Tom Gulotta? Fiscal Conservative?
Sure. Mention "tax" and "revolt" in the same breath -- let alone on the same lawn sign (when the local GOP lackeys aren't stealing the opposition's placards) -- and you raise eyebrows, if not votes.
Visions of tea parties, and their Alice In Wonderland approach to reducing property taxes notwithstanding, does the Republican candidate for Nassau County Executive really have a plan -- any plan -- for cutting taxes (short of a return to the Gulottaesque days of borrowing to the point of saddling the county with near-insurmountable debt to offset tax increases)?
We've scoured Ed Mangano's website for some ideas -- substance rather than rhetoric -- and have found only this:
Ed has a plan to: stop wasteful spending; freeze and fix Nassau’s broken tax assessment system, saving $100 million dollars annually; repeal Nassau’s home energy tax and, most importantly, create jobs and opportunities in Nassau County.
Hmm. Ed has a plan.
Nixon had a "plan" to end the war in Vietnam and beat back inflation. Those of us old enough to remember are still trying to figure out exactly what that plan was.
Other than Ed's bold, if not bald, allusion to a plan, there are no specifics.
In fact, dig deeper -- into campaign literature and press releases (self-serving though they are), and you will find the details of any plan to bring about tax relief to be sparse, if not nonexistent.
Indeed, neither Ed Mangano nor the Republicans in the County Legislature (many of whom were party to the Gulotta debacle, way back when) have any new ideas or initiatives, save the repeal of the home energy tax (which we would encourage the Dems to support), to lower property taxes.
And, by the way, speaking of property taxes, the County portion of our property tax bill is but 17.50% of the total levy, Town taxes (including the Special Districts) accounting for 20%, and school taxes (including library) a whopping 62.50%. Your Town and School mileage may vary, plus or minus a percentage point.
Getting a grip on the real tax burden culprit -- school taxes -- is beyond the pale of either the County Executive or the County Legislature.
Yes, they can point fingers at Albany and the local school boards -- the former shortchanging Long Island, the latter engaging in the smoke and mirrors of zero budget increases that nonetheless portend increased tax levies (by reason of the folks in Albany shortchanging us).
Beyond that, the race for County Exec has little to do with property taxes, let alone a tax revolt.
Oh, its nice to have catch phrases that buy into the public's desires -- ala Create Green Jobs or Stop The Wasteful Spending (this from the folks who brought wasteful spending to new heights during their tenure) -- or that prey upon the public's fears -- as in Stop Punishing Nassau County Homeowners!
Nice soundbites, signifying absolutely nothing.
What Nassau County residents truly need is not the rhetoric of fear or a throwback to yesteryear, but rather, a genuine, and viable plan to move Nassau County out of the 1950s, and into the 21st Century.
Wait a minute. Isn't that what Ed Mangano's opponent, Nassau County Exec Tom Suozzi, has already put on the table? A visionary plan to rebuild, redevelop, create green jobs, boost the local economy, and preserve and enhance America's first suburb. A plan, in large part, now being stalled, waylayed, and detoured by the very party Ed Mangano seeks to return to power in Nassau County!
Everyone agrees. Ed Mangano is a nice guy. But nice guys do not necessarily make good County Executives.
Tom Suozzi, on the other hand, may not be perceived as such a nice fella. [Then again, it takes a tough man...] Brashness, and even that touch of hubris aside, give Tom credit for bringing Nassau back from the fiscal brink, for keeping the County afloat and solvent during this horrendous economic downturn, and for having the vision -- and an actual plan -- to move Nassau County forward.
The Community Alliance is pleased to endorse Tom Suozzi for Nassau County Executive.
On Tuesday, November 3, VOTE!