Written by Edward P. Mangano Friday, 03 September 2010 00:00
When I took office in January, I inherited a government that is worse off than it was in 2001. A staggering $286 million deficit looms and tough decisions have to be made in order to fix Nassau County’s finances. An easy fix would have been to raise property taxes 36 percent - but I won’t accept that option as a solution because taxpayers need relief during these poor economic times.
On Day One, I repealed the Home Energy Tax that was imposed on our already-overtaxed residents, saving taxpayers more than $39 million. I also eliminated a 13 percent tax hike that was planned by the previous administration. In April, I signed an Executive Order that stops Nassau County’s annual assessment system and replaces it with a four-year cyclical system that begins in 2011. I slashed $22 million from the County payroll, including nearly $10 million less in managerial and support patronage positions. As a result, the Mangano administration is leaner and more efficient; instead of top-heavy departments, we have professionals working harder and more efficiently. However, we are not finished. The former County Executive left Nassau with a deficit $100 million higher than what he inherited eight years ago. The budget gimmicks, overspending and increased government of the previous government leaves us with no choice but to come up with creative solutions and, yes, some painful cuts.
In fact, on August 2, 2010 Newsday stated, “County Executive Edward Mangano’s got a herculean task ahead...” I can’t complete that “herculean task” alone. In addition to the team I’ve assembled, I also need your help. Since taking office, I have received countless phone calls, emails, and letters from county residents offering their suggestions on how to save hard-earned taxpayer money. Because I have received such good ideas, I established a website, www.stopnassaucountywaste.com, as a convenient, effective way for taxpayers to offer ideas and solutions, and to report government waste. These are tough economic times, and these are only the first steps in a long journey to fiscal recovery. Many more actions will be taken to get our finances back on track.