People Over Politics

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I try to follow a simple mantra: people over politics.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, that’s not the guiding principle of our county government right now. With the endless stream of scandals and indictments, it seems like the actual work of the people is just an afterthought.

We can do so much better.

And that’s why I’m running for County Executive. I want to give Nassau the fresh start it so desperately needs. That begins with rooting out the culture of corruption that has had a stranglehold on our government, and it means ensuring elected officials prioritize the needs of Nassau residents.

There are a series of simple changes we can make right away to begin to restore trust in government, and tackle the cynicism we see countywide.

To restore ethics to our local government, let’s institute term limits so we have fewer career politicians. We need to rewrite the county’s whistleblower law so no one is afraid to come forward to report wrongdoing in government. And we must rewrite our Code of Ethics and reinvigorate the Ethics Board to give it the teeth to do its job.

To fix our county contracting process and leave no room for the scandals that have put too many of our elected officials in handcuffs, we need an Independent Inspector General’s Office. We must require full legislative review of all contracts, and publish all solicitations online so the process is open and fair.

To increase transparency in government, let’s post a user-friendly version of our county budget online. To open up our legislative process, let’s publish easy-to-understand agendas online and hold evening meetings.

To curb the influence of political donations on how your government operates, let’s implement real campaign finance reform at the local level. As County Executive, I will bar my appointees from giving to, or raising money on behalf of, my campaign. In addition, I will work with the County Legislature to create a “Doing Business With” list, which will limit the amount of money county contractors can give to county elected officials.

And finally, to end the shameless self-promotion of elected officials, let’s ban taxpayer-funded political mail and end the practice of putting the County Executive’s name on every sign on county property. When the county is in such dire fiscal shape, taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay for never-ending PR campaigns for career politicians.

If elected County Executive, I’ll begin implementation of these reforms on day one, so we can begin to restore Nassau residents’ faith in their government—and return it to those who pay for it.

—Laura Curran,
Democratic county executive candidate

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