Mangano's 'Fix Nassau Now' Budget Orders Layoffs, Contributions & Reforms
1st Negative Growth Budget in Over a Generation
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today submitted a budget for 2012 that eliminates a $310 million deficit by reducing year-over-year spending for the first time in over a generation. The budget eliminates 1,010 jobs more than last year’s Adopted Budget, cuts millions in spending and orders the structural reforms necessary to fix Nassau County. Nassau County faces a very tough year in 2012 as increased expenses that if left unchecked, would have required an additional $310 million from taxpayers - the equivalent of a 39% property tax increase. County Executive Mangano instead meets these increased costs with deep spending cuts and fundamental contract reductions.
“Nassau's finances spun out of control over the past decade because of a broken assessment system and overly generous contractual obligations that are unaffordable in a sluggish economy,” said County Executive Mangano. “My reforms will fix Nassau now.”
The 2012 budget addresses these problems head on by implementing the following reforms that produce reoccurring savings for taxpayers:
- Layoffs, Mandated Health Insurance Contributions & Other Contract Reform: Through layoffs and attrition, County Executive Mangano’s budget reduces the workforce by an additional 1,010 positions, from 8,410 employees to 7,400 employees, and requires all employees to contribute 25% toward their health insurance policies for the first-time in Nassau County’s history. The budget also orders common-sense reforms. It stops paying employees for education expenses they never incurred.
- More Cops In The Streets, Less In The Seats Program: This program utilizes precinct consolidation, desk job elimination and technology to maintain public safety while reducing costs. For example, County Executive Mangano’s budget eliminates precinct minimum-manning - as the Nassau County Police Department is the only major police force in the nation to have such a deal. The archaic clause forces Nassau to call in cops on overtime even when straight-time police officers are available. Mangano ends this absurd practice. Furthermore, the plan realigns police precincts from 8 to 6 and achieves other police overtime reforms.
“The time to come together to structurally repair Nassau is now. Union presidents are encouraged to come to the table now and negotiate rather than pontificate or litigate. Working together, we can and will fix Nassau’s fiscal problems without undue service disruptions,” added Mangano.
For Nassau County’s finances to look like other counties it must contract and legislate like other counties. Accordingly, County Executive Mangano calls on the New York State Legislature to pass legislation to incorporate a margin of error when assessing properties - so that New York’s laws replicate those of Connecticut and New Jersey. While the County Executive has passed local legislation to reduce this burden, it is time for the State Legislature to reform this system once and for all.
Keeping his pledge to taxpayers, County Executive Mangano’s 2012 budget cuts annual spending to produce the first negative growth budget in over a generation. Fulfilling his pledge to protect taxpayers and employers, the County Executive's budget holds the line on property taxes for a second consecutive year.