Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) and Republican Nassau County legislators are calling for the resignation of County Assessor David Moog, citing “error after error” in the reassessment process.
“We do not take this action lightly and we understand how difficult a countywide reassessment is, especially in a county as large and diverse as Nassau,” Nicolello said. “However, the job is difficult does not change the fact that it must be done correctly.”
At a press conference Monday, Nicolello, flanked by fellow Republican legislators, said that tens of thousands of errors like missed deadlines and misleading information have contributed to the legislators’ decision.
Moog and his office have been tasked with carrying out County Executive Laura Curran’s plan for the first countywide reassessment since former County Executive Ed Mangano, a Republican, froze the tax roll in 2011.
In a statement, Curran said that the staffing levels and procedures at the department were decimated by Mangano’s administration, and Moog is hard at work tackling those issues as well as others.
“The Presiding Officer and the Legislative Majority’s demand to remove David Moog from his position is just an attempt to delay the reassessment process,” the statement read.
County residents, and Curran herself, according to Nicolello, have lost confidence in Moog’s performance thus far.
“[Curran] has recently taken the extraordinary step of appointing a budget person to oversee the Department of Assessment, to ensure quality control,” Nicolello said. “Let’s be clear, that is the assessor’s job, he should be ensuring quality control in his department.”
Last Wednesday, Curran appointed Ana Sousa to direct a newly formed Quality Assurance Unit, to supervise the implementation and creation of policies and procedures at the Department of Assessment, the Assessment Review Commission and the Small Claims Assessment Review unit.
In a statement, Curran said the new unit will provide “a meaningful and thorough internal review of policy and procedures that will ensure the best practices of our departments.”
Appointing Sousa and creating the quality assurance unit was equivalent to assigning him a babysitter, according to Nicolello.
Sousa’s appointment was established to provide guidelines and quality assurance after nearly a decade of a frozen assessment roll, according to Curran.
Nicolello ultimately called for Moog’s resignation or for Curran to remove him from his position.
Moog was not immediately available for comment at the time of publication.
Nicolello called out Moog for not hosting his own community meetings to discuss the reassessment process, which has been a controversial issue with residents in recent months.
He added that he and his majority delegation in the legislature have hosted numerous assessment related hearings to answer residents’ questions.