Suozzi Discusses His Vision for Nassau County

Story and Photo by Andrew Coen. 

One day after announcing his candidacy, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi discussed why he wants a return to Mineola.

Suozzi, who served two terms in Nassau's top post before falling by 386 votes to current Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in 2009, unveiled his vision early Thursday afternoon for leading the nation's oldest suburban area.

Among the Glen Cove Democrat's chief goals is to expand the county's property tax base by working with towns and villages to build up downtown areas with more apartments as well as higher-scaled office jobs, destination entertainment and housing options at the Nassau HUB property in Uniondale through what he calls a "new suburbia" mindset. He expressed major disappointment that the New York Islanders will be leaving Nassau County for Brooklyn when their lease expires in 2015 after he worked hard to keep the National Hockey League franchise in the area through a private development proposal that the Town of Hempstead ultimately did not accept.

"Nobody has been talking about 'this is where we need to go for the long-term, this is what we need to do to make this place better," said Suozzi during his press conference held inside his office at Harris Beach PLLC Attorneys at Law in Uniondale's Omni Building. "There has been no vision."

Suozzi also slammed Mangano on how since the Bethpage Republican took over for him, the county has incurred two bond downgrades compared to the 11 upgrades he oversaw last decade. Suozzi also pointed out how he arrived in Mineola at a time when county's finances were broken following years of mismanagement.

Following Thursday's press conference, Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin issued a statement that said in part, "Under Tom Suozzi's tenure, Nassau County earned the distinction of being the second highest taxed county in the nation. If that's how Tom defines progress than we're all doomed under another term. Six times Suozzi sought to raise taxes at an amount that exceeds Governor Cuomo's tax cap. Tom knows no other approach than higher taxes."

Before Suozzi can get a chance at a rematch against Mangano, he must win a Democratic primary that will also feature Adam Haber, a restaurateur and Roslyn School Board trustee. North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman is also exploring a run for the Democratic nomination.

Nassau County Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, who previously said he would consider a run to try and unseat Mangano, said Thursday he will not join the primary campaign.

