Dems knock Carpenter for not releasing economic plan; GOP fires back calling Bellone’s plan bunk

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | The County Executive campaigns for Democrat Steve Bellone (pictured) and his GOP opponent Angie Carpenter took aim at each other's economic policy this week.

Suffolk Democrats blasted the Republican candidate for county executive Angie Carpenter this week for not yet releasing her plan to revive Suffolk’s economy, saying it was preventing a proper debate between her and her opponent.

“We’re trying to jump-start her or shame her into releasing her plans for the county,” Suffolk Democratic Committee chairman Rich Shaffer said during a conference call with local media outlets Tuesday.

Democratic candidate for County Executive Steve Bellone released a plan last month that calls for a uniform set of standards for town and county business development agencies, reforming the county health department to streamline the permitting process and funding for community planning in downtown areas.

Mr. Bellone is currently the Babylon Town supervisor.

But Suffolk County Republican Committee chairman John Jay LaValle fired back, saying that Mr. Bellone’s plan lacked substance and did not outline a clear action course.

“He submits a five page document that really doesn’t take a position on any issue,” he said. “That’s not a plan. That’s a political outline.”

He added that Ms. Carpenter would soon be releasing a plan for job creation, that “is going to empower residents and business owners rather than empower government and use tax dollars to get Long Island’s economy back and up running.” He declined to give further details or to say when the proposal would be presented to the public.

Mr. LaValle accused Mr. Shaffer of calling the conference call to distract reporters from a Newsday article published Saturday that noted Mr. Bellone raised on average the amount a Babylon resident pays in general taxes by 108 percent since 1999, when he first voted on a town budget as a council member. The amount was raised $166 from $346 in that time.

But Mr. Shaffer said he thought the article vindicated Mr. Bellone by noting that most of Babylon Town’s tax increases came from school district taxes which the Town Board has no control over. He said the GOP had been positing that Babylon is the most taxed town.

“LaValle admitted that they inaccurately calculated the figures they’ve been putting out there,” he said.

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