The Twin 800-Pound Gorillas in the Room

We were honored last week when Gov. Andrew Cuomo paid a visit to West Haverstraw. His chosen topic was consolidation and shared services – specifically increasing the services that counties like Rockland share with towns and village and consolidate overlapping functions....

Looking to the Future

Spring, that season of renewal, is almost upon us and it’s natural during this time of year to think about the future. That is what I’m doing as I complete my first term as your County Executive. I’m thinking about all that we have accomplished and all that I...

Following the Rules

A few years ago, I put a small addition onto my house so I could expand my kitchen. Before I did, I applied for and received a permit from my town, hired licensed contractors and, when it was just about done, had the work – plumbing, electrical, construction –...

Solutions, Not Problems

Once again here in Rockland we have a solution that is needlessly becoming a problem. The solution: we have successfully negotiated a contract with sheriff deputies who have been working without one for six years that is fair to them and fair to the taxpayer. The problem: some...

Life After Indian Point

Critics have been calling for years for the shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant right across from Stony Point in Northern Westchester. Now they have gotten their wish in the form of an announcement from Gov. Cuomo that he and Entergy have brokered a deal to close...

Optimism and Obstinance

Now, in this season of miracles we have one of our own: A 2017 county budget that sticks to the 1.17 property tax cap, cuts spending and maintains services. This budget sets the path for a solid and sustainable financial future for our county with no tax increase for most...

Smoke & Mirrors … or the Real Deal?

It would have been so easy to return to the Legislature a 2017 budget unchanged – with all of their many amendments and the promise of a 50 cent per month tax cut. But Rockland residents elected me to do the right thing, which is not necessarily the easy thing....

A Return to Madness?

It’s no secret what earned Rockland a $138 million budget deficit and the shameful distinction of most fiscally stressed municipality in the state of New York. It was dishonest budgeting based on phony revenue and expense projections.   Now, nearly three years into...

Down to the Budget Wire

Two months have passed since I presented my proposed 2017 county budget to the Legislature and the people of Rockland. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from Rockland residents, which is heartening since they are the ones paying the tax and it’s their opinion...

Turning the Financial Corner – Promises Kept

When I took office less than three years ago, Rockland’s bonds were rated just one step above junk as the extent of the county’s financial meltdown became all too apparent. We were $138 million in the hole and it investors were rightly reluctant to take a risk...