Herald endorsement

Keep Scannell in the Legislature


Voters have a tough choice to make in the race for Nassau County legislator in the 5th District. We did, too, and we’re choosing Joe


All things being equal, we would have given Scannell’s Republican challenger, Chris Browne, the edge in this race. We think he would be an aggressive advocate for the people of the district. He’s got clear ideas, he’s specific and he’s responsive to questions. He has a tough, combative personality which may not win him friends but might well serve the people’s interests in the role of their advocate. We endorsed Browne in the last election.

This year, however, not all things are equal. In the county Legislature, they are actually an unequal 10 to 9; the Democrats have a one-vote majority. Should the GOP win in this district, the balance of power would shift, with one party controlling the Legislature and, we believe, the other party in the county executive's office. If that were to happen, there would be an impasse at every turn, similar to the unfortunate stalemate we witnessed this summer in the state Senate. That is unacceptable.

There are critical issues facing Nassau County. Development, fiscal solvency, excessive taxation, the environment, infrastructure— these and more need to be dealt with. Well-managed progress is at stake. This is no time for stalemate, no time for immovable objects to try to block the unstoppable train of change.

We believe that Joe Scannell has delivered and fought for his constituents in the 5th. He has brought in county money for his top priorities, environmental and safety projects in the district. On several issues, Scannell has revealed an independent streak, opposing County Executive Tom Suozzi’s proposal for layoffs in the county police department, Suozzi’s suggestion to move the 1st Precinct to Roosevelt, the potential loss of Nunley’s Carousel to a private organization, and the consolidation law promoted by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Suozzi. Scannell has proved that he is willing to stand in opposition to his party for what he believes is right.

He admits that he hasn’t always been right. He told the Herald that he has listened and is flexible. He acknowledged that he’s not perfect, and makes mistakes. A case in point is the domestic registry that he says he will now support. And he has also promised to repeal the county’s new — and reviled — energy tax as soon as sales tax revenues return to pre-recession levels.

We urge Scannell to continue meeting with and listening to constituents and to turn his ideas into action in the Legislature. We also encourage him to increase his visibility in all areas of the district, especially in Lakeview, and to take on more of a leadership role.

Both Browne and Scannell are highly qualified for the job they seek, and residents would be well served by either candidate.

We believe this race will be close, which is all the more reason for voters to turn out on Nov. 3, and cast their ballot for Scannell.