Nassau County Legis. Diane Yatauro (D- Glen Cove), the minority leader, criticized Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, for spending too much money on mailers to county residents touting his accomplishments—a charge he denied.
“The taxpayers are barely making ends meet,” Yatauro said during a news conference Monday in Mineola. “We can’t be wasting money.”
Yatauro said Mangano should be finding a solution to help save Able Ride, a paratransit bus service for people with disabilities, and not spend taxpayers’ dollars on what she called self-promotional full-color “puff pieces.”
“My colleagues and I are very upset over the fact that these mailings equate to $100,000 per mailing,” Yatauro said. “They are done through the county and in this fiscal crisis we are asking the county executive to cut back on the spending.”
Mangano responded by pointing out that the printing budget for the Democratic legislators totals $736,842.10—what he said was nearly 60 percent higher than his office—and that he said he sent out three mailings since Jan. 1 while the Democrat have printed a total of 26 in the same time period.
Mangano added that last fall, when Yatauro and the Democrats were in the majority, the legislature voted to cut the Able Ride budget from $2.4 million to $1.4 million.
“Rather than say one thing and do another,” Mangano said in a statement, “Yatauro should come clean and focus on solutions to reforming our assessment system so that Able Ride can be properly funded.”
While the lawmakers were bickering over mailings and who’s to blame for the Able Ride cuts, several hundred people in the county have been struggling to get around since the service cuts were approved.
Angela Davis, 56, a disabled woman from Hempstead who relies on a motorized wheelchair to get around, said she has many friends who are affected by the cuts to Able Ride. “It affects a lot of people I know,” said Davis. “They can’t go to school, work, or shopping.”