Editorial: Vote to help shape future of Long Island

If all politics is local, then, dear voter, this is your year. Getting a stop sign at the local intersection, monitoring how well snow is removed, keeping Long Island as the model of the suburban dream -- these are issues that can be swayed by your vote Tuesday. Here's why.

All seats on both county legislatures are on the ballot, and the leadership of 11 towns, including supervisors and board seats. District attorneys and judges, highway superintendents and clerks are at stake, too.

Nassau voters will decide whether to keep Republican County Executive Edward Mangano or return Democrat Thomas Suozzi to the post. They will face a similar choice between Republican Comptroller George Maragos and the man who lost to Maragos after serving two terms, Democrat Howard Weitzman.

The GOP controls the Nassau legislature by one vote, with the new district lines mostly favoring incumbents. The GOP is trying to pick up at least two seats, giving it a supermajority, so it can borrow more easily by not having to deal with the other side of the aisle. The Democrats, however, are pushing back hard, determined not only to hold their ground but also to flip the balance of power.

In Suffolk, County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, is in the middle of a four-year term and struggling to find the revenue and expense cuts to balance the 2014 budget. While Bellone's party likely will keep legislative control, the gain of a few GOP seats could cost him the supermajority he holds for borrowing and make it more difficult to herd his own caucus.

North Fork residents will vote in a state race: This is a special election to fill a vacant Assembly seat.

And while our New York City readers will vote for the next mayor, the policies and influence of the man who replaces Michael Bloomberg will affect the regional economy, and those Long Islanders who work in the city.

After filling in all the little circles next to candidate names, it is critical that voters flip over the ballot to look at six statewide referendums, including the marquee initiative on gambling. This vote is the final step in amending the constitution to allow up to seven casinos in the state. The legislature and governor have approved a complex law to comprehensively regulate gambling that, in its first seven years, will allow the licensing of four casinos in selected areas upstate. Other noteworthy amendments involve protecting the Adirondacks preserve and a bungled attempt to eliminate age discrimination for some judges.

Our endorsements in 22 of the races have appeared recently; this recap is offered as guidance.

The rest is up to you. Please vote.

In towns across Long Island, residents will take

In towns across Long Island, residents will take to the polls on Nov. 5. (Credit: AP)

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