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Transparency In Government The Public Can See

Confidence and trust in government appears to continue to erode because of political infighting, and the perception of waste, fraud, and limited transparency. This is why my office has taken small yet significant steps to attempt to restore some trust through transparency.

 

Recently the Comptroller's Facebook page made available all 2013 Nassau County contracts with vendors as well as all the bills paid by the county. In keeping with my office’s prudent standards of controlling costs and promoting innovation, we used the latest social media tools to make this information available to the greatest number of residents. Not a single taxpayer dollar has been spent for this important public service.  

 

Historically, access such as this, would require a Freedom of Information Law request. Placing these contracts online provides taxpayers with a snapshot of how their money is being spent, and hopefully, generate feedback from residents if inefficiencies and waste are observed.

 

Nassau spent over $700 million on contracts with hundreds of vendors in 2013 and processes over 50,000 payments to these vendors. Vendors provide a range of essential services and products for taxpayers, including road paving, traffic light maintenance, fraud investigations, social services and transportation for seniors, the needy and children with special challenges. 

 

In the last four years, we reduced government costs by over $300 million by demanding value in contracts, insisting on competitive bidding and verifying that services were delivered as specified. The county is operating as you would expect an efficient business to operate. The Comptroller’s Facebook page is facebook.com/nccomptroller. Your participation and feedback is crucial in assisting me to keep costs down and uncover waste and fraud.


News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution. 

 

The Levittown School District has been vigilant with the increase of cases in general. “We are continuing to implement the precautions provided by the health department and the CDC,” said Levittown School District Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Personnel Darlene Rhatigan. “We are also reminding students and staff to be mindful of the importance of proper hygiene including frequent hand washing.”

Audrey Zhang, a sixth grader at Island Trees Memorial Middle School, took home first place in the Long Island Arts Alliance (LIAA) on Sept. 17. Zhang was honored at the Cradle of Aviation Museum for her work and was presented with a $500 check and an iPad Mini. Many dignitaries were on hand, including State Education Department Regent Roger Tilles.


Sports

 

Four Division Avenue High School seniors have signed national letters of intent to play baseball at local universities next fall. All four players were instrumental in winning the 2014 Nassau County Championship. 

The Island Trees Squirts Rockets U-6 team met with town officials, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes at the 2014 Island Trees Soccer Club Opening Day Parade and Ceremony held at Stokes Elementary School. Pictured also with the Rockets U-6 team is President Joe Badolato, Event Coordinator Keri Cinelli, Equipment Commissioner Chris Blum, Travel Commissioner Mike Rich, Vice-President Brian Fielding and Rockets U-6 Coach Gina Weyland.



Calendar

Board of Ed Meeting - October 22

League Of Women Voters Talk - October 23

Lecture - October 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com