To: The Editor Rockland Voice
From: Legislator Lon Hofstein
I have been asked by my colleagues in the County Legislature if I would serve as the Minority Leader for the Republican members (Christopher Carey, Charles Falciglia, Douglas Jobson, Patrick Moroney, Laurie Santulli and Vince Tyer) . I am honored by their request and delighted that Legislator Jobson has agreed to serve as the Deputy Leader.
This will be my second full year serving as a representative for District # 5 which encompasses New City, Pomona & Ramapo. I am very grateful for the confidence in which the people of the district placed in me in the past two elections when I ran against appointed Legislator Kantrowitz and then the following year against the experienced candidate Chris Martone.
I would like in this brief letter to outline for your readership some of my observations on County government how we can make improvements for the people who elected us all..
First, as many of you know, there has been an initially contentious interaction between the two branches of our government i.e. the office of the County Executive and the Legislative body. We have to recognize that in the wisdom of our founding fathers that is the way our governmental system has been established. It has ‘checks and balances‘ and sometimes in establishing a compromise which is a good ‘balance‘ the air becomes tinged with the process of establishing the ‘checks‘.
Given that I believe that Rockland County is on the road to fiscal recovery for which all may take partial credit including we who serve and those whom we serve. With that thought in mind I would like to outline for you some goals which I hope to be able to accomplish with my GOP colleagues and equally important with my colleagues on the Democratic side of the political divide.
1. Improve the effort for bipartisan cooperation and communication: To do this I will strive to set up meetings with the leadership of the legislature.
2. Develop a constantly improving working relationship between the legislative & executive branch of government: County Executive Ed Day has had to take some very bold and blunt approaches to moving the county away from possible default and bond rating disaster. We are now on the road to recovery and there are certain areas where we can wrestle less with the ‘checks‘ and seek more of the ‘balance‘. I will encourage for the leadership of the legislature to meet with the county executive and his staff.
3. Strive to see the county operations work more efficiently & control spending: An example is to meet with the management information system department to determine what is needed to for uniform reporting throughout the county agencies.
4. Encourage economic development by looking for industries to relocate to Rockland County: This is a critical thrust for the health of Rockland County and one in which I expect there will be no disagreement with all of my legislative colleagues. I will continue in my efforts to work with the Economic Development Department of Rockland County.
5. Periodic meetings with constituents to hear the issues that are of concern to them: Communications are vital and they must be frequent, ongoing and transparent. It is my hope to fully understand and meet the needs of our growing diverse community. Ultimately the goal is to bring those concerns back to my colleagues at the legislature to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
6. Pass legislation to conduct a forensic audit of the operations of Sewer District #1: Many questions have been raised by the public about the fiscal operations of the Rockland County Sewer District #1. Such articles have appeared in the Rockland Voice and on Facebook social media websites . I will strive to get the support of my colleagues for a forensic audit to take place immediately.
Another goal for 2016 is to develop a database of email addresses. I would like to hear back from you either by direct email (Lonrc5@gmail.com) or https://www.facebook.com/lonhofstein5th in your comments on the social media which I follow on a daily basis.
Once again let me express how grateful I am for the trust & support you have given me. As we enter this New Year I wish all of you the best!
Legislator and Minority Leader