The following is a look back at some of the top stories in Nassau County over the past week:
MTA to End Funding of LI Bus
On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted unanimously to end its operation of the Nassau County-owned Long Island Bus system.
This year, the MTA had been seeking an additional $26 million from the county to maintain the current service for LI Bus. The county currently pays $9.1 million of the $134 million it costs to run the bus system. The rest is made up of state funding and fares.
MTA officials claim they have been covering the county's funding shortfall for about a decade, while the county — in the midst of a financial crisis — has maintained that it cannot afford an extra $26 million per year. Instead, County Executive Ed Mangano has proposed privatizing L.I. Bus.
"Because the MTA has failed taxpayers time and time again, Nassau County will move forward with a public-private partnership that maintains bus service without demanding an additional $26 million from taxpayers," Mangano said.
Katie Grilli-Robles, a spokeswoman for Mangano, said the county has put together an independent committee to look into privatization. The committee is currently reviewing three bids from private companies, which she did not name. The committee is expected to make a recommendation to Mangano by mid-May, she said.
Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the MTA, did not specify the county's non-payment as a reason for the board's decision.
"The vote this week was, in essence, a vote to help the county transition to privatization at the start of next year," he said. "The county made a decision to move forward with privatization."
The state is providing an additional $8.6 million to the MTA to maintain the current bus service through the end of 2011.
Nassau GOP Proposes New Legislative District Lines
Nassau's Republican majority recently proposed new legislative district lines that Democrats allege will allow the GOP to hold onto power for the next 10 years.
The Democrats also accuse the Republicans of skirting the county charter by pushing the lines before a two-year deadline, but members of the majority say they must act soon to stay legally within the U.S. Constitution.
Your local Patches will have the full story early next week.
County Supporting Adelphi Breast Cancer Program
The county has joined the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support program, an annual Mother's Day campaign that encourages women to get mammograms.
This program is led by the Adelphi University School of Social Work. To find a mammogram facility near you, call the hotline at 1-800-877-8077. Services are free.