Nassau County Comptroller - Democrat

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Nassau County Comptroller - Democrat

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Jack Schnirman:

Background:
Schnirman, 39, of Long Beach, is making his first run for elected office and faces a Democratic primary. He is on the Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines in the general election. Schnirman, who grew up in Kings Park, has served as Long Beach’s city manager since 2012. His contract expires in March 2018. He received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tufts University in Massachusetts in 1999 and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2003. Schnirman previously worked for Bowne Management Systems as a management consultant and as chief deputy town supervisor in the Town of Brookhaven. He is married with one daughter.

Issues:
Schnirman wants to make the county’s finances more transparent, institute tougher auditing standards and reform Nassau’s contracting system. “It’s all about cleaning up corruption and reforming Nassau’s finances so we can save taxpayer dollars,” Schnirman said. If elected, Schnirman wants to modernize the county’s finances so that more information is available electronically and to create a new publicly accessible scorecard to track the county’s fiscal data. He said he also would work with Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas to implement her 2015 report on county contracting, including establishing an independent inspector general’s office with the authority to investigate all contracts. Schnirman is also urging residents to provide suggestions for cleaning up the county’s finances. “If you see waste, fraud or inefficiency; something that is corrupt and needs to be audited and reformed ... send those items in,” Schnirman said. “We are making a list so that on Jan. 1, we will know what needs to be looked at here in Nassau County.”

Ama Yawson:

Background:
Yawson, 37, who was raised in Laurelton, Queens, and lives in Freeport, is making her first run for elected office in this Democratic primary. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard University in 2002 and in 2009 earned both a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in entrepreneurship from the Wharton School, also at Penn. Yawson is the owner of Milestales, a boutique publishing house, and has an educational consulting practice. She previously worked as a senior counsel in corporate responsibility at Citigroup, as an associate at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and also hosts a weekly radio program that airs in New York City. Yawson is the author of “Sunne’s Gift,” a children’s book on bullying. She is married with two boys.

Issues:
Yawson has campaigned to strengthen the county’s finances while reducing its spending and debt, attract more corporate businesses to communities of color and increase contracting opportunities for minority, women and veteran-owned small businesses. Yawson contends that the county’s $2.98 billion budget must be reduced to bring expenses in line with revenue. While she declined to identify specific areas to cut, Yawson said health, education and programs for middle- class families, seniors and veterans must be protected. “We can’t continue to spend more than we bring in to reduce our debt,” said Yawson, who also wants to make residents aware of the process to grieve their property taxes. Yawson contends small businesses in minority areas have been disproportionately locked out of county contracting opportunities. “We need much greater outreach in these communities,” said Yawson, who is also concerned that residents in minority neighborhoods have limited access to civil service jobs.

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