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.
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