Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
Can a Roslynite be elected Nassau County Executive? That’s a question that Adam Haber is willing to find out.
A member of the Roslyn Board of Education, Haber is now the only Democrat to officially announce his candidacy for the seat currently held by Edward P. Mangano.
Haber has been preparing for the run for several months. Since last year, he has been supervising his own website, which asks residents to respond to a “question of the week” on pertinent issues, both local and national. On Dec. 19 he held a fundraiser at his restaurant, Lula Trattoria in Mineola. According to published reports, Haber has more than $2 million in cash on hand, nearly equal to the amount raised by Mangano.
“I want my kids to be able to afford to stay here [on Long Island],” Haber told The Roslyn News in explaining his reasons for running.
Indeed, Haber both criticized the current economic climate in Nassau County and his own business expertise in listing other reasons for the run.
“We have a lot of work to do on issues affecting the county negatively,” he said. “My business background can help.” Haber’s website listed his achievements on the Roslyn school board. “Our great schools are the reason so many families move to Long Island, and keeping them strong is vital to the future,” he said. “As a member of the Roslyn School Board, I’ve seen first-hand that we can save money without sacrificing quality if we’re willing to ask the tough questions, demand real answers, and are willing to try new approaches to old problems. We can start by asking the districts within our county to work together and share things like buses and motorpools, combine back-office functions and purchase more things jointly to save money.”
The negative issues Haber referred to are mainly jobs and taxes.
“While county government may not be able to change the federal and state economy, we can find ways to help businesses create jobs,” he said. “We can attract businesses looking to expand through incentives that are fair for our community but encourage them to move here. And we can invest in our county infrastructure to put people to work right away.”
On taxes, Haber has claimed that a “broken assessment system” has, in fact, resulted in higher taxes for more Nassau residents. “Nassau needs to find ways to control those costs that we can control without compromising the quality of the services we provide, and we need to be honest with the taxpayers about what we are doing,” he added, referring to funding for schools, parks and recreations and other services.
“We’re raising good money,” Haber said of his nascent campaign. “I have a good staff behind me. I’m not part of the insiders that have been bringing down the county for the past 20 years.
“I love Nassau County,” he concluded. “It’s a great place to live that’s starting to show wear and tear.”
Possible challengers to Haber include current County Legislator David Denenberg (D – Merrick) and even former county executive, Thomas Suozzi, who is subject of a draft movement to lure the former two-term executive into a comeback race. But for now, Haber is an announced candidate and he is enjoying his time on the stump.