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September 10, 2002
Republican Legislators Reject Creation of New County Departments
The Republican Minority Legislators in Nassau County have announced that they will not support County Executive Suozzi's attempt to create two new County departments and to reestablish the County's Commissioner of Accounts under a different name. The new departments established would be the Department of Information Technology and the Office of Emergency Management.
The Republican minority believes that because of the current financial situation in Nassau County, the County cannot afford to create new bureaucracies. These newly formed departments would further sap the already depleted resources of the County. The creation of the Office of Emergency Management proposes to take some of the authority over emergencies away from the Nassau County Police Department. The County Executive would have the power to appoint a commissioner, deputies, officers, and employees within the appropriations allotted. Legislator Norma L. Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) stated, "The Nassau County Police Department has developed in depth planned responses to a variety of potential emergencies in this county, there is no need to take any power away from them or duplicate services. Fiscally, it makes absolutely no sense. More patronage is the last thing this County needs."
The proposed Department of Information Technology would be created out of the current Department of Support Services. Establishment of this new department would lead to additional expenses through new staff, supplies, and payroll. "There is no need for this new department which can function currently within the County system. We should be concerned with downsizing the County's government, not enlarging it," added Legislator Gonsalves.
County Executive Suozzi's plan also calls for the re-establishment and renaming of the Commissioner of Accounts as the Commissioner of Investigations. The position of Commissioner of Accounts was eliminated by the County Legislature in 2001 with full support from both Republican and Democratic members of the County Legislature. "Any responsibilities of the former Commissioner of Accounts can be fulfilled by the District Attorney's office, the Nassau County Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies," said Legislator Gonsalves.
"On the eve of County Executive Suozzi's budget, in which he has promised the largest property tax increase in Nassau County history, he is proposing to further increase the size of Nassau's government with these new positions without substantial budget cuts and savings. The County Executive is looking to increase government by establishing 3 new commissioner patronage positions, 3 new deputy commissioners, and it is wrong for Nassau County," added Legislator Gonsalves.