Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano on Tuesday detailed the challenges facing his administration and what he’s doing to address them to an audience at the .
“We’re at a crossroads here in the county, state and country,” he told a group gathered at a League of Women Voters of Southwest Nassau-sponsored talk. “We’re making sure residents have a seat the table.”
With Nassau being one of the highest taxed counties in the nation, along with rising costs, fleeing youth and a control period dictated by the Nassau Interim Finance Commission, Mangano has had a lot to deal with since his election in 2009. He used his time with residents to speak about recent headlines and discuss initiatives such as the repealing of the energy tax, his struggles with real property taxes and cutting wasteful spending.
“What he explained to us here was what we’ve seen in the newspaper,” said Bob Sympson, of East Rockaway. “It was very nice of him to make the effort to come. He has an insurmountable task.”
The county executive said that Nassau has “played kick the can down the road” with expensive labor contracts that put on a drain on the public.
“We have many challenges, but we approached them without asking for more money from you,” he said. “We send a message to the rest of the country that real property taxes are not on the rise [here] and businesses are welcome.”
Mangano said he’s pushed companies to convert to solar energy, which he said is an important area of job growth, as well as welcomed defense firms to Bethpage. He also touted $90 million taken in from the film industry, and boasted that Angelina Jolie’s film “Salt” was filmed on a soundstage in the county, saying that’s where the “real” money comes from.
He also pointed to a problem that can especially be felt in Woodmere. “Each community is filled with empty storefront and empty storefront,” he said. “That should be alarming to everyone.”
Flora Schwartz, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Southwest Nassau, said the most important part of these talks is for the audience to ask questions. “Unless they do, he won’t know what we’re thinking about,” she said. “Maybe when he leaves here, he’ll have some ideas. It’s important for every organization to call their legislator and ask them to speak because they live in their own castles.”
Residents questioned Mangano about youth leaving the county, the future of local , an update on and the redistricting of Nassau.
“He brought the message of the county to the local community and helped us all understand the complexity of what faces Nassau County,” said Harris Dinkoff, of Malverne, co-president of the Southwest Nassau League. “There wasn’t anything to disagree with. Time is the judge, and the proof is in the details.”
The League of Women Voters of Southwest Nassau will host a session on the on May 16 at the East Rockaway library.
Mangano will once again address Five Towners at a scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hewlett Fire Department.