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From the desk of The Nassau County Executive: November 8, 2011

The 2012 Budget

On Sunday, October 30th, the Nassau County Legislature approved my budget for 2012 that includes the tough medicine needed to help our County to recover from decades of poor fiscal policies. Most importantly, the budget represents an opportunity to work cooperatively to achieve success for our residents. The budget, developed in consultation with NIFA, sets forth a comprehensive plan that makes Nassau County fiscally stronger each year over the next four years.

Despite the fact that the Democrat Minority Conference failed to support the budget, for a second consecutive year, I have been able to provide a budget that addresses Nassau’s issues without raising property taxes and I implore them to join me in working together to successfully implement the enacted solutions.

The budget eliminates millions of dollars of wasteful spending and sets forth solutions, such as public-private partnerships, that will save taxpayers over $40 million annually. Nassau County will now attend to prisoners’ minor injuries at the jail, saving residents millions of dollars by reducing costs related to hospital transportation and security. Even greater savings will be achieved by allowing a private operator to run the LI Bus system. This action will restore route cuts planned by the MTA and save residents more than $26 million annually.

Although $150 million in union concessions is required for the 2012 budget, there is an opportunity for union presidents to avoid the severity of extensive layoffs and unpaid furloughs by working with me to be part of the solution. Rest assured, while special interests yell and waste members’ dues on t-shirts, childish slogans, silly sign trucks and distorted media campaigns, the voice I hear the loudest is that of our residents who cannot afford a tax increase during this stagnant economy.

There’s an old saying that if you want a friend in politics – get a dog. I didn’t run for Nassau County Executive to become part of the status quo. I ran to shake things up, work for you and to find solutions to fix the problems – and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue to do. I am committed to fixing Nassau’s finances and doing what’s right for the residents of this wonderful County.