As a senior in college, I often find myself asking this tough question: what comes next?
I fear that living and working in Nassau County is quickly becoming an untenable option for college graduates and young professionals. Nearly four years into County Executive Ed Mangano's term, I see little economic development and few signs that Mangano and Nassau Republicans are committed to real progress. And let's not forget Mangano's many blunders--including the downgrade of police precincts across Nassau County, and the failure to retain our only professional sports team--the New York Islanders. In the Five Towns and the South Shore in general, vacant storefronts and decaying downtowns are the rule, not the exception.
My peers and I want a county executive with bold ideas, not cheap tag lines about lowering taxes. My parents' tax bill continues to increase, largely due to the fact that Mr. Mangano has failed to fix the broken property assessment system. Additionally, fees for filing paperwork with the county have skyrocketed. Such increases cripple dreams of living in Nassau County for recent college grads and young professionals.
Nassau County has infinite potential. From ample public transportation to pristine beaches, our county should be a desirable locale for my generation. Yet, our county is more well known as of late for shaky finances, questionable use of taxpayer-funded mailings, and "miracle budgets" that just don't add up. Can't we do better?
This year, in my first vote ever for county executive, I plan to vote for Tom Suozzi and the rest of the Democratic ticket. Mr. Suozzi has offered substantive plans to rejuvenate our county, restore our downtowns, and encourage positive growth in Nassau County neighborhoods. I am heartened by the fact that many of my former classmates and friends from the Five Towns have reached out to me, expressing enthusiasm for this year's Democratic ticket, especially with Tom Suozzi in the driver's seat.