To the Editor:
After the disastrous move by the County Executive and the Republican Majority to close half of the police precincts in Nassau County, the Democratic caucus was successful in pushing Ed Mangano's back against the wall so that he gave us a signed guarantee that there would not be one less patrol car in any neighborhood. The agreement additionally stated that there would be more law enforcement personnel in all of the policing centers.
As Newsday reported, “Democrats also demanded that the amount of borrowing be cut nearly in half from the $50 million requested by Mangano, saying the $26.5 million would cover the cost of officers expected to retire."
In simple terms, I am happy to say that I made the best out of a bad situation. Rather than have an empty building at the Fifth Precinct, I negotiated in exchange for bonding (and not $50 million, but $26.5 million) and received the following for my district/precinct: two commanding officers; two or more detectives and a guarantee that the past arbitration with the PBA would remain the same, so that means Fifth Precinct cars will remain in the Fifth Precinct and not in the Fourth Precinct; and the same number of patrol cars.
- I exercised every effort to block the adoption of this legislation. We simply did not have the votes to win it because the Republicans also voted a straight party line, and they are in the Majority.
- They claim that our community will not be placed at a disadvantage. They also say the plans are not yet fully developed. Our only option, at this point, is to wait and see. If the plan ends upon actually placing our community at a disadvantage, with regards to a federally protected right, then I would be in favor of bringing a federal court action to block or revise the plan. In my view, as an attorney, that can only be done if and when we can demonstrate actual disadvantage and actual violation of a protected right. In the language used by the United States Supreme Court, the issue is not yet sufficiently ripe for us to make that claim.
- As residents of the 3rd Legislative District, and of Nassau County, there is a great deal of other work we must do, hopefully in cooperation with the Republicans, to rescue the County from its downward slide and to relieve our residents of the unbearable burden that taxes and fees are now imposing. At the same time, we must assure the quality of governmental services and education.
As the police precinct plan is implemented by the Mangano Administration, I welcome your feedback as to any issues that arise.
Legislator Carrié Solages, Esq.
God Bless America