Reassessing the county executive
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It seems to us that the changes Mangano has made are just distractions from the real issue: the intractable assessment system itself. There have been no changes in the way properties are assessed. So although residents may have fair assessments for the next four years, they will have to challenge their reassessments every four years to make sure they’re correct. That’s not reform; that’s just fixing one problem by creating another.
At the end of July, Mangano announced another deficit-reduction plan that would cut $45 million from the county budget. In true Mangano fashion, the majority of the cuts came in the form of layoffs — some 200 positions.
Since he took office, Mangano has slashed the county work force by more than 20 percent, to its lowest levels in decades. But he doesn’t seem to have done much to help create private-sector jobs. He has touted the jobs he created at the old U.S. Navy-Grumman site in Bethpage, but that’s only a drop in the bucket. There has been little accomplished in terms of economic development in the county over the past year.
Most of Mangano’s plans seemed to focus on building a new Coliseum in the Hub area. But since voters rejected a referendum on the latest plan for the Uniondale site last year, we haven’t heard much about what might happen next. Are the Islanders leaving, as the team’s owner, Charles Wang, threatened they would? Have any other developers come forward with plans? Last summer Mangano made it sound like the future of Nassau County depended on revitalizing the Hub. If that’s true, why isn’t it a higher priority?
Cutting wasteful spending
Over the past year, the transportation management company Veolia has taken over the MTA’s Long Island Bus operation, and the new NICE Bus system has saved the county millions of dollars and has worked out well for riders. Fares are holding steady, and routes have not been slashed as they would have been if Mangano had stuck with the MTA. Here he clearly made the right call.