September 18, 2013 | 3916 views
Mangano proud of his record
County executive looks forward to rematch with Suozzi
Nassau County voters might have déjà vu when they visit the polls on Election Day. As they did four years ago, they will have a choice between Republican Ed Mangano and Democrat Tom Suozzi for county executive.
In their last election, which took weeks to settle, Mangano defeated the two-term incumbent Suozzi by fewer than 400 votes. Suozzi is seeking his old job back. On Sept. 10, Suozzi defeated challenger Adam Haber in a primary for the Democratic line in November’s election. Haber has since endorsed Suozzi.
Even before he was assured a spot on the ballot, Suozzi, 51, was in full attack-mode against Mangano, specifically criticizing the county executive’s financial policies. Last week, Mangano sat down with the Herald to discuss his record and his upcoming election with the man whose job he took four years ago.
“The only answer he ever had to a problem was to raise taxes, raise taxes, raise taxes, and to dream up new taxes,” Mangano said of Suozzi. “His only vision is to come up with new ways to tax residents rather than to come up with ways to address the issues.”
Mangano, also 51, noted that one of his first acts as county executive nearly four years ago was to repeal the home energy tax that was implemented during the Suozzi administration. Moreover, Mangano said he has not raised property taxes in the past four years.
The candidates have different views on the county’s debt. Suozzi says Mangano has raised it to historical levels. Mangano, citing financial statements released by the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, shows that county debt was $3 billion when Suozzi took office and $3.45 billion when Suozzi left office. The debt now is about $2.5 million less, the statements show.
Mangano touted his administration’s work to create jobs in the county. Nassau County, at 5.9 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, he noted.
“For the first time in a while, we have jobs returning to Nassau County,” Mangano said. “Our economic policies are working. We’re very proud that we are competing nationally to bring jobs here.”