Nassau County Executive Inaugural Address
Monday, January 1, 2018
Friends, family, and distinguished guests.
I am honored to stand here before you today as your County Executive.
I am truly humbled by the responsibility you have entrusted I me.
Today I take office fully aware that as County Executive one of my most pressing challenges is restoring trust and respect in our government so that we, as a county, can chart a new path forward.
Over the decades the erosion of trust has broken down the bonds between government and the people that it serves, but the stakes are too high to allow that to continue.
Now is the time for action.
We have serious challenges ahead of us. We’ve got to get our financial house in order and break free of NIFA’s control.
We’ve got to fix the assessment system to make it fair and transparent.
And it is crucial that we create, and begin to implement, a vision for dynamic economic development that will grow out tax base, attract good jobs and good wages, keep young people here, and allow us to live up to our immense potential.
I firmly believe that we can meet these challenges if we recognize that they are not partisan political issues – they are Nassau issues – and it will take all of us working together in a strong, bi-partisan manner to deliver real results for the people that we represent.
In the words of John F. Kennedy, even more relevant today,
“Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept the responsibility of our own future.”
And to those who would try to cling to yesterday who would rather see government work for the political class, and not our residents, I have a message for you: those days are over.
Of course, we’ll have our disagreements, but I truly believe there is no conflict too great for us to resolve. No problem to which we cannot find a solution.
Over the next few weeks I will begin to implement a series of policies to fulfill my pledges to Nassau residents.
As promised I will ban any appointee in my administration from holding a leadership position in a political party. And I’ll bar my executive staff from donating to or fundraising for my campaigns.
I truly believe these simple fixes are a good start towards restoring trust in Nassau government.
My colleagues on the legislature have already taken steps to bring in this new era. Just two weeks ago the legislature unanimously created the office of an independent inspector general to keep government accountable.
A new vision for Nassau county also includes smart development of our down towns, the return of the Islanders to where they belong – Nassau – and the thousands of jobs that will go with it will be an economic boon for us.
Let’s keep that momentum going and transform the hub, finally, into an economically vibrant destination.
Let’s create a more business friendly atmosphere for everyone in Nassau. One that protects our communities, our environment, and our diverse population.
That’s why I’m here. To make the tough decisions and smart compromises that will improve the lives of Nassau families.
And for my final thank you, to the residents of Nassau County, I have heard your call and now is the time for action.