By Eden Laikin
Democratic legislators yesterday blocked a vote to stabilize Nassau County’s finances – a move, county officials say, was “an irresponsible and politically motivated decision that could lead to the freezing of Nassau’s bank accounts and may result in draconian cuts to senior, youth and mental health programs.”
Democrat legislators also refused to participate in a vote that would allow County Executive Mangano to make the immediate, emergency cuts “he deems necessary” to avoid a possible governmental shut down and prevent a property tax hike. That vote, however, passed by a vote of 10 to 0.
“County Executive Mangano has spent two years cleaning up Democrat deficits, repealing taxes and cutting millions in wasteful spending added to government by Democrat legislators,” said Brian Nevin, senior policy adviser to Mangano. “County Executive Mangano has reduced the workforce by 20% and demanded concessions to protect taxpayers. No politician has done more to protect our residents’ wallets.”
Nevin also said it’s “unfortunate that Nassau Democrat legislators continue to be part of the problem rather than cooperate in advancing solutions that pay off” the thousands of local home and business owners have been waiting years for refunds on tax overpayments, collected by the County in error over the last decade.
Attorneys representing the claimants have said they would ask the court to put a lien on county bank accounts until the claims have been paid.
The Democrats failure to approve the necessary measures – for the first time in the past 10 years – also came after hours of pleadings by social service agencies to not cut their funding.
In a nearly 7-hour session, the Legislature did manage to pass criminal penalties for the sale of synthetic marijuana. And, an amendment giving the Police Commissioner authority to fire PBA officers as part of the disciplinary process, passed the Legislature 10-4 with five Democrats voting no (Denenberg, DeRiggi, Scannel, Solages and Troiano). Police Commissioner Tom Dale said it would allow him to discipline lower level officers the way he can already discipline higher level officers.