MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The leader of Nassau County, struggling to close a $176 million budget gap identified by a state fiscal watchdog group, planned to lay off 213 workers and will not fill about 300 other positions.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: Balancing the Budget Means Big Cuts

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s proposal includes over $60 million in employee-related cuts, and would impose a 13-day unpaid furlough for county workers. County employees are outraged.

“Furloughing, that’s illegal – we will be going to court, and we will be challenging him on anything he does,” James Carver, president of the Nassau County PBA, told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “Our contracts are protected by the constitution.”

“No one is exempt,” Mangano said Wednesday.

No county cops will lose their jobs, but Carver said special patrols, like the marine bureau, will be decimated.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: Police Union Concerned About Affect Of Cuts

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Union Head Blasts Ed Mangano

“We’re right next to New York City, this is 10 years after 9/11 happened, and he’s going to cut patrols on the water,” Carver said. “It’s insane.”

“It’s very difficult, but necessary, so we move forward with this plan for July 1,” Mangano said.

CSEA Local 830 President Jerry Laricchiuta expects his union to take a brunt of the layoffs. He said since the budget also cuts millions in services and programs, he predicts county residents will be screaming too.

“We will look to come up with creative solutions in lieu of layoffs and furloughs,” Laricchiuta said.  “But with the amount of money that is being asked for, we believe it will be very difficult to avoid any significant harm to our members.”

Mangano has been dealing with a budget takeover last January by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

The county executive said he was slashing the county’s $2.6 billion budget rather than calling for an “unacceptable” 21.5 percent property tax increase.

The affluent county east of New York City has about 9,000 employees.

Mangano also is seeking NIFA approval for a wage freeze, which would account for $10 million in savings.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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