MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Recently-indicted Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is giving himself a pay raise, in the midst of a county budget crisis.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Mangano with his salary hike to $191,621 would make more than his counterpart in Suffolk County, Steve Bellone, who makes $187,000. Both make more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose salary is $179,000.READ MORE: Manhattan, Brooklyn Residents Sue City To Stop Permanent Outdoor Dining
But Mangano’s staff said the salary raise is long overdue.
The pay hike also comes as residents complain they are being squeezed by rising county fees.
Nassau County residents were not pleased at all at the golf course at Eisenhower Park, where fees are going up.
“It just seems like a gouge to the citizens,” said Jim Cronin.
Also on the rise are fees to swim and play hockey. They are among a myriad of fee hikes tucked into the Nassau County budget.
But The $17,000 pay raise for Mangano has not gotten so much notice.
“Wasn’t he just arrested?” a man said. “How could he give himself a raise?”
Mangano indeed was indicted last week and accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks. But his deputy county executive pointed out that Mangano has “declined what he’s entitled to for six years,” and his salary has not increased since 2010.
Since all the other county employees are getting raises, it was decided that Mangano would also get one “in line with what other county officials are making” such as the District Attorney and judges, the deputy executive said.READ MORE: 'Phantom Of The Opera,' Broadway's Longest Running Show, Resumes Performances
But a pay raise during a budget crisis?
“Not when you see everyone is having a difficult time just coping, and you know, living paycheck to paycheck,” a man said.
But another man argued, “it’s fair because when costs go up, his costs go up.”
“These guys work really hard,” another man said. “They do spend their own personal time weekends and nights.”
County Comptroller George Maragos, now running for Nassau County executive, said he turned down his own raise.
“I didn’t think it’s appropriate,” Maragos said. “I work for the taxpayers. I know our county faces severe fiscal challenges.”
The Nassau Interim Finance Committee, or NIFA, recently warned the county budget needs a reality check.
The county legislators will vote on the budget, including the county executive’s raise. But until then, it is up to NIFA to accept or reject it and send it back to the county executive.
A spokesman for NIFA said the state oversight board was not aware of Mangano’s pay raise, nor are they required to sign off on it.MORE NEWS: Rev. Jesse Jackson Celebrates 80th Birthday In Harlem
They will review the budget as a whole.