Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back when he was the mayor of Glen Cove, New York, Thomas Suozzi was fond of advertising the city's benefits in newspapers. Now that he is county executive of Nassau County, Suozzi is using the same technique, only on a much grander scale. Nassau ran a 14-page advertising section trumpeting its virtues in the December 23 issue of Forbes.
Nassau has long been one of the nation's problem counties. By the time Suozzi took office last year, the county had racked up nearly $3 billion in debt, reducing its bonds to near-junk status. But the county remained one of the nation's wealthiest jurisdictions and Suozzi hopes to use the Forbes package, underwritten by ads and sponsorships from local businesses, to highlight the healthy local indicators.
Nassau has the highest percentage of households with incomes topping $150,000 nationwide, as well as high median housing costs and retail sales, and claims to have the state's lowest crime rate. Aside from opening its arms to business--the package promises "low cost bond financing for almost any commercial enterprise"--the advertisement is designed to indicate that Nassau is on the mend from its financial woes.
"The only thing that's broken is the government," says a Suozzi aide. "If you fix the government, it's the best place to live."