Monday, April 12, 2010

Old Comptrollers Never Die!

The Best Of 'Em Don't Even Fade Away

Howard Weitzman is back!

No, there hasn't been a coup at the Nassau County Comptrollers' office, deposing George Maragos. [The voters will have to do that the next time around.]

Weitzman, now private citizen, is staying in the public eye, keeping up the fight against such evils as the special taxing districts and other lowly vestiges of government inefficiency, and maintaining a highly visible presence on the web -- -- which looks suspiciously like his old Nassau County Comptroller's website.

We can see the wheels spinning at County GOP headquarters (that's all they do is spin). "Can he do that? He's hijacked county government?"

Actually, he can (and he has). And, from our perspective, the hijackers of good government are on the inside now, leaving us the job of getting them out.

Call it a shadow government, or leadership in exile, the fight for more efficient local government goes on -- -- and we at The Community Alliance are delighted to see our dear friend Howard Weitzman leading the charge.

While dismantling the fiefdoms that are the special districts and reforming local government may no longer be high order on the official website of the Nassau County Comptroller -- -- thank heaven Howard is still steady on the course.

When government fails us, and government officials become derelict in their duties, citizen soldiers must march to the front lines.

Thank you, Howard, for taking your place in the trenches!
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  1. Weitzman should be commended. He could've faded into the sunset, but has chosen to continue the fight against these special taxing districts.

    There has to be consolidation of these special taxing districts. The status quo is no longer acceptable nor sustainable. Long Island's massive government bureaucracy is pushing businesses, residents and investment capital off to less costly and more efficient locations.

    Despite a terrible recession, our special taxing districts have only behaved worse. They're still busy handing out raises and sweet-heart deals, not to mention they continue to operate in their usual cloud of secrecy.

    If we don't get serious about consolidating our special taxing districts NOW, when will we ever be?

  2. Are we supposed to admire this guy?

    It's clear that he's spent a lot of time and effort toward making the case for district consolidation . . . with a Dem Executive, with a Dem Legislature, and with NO RESULTS!

    I guess the standards here are at sea-level.

    I am very pleased with the services of my district. It's run efficiently and provides great service. Let the people of each district decide. Why should my well-run district be encroached upon in a county-wide consolidation? That's not at all democratic. This should be a bottom-up movement.

  3. Let me get this straight, Weitzman goes after special districts for overcharging taxpayers by $5.00 but totally ignores five years of Nassau County budget structural deficits. Are you people aware that the structural deficit for 2009 alone was $248 million dollars. Thank goodness this man is gone !!!!!

    What was he doing playing the violin while Nassau County was burning ?

    I wish for one moment the political hacks that run this blog would play it straight with us. They have no conscience.

  4. Well said, Anonymous! The bloggers here in no way cloak their political leanings. As a reader, I would appreciate more objective content. Republicans are bad, Democrats are good . . . blah, blah, blah.

    Comptroller George Maragos is doing a fine job cleaning up so many years of "political" accounting.

    Ed Mangano I'm not so sure about . . .

  5. Good gads! Anonymous commenting on Anonymous. No cloak on political leaning there...

    Just what is George Maragos "cleaning up?' No one, Democrat or Republican, has questioned Comptroller Weitzman's "accounting," either in method or in principal.

    Fine job, indeed, keeping things just the way they are!

  6. Personally, I haven't been wowed by either one of these guys. The good news is that they both have time to turn things around but they better hurry up. Mangano has shown a tendency to focus on issues that range from the tangential to the trivial. Remember that this was the guy who was supposed to be delivering a "tax revolt." So far I haven't seen much sign of this. Obviously, he has spent a lot of time diving into the assessment system - and I recognize that are legitimate differences of opinion on this issue - but I think that whole recent controversy will ultimately prove to have been much sound and fury signifying nothing when it comes to bringing about sustainable tax relief.

    Maragos came into office with the promise that he would use his business background to take a hard-nosed view of waste in government. That's certainly a message that resonates with taxpayers, who want to believe that someone, anyone, is going to be on their side when it comes to rooting out excess. All the more reason why his recent comments, which many interpret as a defense of special districts, are difficult to reconcile. Given the documented, extensive waste found in many of these entities, those who were looking to him for fiscal leadership were sorely disappointed.

    As noted, they both have time left in their terms to change course. Unfortunately, the same can't be said when it comes to the court of public opinion - once people decide that we're just back to "politics as usual" both of these guys will find it virtually impossible to change the perception of voters who were really hoping for something better.