If you live in the Town of Hempstead, you are familiar with the steady flow of mailings from Town Hall. So far this year, I have received 24 mailings from Town Hall (that is one mailing every 11 days).
As my administration works to close a $343 million deficit inherited from the prior administration, I feel that the Democratic Minority Caucus has spent its time turning the fiscal recovery of Nassau into a political sideshow. Simply put, Legislator Diane Yatauro has distorted the reforms included in my budget. In fact, it is her irresponsibility and hypocritical actions that brought this County to the brink of bankruptcy.
Mr. Mangano’s critique of my response to his 2011 budget is filled with as much fiction as his budget. The fact is Mr. Mangano inherited a balanced budget. I intentionally withheld any discussion of his actions until he prepared his budget. His budget has been presented, debated and is awaiting Legislative approval. His budget is a blueprint for disaster.
The Mangano budget will: increase taxes at the local level; devastate our school districts and not-for-profit organizations with “hidden taxes;” and burden future generations with unprecedented debt.
It will also invite our state financial oversight agency, NIFA (Nassau County Interim Finance Authority), to seize control of our finances. My concerns are shared by NIFA as well as the independent Office of Legislative Budget Review. Is Mr. Mangano suggesting all of us are missing his reform plan?
I am disappointed that rather than fixing the assessment structure Mr. Mangano is shifting the financial burden onto school districts and municipal governments while claiming he doesn’t want to raise our taxes. His new policy contradicts what he said one year ago when he was a Legislator with me. He said, “I think that Nassau County owes it to the public to fix the system first before it puts the problem on another municipality…you’re going to shift that burden until you fix the system…” The county guarantee whereby the county refunds property owners for successful tax appeals has been a law for 60 years. School districts and municipalities are not prepared to pay these refunds and will be forced to raise local taxes.
Mr. Mangano is the County Executive because he promised he would fix the assessment system but instead of a fix, he chooses to blame everyone else. Fixing the broken assessment system was the cornerstone of his fiscal reform plan. The plan is crumbling; the cornerstone doesn’t exist!
Last week a front page story revealed that his assessment department distributed tax rolls riddled with mistakes. I have never seen such a mess during my time as a legislator. Under Mr. Mangano’s watch, our “tax exempt” Executive and Legislative building was incorrectly included on the tax roll. It doesn’t get more embarrassing than that!
Mr. Mangano’s budget relies heavily on record borrowing that was criticized by the County Comptroller, NIFA and the Independent Office of Legislative Budget Review. The budget shifts the burden of paying today’s bills onto our children and grandchildren. Mr. Mangano is not making tough decisions; he is making the easiest decision and that is to postpone real solutions.
There is increasing speculation that Mr. Mangano wants to solve all of these problems by imposing an increase in sales tax! This will cause a hardship not only on our residents but also our merchants.
If working together means agreeing to a bad plan, then count me out.
The County Executive can call this partisan, I call it leadership. Three financial experts told him the proposed borrowing is wrong. He should listen. I did!
The County needs to tighten its belt. I have cut my staff budget an additional five percent. For the third year there are no raises or staff additions. I led the fight to prevent a legislative leadership salary increase. I continue to search for reductions, line by line. Our taxpayers deserve nothing less. Mr. Mangano should lead by example. I have.
Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove)
Nassau County Legislature
The 21st Assembly District which includes Elmont, Franklin Square and West Hempstead and surrounding areas has many problems that remain unresolved. These problems did not come about yesterday, but rather have been in existence for decades. Mayor Bloomberg has faced similar problems, and in a short amount of time he has come up with real solutions. So as residents of the 21st Assembly District search for solutions to their problems, we ask, what would Mayor Bloomberg do?
With witches, goblins and super-heroes descending on neighborhoods across Hempstead Town, I would like to offer parents some safety tips to help prepare your children for a safe and enjoyable Halloween.
Who do we trust to fix the mess in Albany? Of the two candidates running for N.Y. State Assembly, I believe in Patrick Nicolosi to do the job necessary to get Albany back on track. The Republican candidate owes too much allegiance to the party machine that not only gave him the nomination, but also the machine that handed him his cushy job in the Town of Hempstead. Despite his youthful inexperience, he represents the status quo that seeks to maintain the inefficient and wasteful government patronage mill that we currently have.
Is it time for change in Washington? Change has become a dirty word since the President ran on ‘change’ and gave us something radically different. He, along with his Democratic majority in both houses, has given us numerous stimulus packages, the end of healthcare as we know it, and bailouts to bankrupt corporations despite the fact that a clear majority of Americans are against those actions.
Come enjoy bushels of fun at the 25th Annual Rock Hall Country Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. With an abundance of activities and attractions, there’s something sure to please everyone in your family.
Believe it or not, the time has come for us to review and update the district strategic plan. As you may recall, board members, administrators, faculty, students, parents and residents of West Hempstead came together in the Winter/Spring of 2008 and developed a three-year strategic plan for the school district. That plan included four action plans:
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