Citizens for a Better Nassau
By Bill Gingrich
July 11, 2019 12:00 p.m.
Citizens for a Better Nassau County was absolutely stunned by the recent news of the county operating outside of the Sunshine and Open Records Laws on occasions too numerous to count. Transparency is fundamental to good government, and when we elected our county commissioners, we put our trust in them to operate transparently and openly. It is extremely troubling that the people we elected to lead our county have utterly failed to do so. Their behavior shows a complete mismanagement of business practices at the county now combined with the real possibility of illegal activity. And because this was only exposed through litigation from the county’s failure to honestly respond to a public records request, it makes one wonder what other issues may be lurking beneath the surface.
We must hold our elected officials accountable. Our county commission cannot continue to operate recklessly, with little regard for the rule of law and the job they were elected to do. This lack of transparency, on top of other governance issues, such as combining the roles of county attorney and county manager, thus eliminating any checks and balances within county staff, also raises concerns about where we currently stand and where we are heading.
The cost of these choices by our elected officials is substantial, and it has had and will continue to have a significant negative impact on our community. We deserve better. We deserve transparency from our local government. If our county commission cannot operate in accordance with the law, it’s time for a new county commission.
We, as Citizens for a Better Nassau County, are committed to four primary guiding principles that comprise our mission: 1) Integrity in all business dealings, particularly relating to matters of public trust; 2) Fiscal prudence in all county government matters and the replacement of outdated finance methods with new efficiencies; 3) Meaningful, long-term strategic programs that drive private capital investment into the county, in turn, bolstering recurring tax revenue and offsetting residential taxpayer-funded capital investment; and 4) Accountability from politicians and government employees, as well as transparency and fairness in their service to our community. More information about Citizens for a Better Nassau County can be found at citizensforabetternassau.com.
Bill Gingrich is a retired GE executive and chairman of Citizens for a Better Nassau County.