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Letter: How Now, Howard?

I have read Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’ County Financial Report Card and also his challenger’s response. There are a few things I find troubling. Mr. Weitzman, the former comptroller who was defeated by Mr. Maragos four years ago, states that the Nassau Interim Finance Authority has “impose[d] tough oversight on the county’s finances.” To my knowledge, the county has been under NIFA’s scrutiny since its inception in 2000, long before Mr. Maragos took office and during the time of his predecessor’s two terms. I also read that in November 2012, NIFA approved the county’s 2013-2016 multi-year financial plan (subject to certain conditions). I would say that NIFA’s scrutiny acknowledges a stable fiscal state at worst. Add to that the fact that on Mr. Maragos’ watch, he and County Executive Ed Mangano have been able to not raise property taxes at all. They must be keeping a close eye on taxpayers’ money and reducing expenses.

Also, wasn’t Deloitte & Touche, LLP, the county’s current independent auditor, hired by Weitzman to keep tabs on “the books”? Recently, Deloitte & Touche confirmed Comptroller Maragos’ statements of the positive condition of the county’s finances as correct. If the former comptroller thought Deloitte Touche were good enough for his administration, why does he now doubt their abilities in their evaluation of Mr. Maragos’ work? Is it because the current assessment is positive?

 

The negative comments and inflammatory innuendo used by Mr. Weitzman indicate desperate and unwarranted scare tactics, delivered just before an election, to confuse and worry our county taxpayers. 

 

—Carla Santella

 

Glen Cove resident