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Nassau Notebook: Mangano Explains Precinct Decision, NCPD Petty Cash Audit

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

Statement From Mangano on Precinct Restructuring

The following is from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano:

"Shame on Nassau County Democrat Legislators Scannell and Solages for playing politics with public safety.

I refuse to play politics with public safety. I understand why the PBA opposes my plan that reduces costly police overtime and eliminates unnecessary administrative positions, saving residents millions in higher taxes. I don’t understand why a few legislators are opposing saving residents up to $20 million. One has to question whether the PBA's $600,000 in political contributions has something to do with their fear mongering approach to the issue.

I had a choice. I could raise property taxes 19 percent or I could cut spending, including a long overdue reorganization of the police department. I chose to cut spending because I will not raise property taxes in this economy. The police reorganization plan takes cops from behind desks and reassigns them to community policing while keeping the same number of patrol cars on our streets.

Residents should not be fooled by the PBA's scare tactics. When you dial 911, the call goes to a 911 Call Center in New Cassel, then to the police car in your neighborhood -- that will not change under this plan as all 177 patrol cars remain in their current neighborhoods.

The three dozen police officers earning six-figure salaries that staff administrative desk jobs in the back office of the police precinct, will now be moved. Currently, these officers are restricted by contractual rules from leaving their position to assist the public. They must man these positions 24 hours a day, seven days a week and do not have police cars at their disposal. This plan consolidates these administrative desk positions within four precincts while keeping all eight current buildings open -- four as precincts and four as Community Policing Centers.

In order to change the status quo, Nassau legislators must stand up to the special interests groups. I trust that a majority of Nassau County Legislators will do so, as we must protect both public safety and family budgets."

Maragos: Audit Finds Petty Cash Policy Not Being Enforced in NCPD

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released his audit of the Nassau County Police Department’s (NCPD) petty cash accounts and found inadequate control of access and usage of petty cash accounts. Major findings included the NCPD not sending reconciliations to the treasurer’s office for more than a year, individual police officers not returning excess petty cash from their travel expenses in a timely manner and providing improper documentation for miscellaneous petty cash.

"While the overall sum of money the police department has failed to return is minor, the lack of discipline to follow the county’s petty cash policy is concerning," Maragos said. "I am glad the department has agreed with most of our recommendations and will begin to have strict oversight over the use of petty cash.”

The audit found improper use and a lack of supporting documentation of miscellaneous petty cash. Three vouchers were found totaling $274 that had been split to stay below the $100 threshold limit, 24 vouchers totaling $1,756 were not supported by original receipts and six vouchers totaling $448 that were not supported by receipts at all, but only packing slips with no dollar amounts listed.

One senior officer's excess cash advance of $166 had not been returned and was 358 days overdue, but recouped by the petty cash custodian from his reimbursement from a subsequent trip.

According to Maragos, excess cash is supposed to be returned within 10 working days after the completion of travel; failure to do so violates the countywide Procedure Travel Policy, the New York State General Municipal Law and the Internal Revenue Service Business Expenses guidelines. These regulations and policies require that where any employee fails to return such excess cash advance at the time of submitting the travel voucher, the municipality shall deduct the amount of the unreturned excess advance from the salary of the employee, or added to the employees W-2.

Additionally, Maragos determined that petty cash monthly bank reconciliations had not been sent to the county treasurer for the period July 2009 to December 2010. The custodian informed the comptroller that copies of the missing reconciliations would be sent.

The full report is available on the comptroller's website.

Mangano Joins Senators Martins, Zeldin to Introduce Bill to End MTA Payroll Tax for Counties, Towns and Villages

Mangano was on hand late last week when Sen. Jack Martins and Sen. Lee Zeldin introduced a bill (S-6206) to exempt all counties, towns and villages from having to pay the MTA Payroll Tax. Martins and Zeldin, since taking office last January, have been committed to eliminating the payroll tax that was enacted in 2009.

The Senators are introducing the bill as a way to provide tax relief to municipalities that are still forced to pay the .34 percent tax per $100 of payroll to pay the MTA.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that exempted the MTA Payroll Tax for entities, including businesses, with a payroll of $1.25 million or less, as well as all private and public schools. That's more than 700,000 of the taxpayers who were paying it.

Approximately 80 percent of all employers received a total elimination. Thousands of others received a reduction. However, many counties, including Nassau and Suffolk, as well as towns and villages with payrolls over that threshold, are still paying the tax.

Residents Voice Concerns with Community Policing Plan

Residents had their questions answered at Tuesday night’s community policing plan reaction meeting at the East Meadow Public Library. Click here for more on the community policing plan and to see resident's reactions.

Eisenhower Park Dog Run

Legis. Norma Gonsalves, R-East Meadow, told Patch this week that the design phase of the Eisenhower Park based dog run is completed. Click here for more on the potential dog run.

paul February 16, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Please state the FACTS for the people of Merrick. They may not know you embelish a bit to sound correct. The NCPD and pizzas as you state is not accurate.
paul February 16, 2012 at 02:00 AM
To Bill: You stated: You were at 2 meetings so far . You attended them in person. You heard all they had to say...twice" Then there is no need to go to anywore meetings if you heard all they had to say. Well if you attended them I guess you were there in person or were you?
paul February 16, 2012 at 02:04 AM
To bad you know nothing about real Police work or you would not have made those statements...
james February 16, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Thanks bill.
Merrick7 February 17, 2012 at 09:56 AM
@Paul. I am not trying to state any facts for the people as you put it. But perhaps you could. I said i think that is what Bill was discussing if you read my comment. I did not say that was the answer. Bill did not correct me so I assume that is what he was referring. Can you please state the FACTS as you put it? All i was asking for was clarity and a respectful tone neither of which does your response contain

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