Readers Write: Maragos’ budget numbers don’t add up

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Two weeks ago, in a column in this space, Comptroller George Maragos claimed that the county’s finances are in good shape.

Well, to quote his words, that assertion is “self-servicing, always wrong and intentionally misleading.”

While he claims to have held down borrowing, he is using borrowed money to claim a county surplus.

Borrowed money being used to fund government services is just that — borrowed — and cannot be a surplus, no matter what Maragos says.

By his reasoning, if the comptroller goes to the bank and takes out a $100 loan, and then he doesn’t spend that loan, he’d say he’s got a surplus of $100.

You don’t need an MBA in Finance to know that’s misleading.

But this is just the sort of deceitful double speak we’ve come to expect from George Maragos and the Mangano administration he’s served with.

It’s no surprise that Maragos and Mangano are selling a false bill of goods, because they have plenty to hide.

In county government we have an endless stream of waste that has cost Nassau County taxpayers millions of dollars.

We need leadership that’s going to tell the hard truths and offer real solutions to our County’s biggest problems.

Nassau residents don’t believe their tax dollars are working for them. How could they, when the County has a corrupt patronage system that allows elected officials to give their friends and families cushy jobs?

When there is a broken contracting system that has overpaid for services just to put money in political donors’ pockets?

On top of this, we’ve seen scandal after scandal and elected officials in handcuffs.

Nassau County government has turned into a pay-to-play system where the elected and the connected are rewarded while the rest of our taxpayers are left behind.

That’s not what our communities deserve.

We need a government run by public servants who understand that they are in office to serve the public. Not a government of career politicians for their cronies.

To truly fix our government we have to end the culture of corruption and that starts with new leadership and a fresh vision for Nassau.

We need public servants who will tell the hard truths, not sugar-coat the facts to make themselves look good.

I have put forward comprehensive solutions that will rein in the endless waste, end the corruption, and make our government work for the people again.

This includes a new transparency agenda for Nassau government that will shine a light on the county’s budget and ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately.

My plan to end our patronage system will make sure the best and brightest are being hired for the top jobs.

And my contracting reform plan will ensure that we have a procurement process that is fair and responsible.

When I’m county executive, the days of shoddy budgeting will be over.

We’ll go through every line of our budget and protect the services we really need and cut the ones we don’t.

Taxpayer dollars should only go to services and jobs that actually benefit the taxpayers.

Just imagine what we can accomplish if we get our county finances under control. We can finally hold the line on property taxes for real — without raising fees to out-of-control levels just so we can say that we didn’t raise taxes.

We can fund infrastructure projects that build up our communities. We can protect our coastlines and environment. We can improve our transportation system.

All of this is possible, but first we need to change the culture in county government so that the taxpayers become the focus again.

Band-aid solutions are never going to fix the mess in Nassau, and that’s why I’m offering comprehensive and detailed plans to solve our county’s biggest problems.

I believe we can make our government run efficiently and bring positive change to our communities – but only when we change the system, end the corruption, and stop playing games with taxpayers.

Laura Curran

Nassau County Legislator (D-Baldwin)

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