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Q & A with your Nassau County executive candidates
Nassau County executive candidates Laura Curran and Jack Martins sat down with the editorial board for separate endorsement interviews on Wednesday. The board also asked them to respond to a questionnaire on some of the key issues facing Nassau, such as corruption, the assessment system, red-light cameras and police contracts.
Here are some snippets from their answers.
On balancing the county budget:
Curran: “The goal: ‘Re-Building the Budget’ in line with economic reality. In part, that means recognizing that today’s world allows us to do things in smarter, more efficient ways.”
Martins: “First, we’ll do a comprehensive review of the budget, understanding that there are savings to be had by recalibrating the county workforce to significantly cut back on overtime while ensuring appropriate full time employees to provide county services.”
On police contracts:
Curran: “We need to talk about all of the provisions that affect their ability to perform at the highest level, and that includes considering how modern tools impact their ability to do the job and ways we can build trust between police and the communities they serve.”
Martins: “Besides cutting overtime, we must review the county’s work rules, which were developed decades ago, have not been reworked, and have added significantly to the cost of policing.”
On fighting corruption:
Curran: “We need to end the culture that allows corruption to take root, by making county operations transparent and enacting safeguards to stop corruption before it occurs, not simply punish offenders after the fact.”
Martins: “The ethics board must have the staff, independence and accountability to do its job.”
National health alert
The LIRR strikes again
A new national activist group, Swing Left, wants to shift the balance of power toward Democrats in the House of Representatives.
On Long Island, that includes support for Rep. Tom Suozzi to make sure the Democrat is secure in his seat when the congressional elections come around next year. The group had planned to have about 20 people go door to door to talk to voters this weekend in Huntington, the eastern part of the 3rd C.D. But it ran into some very local issues: planned train disruptions between Hicksville and Mineola.
Swing Left organizer Jessica Williams of Stewart Manor says the group tends to get six to 10 volunteers from NYC along with a similar number of Long Island residents, and the train hiccups would have made it too difficult to get the city residents out.
The curse of the LIRR may be bad luck for the activists, who had been asking for vote pledges for 2018, as well as providing information on local Democratic candidates for this November’s election. But voters tired of never-ending political door-knockers this season may be thankful for once that the trains aren’t running on time.