When County Executive Laura Curran officially took office on Jan. 1, she did so on a wave of promises to clean up the previous administration’s alleged back-room dealings that crippled the Island financially and left local government morally bankrupt in the minds of taxpayers.
Gaining the trust of any population is a steep hill to climb, especially when you are following an elected official with a perceived reputation for “taking care” of his friends at the expense of the people he was elected to serve. Regaining that trust takes grand shifts in policy that often take time, given the well-known bureaucracy of doing business on this island.
Curran took a step in the right direction last week when she signed an executive order barring her administration from taking leadership roles in political parties and from donating to her campaign. It seems like an obvious move—and indeed it is, as it is commonplace in most places other than Long Island—but it was an action that had to take place.
Some would call it cosmetic, a form of political grandstanding meant to frame the administration in a new light in the eyes of the public. And if it is, so be it. Taxpayers in this county—one of the most expensive places to live in the nation—need to believe the elected are here to serve, not to enrich themselves and their close friends and business associates.
And the first step in that effort is framing the conversation—showing citizens that the previous way of doing business is out the door and no, we are not going to keep certain rules in place just because it was established long ago by the old guard.
Nassau County will never be the least expensive place to live and no politician is without his or her mistakes—but we deserve policies that prevent the blatant fleecing of our resources.