Both candidates in this year’s race for Suffolk County executive agree the No. 1 issue is fixing the local economy and plugging a projected $135 million shortfall in the county budget.
Only one candidate seems to be offering a plan that might make a difference.
Democrat Steve Bellone says Suffolk must consider workforce reductions and has vowed to bring each of the county’s bargaining units to the table. He also has vowed to bring much-needed change and reform to county departments in ways he believes will streamline government and spur economic development.
He says he would do these things while guaranteeing no tax hike in 2013.
His track record in 10 years as Babylon Town supervisor shows he might just have what it takes to get these things done. He says he has reduced the workforce in Babylon by more than 20 percent since taking office, has cut town debt each year and, during one of the worst fiscal years in memory, delivered a reduction of more than $4 million in his town’s tax levy in 2011.
Republican Angie Carpenter has claimed her experience in county government makes her more qualified than her opponent, whose experience is limited to town government.
But her lackluster campaign has demonstrated she might not have the chops to serve in an executive capacity.
When asked during a News12 debate if she could guarantee no tax increase for 2013 considering she does not support cutting the county workforce, Carpenter failed to directly answer the question. Isn’t she from the party of “smaller government and lower taxes”?
Cutting expenses will be just as important as growing revenues if Suffolk County is to climb out of this economic mess.
We believe Steve Bellone is the candidate best poised to make the difficult decisions needed to get the job done.