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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Alfonse D'Amato
The lessons we learn from those we've lost

It is with a heavy heart that I write about the loss of Larry Elovich, my best friend.

Larry was president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce for three decades and the city’s former Democratic leader. “Lawyer Larry” and I were friends for more than 50 years. He was the wisest, most politically astute and most loyal friend I’ve ever had.

Larry was a local legend, a person who, although he was loyal to the Democratic Party, never thought twice about crossing party lines when it was in the best interest of the people of Long Beach, and all of Long Island.

How times have changed.

For the third consecutive year, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has held the line and delivered to the County Legislature a budget that doesn’t increase property taxes. His $2.79 billion, no-property-tax-increase budget for fiscal year 2013 also reduces spending for a second consecutive year and continues to deliver essential services for the people of Nassau County.

Mangano has slashed the $133 million deficit he inherited from the previous administration. He has cut 20 percent of the county work force, which is now the smallest it’s been since the 1950s.

It’s unfortunate that severe partisan bickering has marred a solid effort by our county executive to guarantee that the taxpayers of Nassau County will once again have a balanced budget and be on track and on the road to recovery.

Mangano announced a plan to create a public-private partnership for Nassau’s sewer and wastewater authority, one that could provide $750 million in private investment and allow the county to reduce its debt.

After announcing the proposed budget, however, Mangano said that the county would have to delay the plans, mostly due to a holdup by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, the financial control board controlled by Democrats, who said they would reject any budget that included a sewer authority deal because it would provide only nonrecurring revenue.

Talk about bureaucracy at its finest!

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