Nassau County, New York

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Nassau County is one of 62 counties in New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,339,532. Nassau's county seat is located in the Village of Garden City. Nassau, together with Suffolk County to its immediate east, are generally referred to as "Long Island" by area residents — as distinct from the New York City boroughs of Queens (Queens County) and Brooklyn (Kings County), which are geographically on the island's westernmost end. Two cities, three towns, 64 incorporated villages, and numerous unincorporated hamlets are located within the county.

Website evaluation

Main Article: Evaluation of New York county websites

This site was last evaluated in June 2012.

The good

  • Budget and quarterly financial reports available.[1]
  • Meeting schedules and agendas are available.[2]
  • County legislature members are listed with contact information.[3]
  • Department listing include phone numbers and key administrative officials.[4]
  • Links to municipalities with building permit information listed.[5] Zoning info is included.[6]
  • Audits are published.[7]
  • Bids and RFP's are online.[8]
  • Public records request can be made online.[9]
  • Tax assessments can be viewed online.[10]

The bad

  • Meeting minutes are not published.
  • Current contracts are not published.
  • The county does not disclose if it belongs to government sector lobbying associations.
  • Other county taxes and fees are not published.

Budget

The county's Office of Management and Budget is tasked developing the county's long term financial plans. It maintains the county's balanced budget by developing annual operating and capital budgets, as well as a multi-year financial plan.[11]

The county's proposed 2012 budget document attempts to tackle a projected deficit of $310 million, driven primarily by rising pension and healthcare costs, unfunded mandates, and a stagnant economy. It contains no property tax hikes, reduces year-over-year spending by $63 million, and reduces the county workforce by over 1,000 positions. As a result, Nassau County will have a workforce 20% smaller than 2009.[12]

Public employees

Elected officials

The legislative body of the county is the Nassau County Legislature, originally formed in 1996. It is made up of representatives from 19 districts located within the county. The Legislature's duties include drafting and approving local laws. It is also based on a committee system, with 12 standing committees. Committees are: Rules; Finance; Public Safety; Government Services & Operations; Economic & Community Development and Labor; Judiciary; Public Works; Minority Affairs; Towns, Villages and Cities; Planning, Development & the Environment; Health and Social Services; and Budget Review.[13] Members of the legislature are:[14]

Name District
Kevin Abrahams 1
Robert Troiano 2
John J. Ciotto 3
Denise Ford 4
Joseph Scannell 5
Francis X. Becker, Jr. 6
Howard J. Kopel 7
Vincent T. Muscarella 8
Richard J. Nicolello 9
Judi Bosworth 10
Wayne H. Wink, Jr. 11
Peter Schmitt 12
Norma L. Gonsalves 13
Joseph V. Belesi 14
Dennis Dunne, Sr. 15
Judi Jacobs 16
Rose Marie Walker 17
Diane Yatauro 18
David Denenberg 19

Administrative officials

The current County Executive is Edward P. Magano. Magano was sworn in on January 1, 2010. Magano inherited a budget deficit of $133 million, and achieved a surplus of $26.6 million in his first fiscal year, 2010. One of his first actions upon taking office was the repeal of a home energy tax.[12] A contact form for the County Executive can be found here.

A list of administrative departments can be found here.

Salaries

County salary information is compiled online by The Empire Center. The top 10 salaries in 2011 range from $273,659 to $245,000.[15]

Pensions

Main article: New York public pensions

According to the proposed FY 2012 budget documents, regular pension costs are expected to increase by 42.1% from 2011 to 2012. Police pension costs are expected to rise by 44.8%. Together, these increases contribute an additional $36.9 million to the county's budget gap.[12]

Healthcare

Nassau County employees no longer receive free healthcare benefits, instead having to contribute 25% of their healthcare costs. Healthcare costs, for active and retired employees respectively, are expected to rise 13.4% and 15.3% from 2011 to 2012. This accounts for a dollar increase of $35.8 million.[12]

Transparency & public records

The county provides information and online submission of Freedom of Information Law requests.[16]

Taxes

Nassau County collects a property tax, based on assessments conducted by the County Assessors Office.[17]

Lobbying

Main article: New York government sector lobbying

Nassau County has a registered lobbyist with the New York Public Integrity Commission for 2010.[18]

External links

References