“If Suozzi is in, then I am out in deference to his hold on Democratic voters, fundraising prowess and my past political support for him," said Denenberg, who added he is still considering his options for what office he will run for this fall.
Frank T February 15, 2013 at 02:46 PM
How does raising the minimum wage "put people back to work"? That's Obama's economic plan. What else would you expect from a community organizer. What a joke!
S.M. February 15, 2013 at 03:28 PM
They all suck...Suozzi had his chance. Mangano brings very little. What a nightmare. The politicians will destroy us all!
Joe February 15, 2013 at 03:46 PM
I agree he has charisma, just like a used car salesman, we'll see if people buy the clunker again.
Vincent February 15, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Robert Demarco: Please don't switch the subjet.Is this the best the Democraticparty has to offer?
Robert Demarco February 15, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Vincent: I don't think that I switched the subject, but who would be your Democratic choice?
Concerned Resident February 15, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Is he delusional??? When he first came into office he raised taxes 19% !!!!!! He was a horror for Nassau County and was happy he was gone. Give me a break.......he spent half his time trying to run for governor and was laughed out of Albany. Stay in Glen Cove where you belong and leave Nassau County alone!!!!
Joe February 15, 2013 at 09:01 PM
19.4%, and you don't think that number wasn't planned (how could we raise it without it sounding bad?) 21% oh no 20% yikes to high 19.99 looks too much like a sales gimmick 19.4, market research shows that would work
John Ren February 16, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Like it or not, the tax increase back then was needed. Nassau County was on the edge of bankruptcy because Gulotta and Mangano traded fiscal reality for electoral success. There were no property tax increases after that and Nassau went from junk bond status to AA. No small feat.
Vincent February 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Robert Demarco: I would think of supporting the candidate who pledges he/she wouldn't tax and spend. Which of the Democrats in Nassau County do you think can make that pledge and follow through? ; )
Robert Demarco February 16, 2013 at 01:12 PM
And look at what they went back to under Mangano.
Robert Demarco February 16, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Probably the same number of Republicans who would follow through on a promise not to give a job to a friend, relative, or donor.
fred February 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Until the incestious relationship between the Democratic party and public unions is severed, I can see of no reason to vote for a democrat in New York!
Vincent February 16, 2013 at 03:19 PM
fred: As Robert Demarco, although there are by far many more registered Democrats than Republicans in Nassau County, was unable to come up with a single name I tend to agree with you. But, I gave him a chance.
John Ren February 16, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Fred look at past elections where GOP politicians in Nassau had ocerwhelming support. Mangano took union money his entire career. He approved all the contracts he attacks now.
Port North Resident February 16, 2013 at 10:47 PM
If memory serves, Mangano as a legislator was in the minority when the union contracts came to a vote. I believe they were pushed through 10-9 with all dems voting yes and all repubs voting no.
Port North Resident February 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM
John be fair you ran on the democrat line for the legislature at least 3 times against the late Peter Schmitt, so how on earth could you possibly be objective here? Mangano is certainly better than Suozzi who raised taxes numerous times, imposed an energy tax, and opened up our county parks to private day camps owned by none other than the chairman of the democratic party. Also how many people did Suozzi hire from his failed run for governor onto the county payroll who don't even live in Nassau? Mangano has cleaned up the corruption (Peter Sylver), fired appiontees who do not live in Nassau, outsourced an expensive underused bus system, and most importantly; he not raised property taxes. While everything may not be perfect in Nassau, it took Suozzi 8 years to run the county into the ground, Mangano deserves a second term so he can continue to clean up the mess that was left to him. I find it laughable that the democrats do not have anybody better to run, because if most people are like me they will listens to the candidates and decide but remember that we threw Suozzi out four years ago and there is absolutely no reason to return him to power so that he can raise taxes again!
ed February 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM
The union contracts are not the problem....its the fact that Gulotta, Suozzi, and Mangano continue to increase spending on PATRONAGE JOBS and other things while NEVER RAISING TAXES or REVENUE. They try to run on a platform of never raising taxes but you cant run a county without raising taxes for 12 years!
Port North Resident February 17, 2013 at 01:14 AM
To say that unions aren't the majority of the county's workforce is simply untrue. Nassau County employs close to 8000 people and only 300 are patronage hires mot even 5%. There are simply not enough of the patronage hires to affect the overall budget. Also keep in mind the top 2000 highest paid employees of the county (excluding 100 or so for the County Exec, DA, clerk and their deputies) are all union people and all make well over $100,000 year. Check it out in the Newsday salary database. Before you make a statement like the one you made above please review the facts.
Nassau County Concerned Resident February 17, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Registered voters need to review the following attached audit and ask both Mangano and Suozzi as the corruption and fraud took place under both of their administrations. http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/documents/AuditofHousingandCommunityDevelopment_11_15_12.pdf
Chris Wendt February 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM
