Ryan Cronin said he will look to instill trust as a taxpayer watchdog if elected Nassau County comptroller on Nov. 2.
Cronin, who calls himself a moderate Democrat, is running against Republican Elaine Phillips. The current comptroller, Jack Schnirman, is not seeking re-election.
Cronin, a business attorney who lives in Garden City, said his professional life prepared him for the job. He said he represented over 20 victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which would serve him well if elected.
“I’m somebody who knows how to investigate and somebody who knows how to get a result,” Cronin said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “We’re supposed to be the bulldog that goes out and makes sure that the money is OK, and we need taxpayers to have trust in the comptroller’s office.”
Cronin said bipartisanship is a priority for him and he is committed to fill his office with people from both sides of the aisle. He said he wants to hire Sergio Blanco, who has worked in the comptroller’s office under Schnirman, as his top deputy. He described Blanco as a moderate Republican.
Another idea Cronin wants to implement is cutting part of the staff in the office.
“I want to bring in people from the private sector who have expertise in law and accounting who are willing to spend some of their lives in public service,” Cronin said. “I want real professional people so we are in a good position to deal with issues as they come up.”
A current issue Cronin sees with the office falls under the theme of efficiency. He said that the infrastructure for handling finances is too antiquated and he plans to bring it into the 21st century.
“We don’t pay our bills on time,” Cronin said regarding inefficiencies in the office. “We get charged more by vendors and it has become a hidden tax that has to get fixed.”
In regard to COVID-19, Cronin said if allowed the legal authority to do so he would mandate vaccines in the comptroller’s office.
“I’m convinced that everybody should get vaccinated,” he said. “If you’re going to come to work in a public place and work for the public, you should be vaccinated if you can be.”
Cronin said believes he is the best candidate in the comptroller’s race because of his experience relevant to the role. He said his commitment to solutions, results and bipartisanship is what sets him apart from his opponent.
“I have the record of successfully attacking fraud and breach of contract in a large-scale way and getting results,” Cronin said. “When you look at this job, the ethics and the requirements for it, I believe I put my money where my mouth is and I have the experience to do it.”