My jaw dropped in astonishment when I read past the headline, “Maragos defends county’s finances,” in the March 10 issue.
Mr. Maragos, the county Comptroller who recently switched political parties from Republican to Democrat so that he could distance himself from Nassau County Executive Mangano’s corruption charges and run for Supervisor himself, actually contended that Nassau had “…closed 2015 with a $28 million surplus, achieved through $141.3 million in borrowing for operating expenditures…”
I have no idea whether Mr. Maragos is to be considered liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between; nor do I care at this point (although I am a registered Democrat) whether he is a member of the Democratic, Republican, or any other political party.
But anyone who claims to have even modest knowledge of accounting principles, much less enough to have been in charge of the finances of even a small political jurisdiction much less a unit as large as Nassau County, and who can assert with a straight face that the receipt of funds from borrowing is the same for budgeting purposes as the receipt of revenues from fees or taxation has, in my opinion, demonstrated conclusively that he is not qualified to serve the public as Supervisor.
Indeed, his statement even has to raise the question of whether his grasp of basic finance qualifies him to occupy his current office.
It is, of course, possible that he actually knows better, and that his statement was meant only to mollify residents who have been concerned for several years by the county’s budgetary strains and perhaps worried that Mangano’s personal legal troubles might have spilled over into its finances.
If that should be the case, he should be disqualified for befogging the issue for political purposes in a deliberate attempt to mislead not only the audience in the Rockville Center candidate’s night but the broader public whose votes he is courting for the forthcoming primary election.
He richly deserves to be defeated.
Robert I. Adler, CFA