MELVILLE, NY (WCBS 880) – The candidates for Suffolk County Executive met before the Long Island Association Thursday morning for their first debate.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

Republican candidate and former county legislator Angie Carpenter says government is Suffolk County’s biggest obstacle to economic growth.

“We are compromising the service that we’re delivering to our residents, to our business community, when they can’t get permits processed in a timely fashion,” she said. “We are doing… more with less, but it comes to a time when we’re doing less with less.”

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Candidates Meet For First Debate

Democratic candidate and Babylon supervisor Steve Bellone agreed in a strong way.

“The single biggest impediment to growing our economy has been and continues to be government,” he said. “It is government here that has failed to create the conditions necessary to facilitate strong private sector economic growth.”

Bellone portrayed himself as a fiscal conservative.

“I’ve cut the size of government and I’ve reduced debt every year that I have been in office,” he said.

Carpenter said Rebpulican Bob Turner’s upset victory in the New York City election for Anthony Weiner’s house seat — traditionally held by Democrats — shows that the people are “tired of government as usual.”

Both candidates promise a reform of county government.

Carpenter also promises more private sector involvement.

Bellone says making government accountable is the key.

What do you think needs to be done to improve things in Suffolk County? Sound off below!

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