Written by Ronald Scaglia, Rscaglia@antonnews.com Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
Adam Haber lives in Roslyn and is on the school board there. He also owns a restaurant in Mineola. With strong ties to a different region of the county, Haber was asked if he would pay Massapequa much attention if he is successful in his recently launched bid to become Nassau County Executive. His response is that he already has.
“After Hurricane Sandy, there was a need for services,” he said while speaking with reporters at the offices of Anton Community Newspapers. “So, I filled up a van with clothing, food and water and made four separate runs. I’m Nassau first.”
Haber emphatically stated that he was extremely active in bringing relief to the south shore in the wake of the devastation caused by the storm. He said he worked with All Hands Volunteers and set up a base at Broadlawn Manor, which was used to provide the necessary supplies to storm ravaged areas of the south shore, including Massapequa. Haber said that he did what Nassau County failed to do.
“Nassau County failed in finding a home for these people,” Haber said. “Nassau County failed in providing us the ability to help. What you saw on TV was heavily scripted.”
In order to become the Nassau County executive, Haber will have to defeat two political heavyweights. First, Haber said since he does not believe the Democratic party will give him the nomination, he will take on Tom Suozzi., the former county executive. He wasted no time in taking a few political jabs at his likely primary opponent.
“Tom had eight years and he failed,” said Haber. “He’s partially to blame for the Islanders leaving. It took four years to win World War II and he had eight.”
If Haber defeats Suozzi, he would then have to unseat incumbent Ed Mangano. Haber heaped plenty of criticism on Mangano as well. Haber blasted Mangano saying the current county executive “is not for continuing services,” and gave the increasing amount of large potholes in the streets as an example. He also criticized the decision to appoint Charles Wang and Bruce Rater to oversee redevelopment of the Nassau Hub even though Wang is taking the Islanders to Brooklyn in 2015. He also took issue with the county’s increased reliance on bonding during Mangano’s term and the decision to raise fees, which he equated to a tax increase. Haber also blamed Mangano for the failure of the sewage treatment plant after Hurricane Sandy saying that Mangano failed to provide the funds necessary for improvements, which led to the failure.
“Can you think of one great thing that either Ed Mangano or Tom Suozzi did?” he asked.
While tearing down his opponents, Haber also extolled his record as well. He states that since he has been a member of the Roslyn School Board, the district has not cut services nor laid employees off. He said that he would continue such a policy if he is elected.
“The unions get a bad rap,” he said. “They want success. Stop vilifying the unions. The people who signed the contracts are the ones in office.”
Haber also spoke of bringing new businesses to Nassau County. He said that 40 percent of Nassau’s revenue comes from sales tax and so the county must figure out a way to increase that amount. He said that downtown revitalization, and a smart growth initiative across Long Island, is key in bringing prospective homeowners and businesses into the area. He also spoke of bringing more tourism. The candidate spoke of the many tourist attractions that there currently are in Nassau, such as Bethpage State Park and the highly acclaimed Bethpage Black golf course, and said that tapping into this would be another source of revenue for the county.
“New York City has 50 million visitors,” he said. “There’s no reason we can’t bite off part of that.”
Haber also said that while he is not in favor of cutting services, he is a proponent of finding areas of consolidation, which make financial sense. For example, he said Roslyn worked with adjacent school districts to share the costs of busing services, which has saved those districts money. He spoke of bringing such initiatives to all of Nassau, should he win the seat.
Haber also advises Republicans to get out of the mindset of thinking along party lines. He’s hoping his plan will resonate with folks from all parties and areas, including Massapequa and sweep him into office.
“The bottom line is I care, I want to help, and I’m doing this for the right reasons.”