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Letter: I Am Voting For Tom Suozzi On Sept. 10

If you are a registered Democrat, there is a primary next week on Tuesday, Sept. 10. 


When it comes to candidates for county executive, there is only one choice as far as I am concerned. I am completing my first term serving you on the Nassau County Legislature and it is painfully clear that we desperately need the kind of vision, leadership and fiscal responsibility that we got from Tom Suozzi.


Over the past two years, I have relayed to you a litany of problems caused by Edward Mangano’s administration. These issues are plaguing the Nassau County government. They are hurting you, our taxpayers and residents. 


I have watched the Mangano administration let a crucial road literally collapse into the water while I repeatedly called for it to be fixed. I have seen them neglect the sewage plants until they also experienced a collapse that was a tremendous health and environmental catastrophe. I voted “no” when they flippantly and haphazardly moved to shut half the police precincts in our county with no regard for precautions that would ensure public safety. I watched them slash the low-paid workers who perform the crucial services you need - supposedly to save money - and then turn around and give millions of dollars to connected investment banks and law firms for extremely questionable work. Finally, I called them out for months on a scandal involving Mangano’s campaign contributors performing questionable work after Sandy to the tune of a $70 million contract – work so questionable that the DA and attorney general feel compelled to investigate.


On a financial management level, County Executive Mangano’s $2.6 billion budget (your tax dollars) is misdirected to the wrong places while services you need are being cut and the county falls apart. They keep trying to sell you a line that they are not raising taxes. Well, they’ve simply renamed $100 million in new costs charged to you as “fees” now instead of “taxes.” The worst part of the fiscal dishonesty and irresponsibility is the fact that they want to borrow us into oblivion. In my one term here on the Legislature, County Executive Mangano’s administration has asked us permission to borrow billions of dollars. For someone who claims “tax revolt,” his true actions are setting us up for taxes and fees to go sky high. Worse, it is going to ruin the area for our children, who are already leaving in droves for more affordable places. 


Tom Suozzi was the only county executive to properly manage Nassau. He was the only county executive to actually reduce county debt. He is the only candidate with the will and the knowledge to save Nassau. County Executive Thomas Gulotta before Tom, and Mangano now, cut what your government did for you without ever cutting spending. But when it came to providing you with the government you need, “[Tom] didn’t just restore services, he re-imagined them,” to quote Newsday’s recent endorsement. 


We are on the brink right now. If we continue with the wrong leadership under Mangano’s administration, Nassau County will not remain the place we all love. Our children will not be able to live here. Our taxes (and fees) will become unbearable. Our quality of life and public safety will be gone. 


This coming Tuesday, Sept. 10, I am voting Tom Suozzi because I know firsthand what this county needs and I know he is the only person who can do it. 


Delia DeRiggi-Whitton 


(Ed. Note: Delia DeRiggi-Whitton represents the 18th LD in the Nassau County Legislature.)