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Letter: Mangano, Republican Party Should Pay Back Taxpayers for Failed Referendum

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano's attempt to sneak through a massive tax hike was overwhelmingly rejected by voters on August 1st.

Mangano and the republicans in the legislature should never have tried to sell the people of Nassau on the bad idea of raising their property taxes to build Charles Wang a new Coliseum.

Ignoring arguments by the democratic minority in the county legislature, the League of Women Voters and other independent groups, Mangano and the republicans wasted $2 million more of precious taxpayer money to hold a referendum on a Monday in August in the hopes of rigging the outcome through a suppressed vote. They lost, but so did Nassau taxpayers who now have to foot the bill for their foolishness.

Ed Mangano and the republicans need to right their wrongs. If they had worked in a bipartisan manner and listened to reason, Nassau County taxpayers would not be on the hook today for $2 million. Ed Mangano needs to take responsibility for his failure and pay back the taxpayers.

Currently, Mangano has approximately $1.2 million in his campaign account while the Nassau County Republican Party has $1 million. Instead of using those funds for negative, distorted campaign ads, Nassau Republicans could send a real message to taxpayers and reimburse them for the costs of the unprecedented Monday, August 1 referendum.

As Nassau taxpayers begin to dig out of the fiscal hole Mangano and the republicans have widened, a new statement from the Nassau Interim Finance Authority notes that the county is staring at a $225 million budget deficit for 2012. Meanwhile, after the overwhelming rejection of Mangano's referendum, there is no clear path forward on developing the 77-acre Coliseum site.

Now that Ed Mangano's partisan agenda has been rejected by the voters, I urge him and the republican legislators to work together with democrats to solve our worsening problems. If they stop with the partisan games and the partisan gerrymandering and reach across the aisle for once, they will find willing partners who are interested in moving Nassau County forward.

 Jay Jacobs
Chairman
Nassau County Democratic Committee