So said Suffolk Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook) regarding who wins today's election here for County Executive. I just got back from voting myself, however I live in the Nassau County section of Long Island not Suffolk. Still this is no less true for Nassau, in fact, it's probably even more so as though Nassau is one of the wealthiest counties in the country it is now technically bankrupt and has been taken over by the Nassau Interm Finance Authority(NIFA). In addition Long Island Bus here in Nassau is supposed to be privatized starting next year.
In Suffolk they are introducing a budget today in Lindsay's legislature today, It was put together by a bipartisan group of legislators and it differs significantly from the budget proposal of current County Executive Steve Levy who had proposed 710 layoffs of government workers and no property tax increase. The budget that Lindsay working with Minority Leader John Kennedy (R-Nesconset) compartatively axes 88 of the 10,000 full- and part-time county employees while raising police district property taxes by 2 percent which is the maximum allowed under New York State's current 2 percent cap on property taxes as well as raising bus fares from $1.50 to $2.00, and some other fees for marina and beach vehicles, etc.
The Lindsay-Kennedy plan also sells $30 million in federal tobacco settlement funds and taps the county tax stabilization reserve fund for $22 million. Lindsay says of Levy's initial plan, "Without a doubt, hands down, this was the worst budget, we've ever seen."
Strong words though in light of the deep cuts Levy had planned to health, safety, and social services, perhaps not overstated words. While Legislative budget analysts had estimated a $135 million deficit in his budget, Levy said his budget is balanced. Hmmm... who to believe?
Levy is not running for re-election-too bad! Today's race features Democrat Babylon Supervisor Steve Bellone and Republican county Treasure Angie Carpenter. It is one of them Lindsay speaks of, "We're moving the ball forward so that our new executive can make a decision on what to do. Whoever wins tomorrow is going to walk into a hornet's nest."