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Nassau Slashes Another $65M from 2012 Budget

Proposal includes cutting 1,000 jobs and consolidating two police precincts.

Hundreds of layoffs, closed museums and a reduced police force are all possibilities under the latest 2012 budget being proposed by Nassau Executive Ed Mangano.

Speaking at a press conference at the county legislative building in Mineola Wednesday, Mangano outlined $65 million in additional cuts for the $2.63 billion 2012 budget he will submit Thursday in order to stave off a projected $310 million deficit, which he says is the result of the “broken” property assessment system and “unaffordable” labor contracts. The county executive has not been willing to raise taxes in order to close the gap, which he said would be the equivalent of a 39 percent increase.

“If my proposals are contested, savings fought, I will have no choice but to lay off hundreds of additional workers and implement furloughs, which will affect services,” Mangano said. “The budget is not a scare tactic, it’s reality.”

The steep cuts in the 2012 budget include a total elimination of 1,010 positions, up from about 300 already laid off this year. Grant Thornton, the outside consulting firm hired by the control board overseeing the county’s finances, had recommended eliminating close to 1,600 jobs, closing departments and outsourcing other functions. Mangano did not say from what departments positions would be cut, only that a report would be made available next month.

NIFA has made it a point to seek contingencies in the county’s budget, which Mangano said are moving the sewer system into a public-private partnership and asking the state legislature to allow for a margin of error when assessing property such as exists in Connecticut and New Jersey.

“These are tough times with tough solutions. They have pain; that pain is shared among all those who deliver services,” he said, noting that county elected officials also cut their budgets to varying extents.

Among the shared pain is a new requirement for all employees to contribute 25 percent toward their health care costs in line with state employees, cutting educational pay for workers, shuttering a number of museums which are losing money – with Garvies Point and Tackapausha being mentioned as possibilities – and consolidating two police precincts, reducing the overall number from eight to six.

The county is also proposing the elimination of police “minimum manning” requirements, which Mangano says forces the county to call in additional officers on overtime when regular on-duty officers are available and require those who currently get certain days off to work more on regular-pay hours instead of overtime.

The PBA currently has about 1,700 members in its union and the police force has shrunk by about 350 officers in the last three years.

“You are seeing a destruction of the police department at the hands of this administration,” Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James Carver said. “These cuts are draconian... he’s only scaring the public with these actions.”

The county executive denied the charge, saying that residents would only see a difference in the physical location of the precincts but “will still see the same amount of police in their neighborhood.”

Jerry October 26, 2011 at 06:59 PM
The NCPD is gettting paid very well, even while they are working. That is how it should be. They perform a valuable service and are getting a good paycheck. i do not begrudge them that. But their $500,000 buyouts for accumulated days and these outrageous pensions are certainly not seen by the taxpayers in private industry. They are unsustainable.
Robert Demarco October 26, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Did you know that the retired cops who are medicare beneficiaries are reimbursed by the County (taxpayers) for their Part B premuims. So people with these huge pensions are even reimbursed for the $135 or so per month for their Medicare. No wonder the County is broke. Once again, the spineless politicians are at fault for giving in to this exportion in exchange for votes.
Robert Demarco October 26, 2011 at 07:04 PM
The city cops generally have it much worse, but thet do not get anywhere near what the Nassau cops get. I know its been a tough year with the two officers killed in the line of duty, but compared to what the city cops handle, they are overpaid.
Jerry October 26, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Yes it has been a tragic year for the NCPD. But did you know that since 1980, there have been 3 NCPD members that have died in the line of duty, 2 of those were year. Even that number is too many but I bet there have been a lot more NYPD members that have lost their lives since 1980. And they make a lot less money and their pensions are certainly a lot less.
Nassau Taxpayer October 26, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Very true. Risk-adjusted NCPD compensation is out of the park, high. Now we have this, courtesy of Fios1: "Nassau County police departments are now telling smaller departments that if they want help, that it will cost them. Starting June 1st, any village police agency in need of Nassau County police officers will be charged for the extra manpower. Over the years, county police have provided smaller agencies with detectives, emergency crews and patrol officers. Nassau PBA president James Carver said Wednesday that the measure is long overdue." The response to which should be Sayonara! NCPD is no longer wanted or needed.

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