UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The incoming Nassau County executive is putting an end to a common practice in politics.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, county Executive-elect Laura Curran said the practice of placing the executive’s name on county entrance signs is vain and wasteful and must end.
If you go to any park or recreation center in Nassau, you’ll see the name of current County Executive Ed Mangano on the entrance sign.
In fact, his name appears on 700 signs across the county, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
There are signs with Mangano’s name all around Eisenhower Park, and golf scorecards also bear his name. There is even a 55-gallon drum full of hundreds of pencils engraved with the name of couny Executive Mangano.
“I think it’s a waste of money,” Curran said. “The public should know who the country executive is, but you don’t need to plaster it all over the place.”
Curran calls it inappropriate self-promotion, and said her name will not go up on the 700 signs when the Mangano name comes down.
“It doesn’t belong on the buses. It doesn’t belong on the signs welcoming you to the parks,” Curran said, “because they are not my parks. They are your parks. You paid for them.”
Curran made removing the county executive’s name from the signs a centerpiece of her campaign. She said it was a symbol of irresponsible spending.
She said eliminating the names from the signs will save $80,000 that her predecessors spent on new signage.
“Your taxpayer money should not go to put my name on signs. That’s not what it’s for,” Curran said. “It’s for services you expect from your local government.”
The practice amounts to free political advertising for incumbents, said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.
“This is a persistent problem that we see across the country,” Lerner said. “It is using taxpayer money for political advertising.”
One thing Curran may have to change is the telephone number at the county executive’s office – which is now (516) MANGANO.
“It’s ridiculous’ just a waste of taxpayers’ money,” a resident said.
Removing Mangano’s name from the 700 signs comes with its own costs — around $35,000 to $40,000. But Curran said that is money taxpayers will not have to spend when her term ends.
Mangano is facing corruption charges and did not seek reelection.