I have a different view of Nassau County: https://4310b1a9-a-4dc34855-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/ameliaislandseasideweddings.com/home/home/tropical%20beach06.jpg?attachauth=ANoY7cpFvoV0lmLnxU5aISzork0bvITgs5zeHnEluli4zwhQzgPXC8FEp4xqwOnHkcMn33Mqgc7FU3pJ8TXrHHdv8LFuSoOrOsGACEbP8p0lBtvUxbnILGuEWSdq1eyl859nhpDvJXeujYoVpWbcC_a090M5zV4jhK2fqWD0DwF_Ypvg9CmoxCswTrjwlAkerF2ddDdVvgOv29YkK6gmdAl1oXjjE9iWPTJ8Bff2bs6owLLJjXkw24rEsLTxVPW9O3MQXTk41qEM&attredirects=0 This Nassau County is in Florida. Image: Amelia Island
Sid February 17, 2013 at 07:28 PM
suozzi win would be a disgrace for nassau county residents! suozzi-nomics will ban the middle class from nassau county. tax and spend has been the democrats evil way in the past...what makes you think they have changed? suozzi only using his power for political gain... he could care less for county residents. he always has been seeking higher office...(remember his bid for governor) we the people are not stupid tom!!!! this is just a step in his career. a vote for suozzi is a vote for another middle class family to be forced from living on long island!
Nassau County Concerned Resident February 17, 2013 at 09:28 PM
You are missing the bigger picture. Nassau County taxes are less than 19% of your tax bill. Fraud, waste and mismangement however as outlined in the audit by the Nassau County Controller in November 2012 accounted for The comptroller's audit found that Lassandro’s “significant mismanagement” of the County’s Section 8 Voucher Program “culminated in overspending in this area above the associated revenue received and resulted in a shortfall of $6.2 million. This grant fund shortfall was charged to the County’s General Fund in 2011. “ The unauthorized payments included $24,530 to Lassandro herself, with no supporting paperwork WHY HAS THERE BEEN NO ARREST? DOESN'T ANYONE CARE? http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/documents/AuditofHousingandCommunityDevelopment_11_15_12.pdf http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/ex-nassau-housing-official-admits-theft-1.4222430
Nassau County Concerned Resident February 18, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Hello taxpayers let's ask Mangano why the Office of Housing and Homeless Services Audit has not been addressed by him? http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/documents/AuditofHousingandCommunityDevelopment_11_15_12.pdf
S.M. February 18, 2013 at 08:41 PM
What Jay said...bravo!
Jay February 19, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Narcissism, foremost reason to not return Tom Suozzi in any position of power. During his first year as mayor he raised taxes 29 percent, knowing full well the short-term memory of Glen Cove voters would prevail. He votes on his political future, not by what’s right for the people! An example of this, the fire department requested an upgrade of their perfectly working pumper truck. He strong-armed the city council members, his argument went something like this, if you vote no they won’t reelect me, do you know how many of them vote down there? These presumably “obsolete” trucks are then sold and put into service for 20 additional years. Back door shenanigans resulted in our country being in debt to the tune of 16 trillion, 65 million for Glen Cove! Run for political office for the betterment of the people! It sickens me. I’m a firm believer in term limits. Want to stop patronage, nepotism and pork spending, set limits. We must focus our efforts to its true intent for public service, it’s temporary. Serve, get out and live in the world of laws and tax increases you voted on! Maybe then voting on pay raises, tax increases and contract negotiations will fall on the side of, we the people!
jd February 19, 2013 at 02:04 AM
I already did 9 years ago!
Jimbo February 22, 2013 at 04:41 AM
Tom Suozzi raised taxes once people. His 1st year in office. With that added revenue he put Nassau on solid footing from the Republican controlled county under Tom Gulatta. He raised Nassau from crap junk status to AAA ratings. He constantly fought the county unions and achieved a working dialog with union heads to reopen signed contracts and help the county with givebacks. Tom Suozzi will tell people like it is and not sugar coat things. Ed Mangano has not achieved anything. Nassau is far worse now under his watch then ever. He has raised soooo many fees on things like traffic tickets, park fees, beaches, real estate, dmv, red light camaras, etc etc etc. its an injustice to say he hasnt raised taxes with all the fees that went up. Ed Mangano lost the islanders, nassau coliseum is a joke, tax assessments still have not been paid to the people, police manpower are at their lowerest levels since the 1970's. crime is up, ot is through the roof, services are lacking, NIFA is overseeing finances, bonding bonding bonding etc. Ed Mangano is not the answer for 4 more years people. Tom Suozzi is much more the answer then Mr Ed. People COUNTY taxes have not gone up in 12 years. Think about this.... If county taxes go up 20% , thats 300 a year.... $25 per month!! Thats it!!! Nassau out of RED and into BLACK and better times.
Simba February 22, 2013 at 09:43 AM
Neither Suozzi or Mangano will help us out in reducing our school taxes. When Suozzi had the chance he told me, he did not have any control over the schools and taxes. At least I give him points to replying to my email. Mangano is simply over his head. He hasn't a clue on improving the economy in Nassau. We are losing out to NYC in terms of growth. without improving Nassau county's economic situation, which is we are losing business at a greater rate then gaining them, we are doomed. In Suffolk, Melville has added 700 jobs recently. I don't think Nassau has done that for the year.
Robert Demarco February 22, 2013 at 01:37 PM
I agree with basically everything that you say. Suozzi did raise taxes, but that was something that his predessor refused to do so. However misguided, Mangano tried to save the Coliseum, but Kate Murray killed that deal. Mangano was never supposed to win that election; Suozzi's run for Governor cost him the County Executive election. Suozzi's biggest challenge will be to convince the voters that he wants to be County Executive and not Governor or Senator.
jay February 23, 2013 at 01:37 PM
"When Suozzi had the chance he told me, he did not have any control over the schools and taxes." Do you think for one minute Tommy would touch the teacher’s union? LOL


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