the word” by writing letters to the editor (Newsday has gotten a few) and is urging friends and family to vote no in the Nov. 7 referendum.
They’re not alone, as other New York unions are equally up in arms. But there’s a long way to go until November, when we’ll know whether their focus on the “cons” defeats the prospect of a “ConCon.”
Randi F. Marshall