The Latino National Republican Coalition of Rockland County played host Saturday morning, 10 May 2014, to a gathering of community leaders participating in the Community Unity Breakfast at the Waterwheel Restaurant in Tallman, Ramapo, New York.
The Community Unity breakfast linked some of the most informed residents in Rockland County political issues with elected officials; that turned the discussions into a veritable think-tank of ideas and affirmation of resolve to find solutions by working together.
Anthony Mele´, LNRC Rockland County Chairman greeted the more than two dozen participants by explaining: “We can fill volumes with the things we disagree on, but let’s come together and find one thing we can agree on, and if we work to make it happen, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
Rockland County Executive Ed Day addressed the ‘think-tank’ to utilize this type of forum for coming together in an informal setting to better understand each the complexities of governance and find solutions to the pressing issues facing all of our County residents.
Clarkstown Council members Frank Borrelli and George Hoehmann, made impassioned pleas for everyone to support their positions regarding the controversial sale of the Millwood Senior Citizens Complex in Clarkstown: “This is not in the best interest of the residents nor the Town, we can find a better way than selling off Millwood to the preferred buyer. We urge this group to bring more people to the work-shop and council meeting at the Town Hall on Maple Avenue, New City, on May 20th at 7:30 pm.”
The recurring theme that resonated with political and community leaders present was the idea of doing the right thing over political expediency; “Look around this room, here are some of the best politically informed residents in Rockland County, who know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong” said Anthony Mele´
Al Amoros, Richie Fernandez representing the Rockland County Hispanic Officers Society, National Latino Officers Association and Matt Kitt from the Fraternal Order of Police, pledging their continued support for the LNRC Rockland County unity effort. Al Amoros sent a loud and clear message to all elected officials and candidates: “Do not expect us to support you in public, if you cannot support us in public.”
Mr. Lon Hofstein, candidate to fill the Legislative District 5, vacated by Ed Day said: “Rockland County will need someone in the Legislature to have a voice speaking for them, to do the what is right for the people and not for a few politically connected persons or groups.”
Candidate for New York State Assembly Rich Cocciarra adamantly declared: “What is going on the East Ramapo Schools is wrong, what is happening to the Seniors at Millwood is wrong, what we need is someone to fight for what is right.”
Chris Day, candidate for 17th Congressional District was gracious in his commentary crediting the Latino National Republican Coalition of Rockland County and Latino Officers Associations work on behalf of his father Ed Day’s campaign for Rockland County Executive; “It was the work of these Latino coalitions that got us the votes in areas that put us over the top to win the election.” County Executive Ed Day was the first to acknowledge the Latino National Republican Coalitions endorsement early on in his race at a press conference in Haverstraw Village and Village of Chestnut Ridge that pulled votes his way.
Turning to the state of politics and smears directed against candidates in Rockland County, former candidate for Clarkstown Supervisor Ralph Sabatini found it lamentable that these types of tactics target decent candidates, like himself, Anthony Mele´, Ed Day, to include Frank Borrelli, among others. Mele´ recounted a personal story for the group how degrading racists fliers were circulated about him in his runs for office, one of which called him a “Puerto Rican gang-banger from the Bronx.” To which Mele´declared all present as; “honorary Puerto Rican gang-bangers from the Bronx.” That comment drew chuckles and applause across the room.
Michael Hull spoke about how a lawsuit brought by former State GOP Vice-Chairman, Vinny Reda, along with County Legislator, Frank Sparaco, against himself and Mele was finally exposing at the highest levels of NY State much that is regrettable in Rockland County politics. He remarked that the lawsuit was probably one of the best wake-up calls to all principled Republicans and Democrats. Others such as Ralph Sabatini, Jeannine Vechiarelli and Frank Borrelli were previously the target of “disloyalty committees“. Hull said: “This is the kind of behavior that people of principle in both parties in Rockland County politics abhor and will bring to an end.”
Lawrence Stone , Rockland Voice, Marketing Director explained how the ROCKLAND VOICE online presence sky-rocketed circulation in attracting new online readership. The Rockland Voice is a newly formed online community news and information outlet that continues to attract thousands of readers in a short time span.
At the conclusion of the speakers portions, the attendees continued their discussions where jovial moods supported a consensus of renewed commitment for frequent communication between one another and pledges of mutual cooperation.
At one point, over coffee and cakes, elected officials, candidates and community activists huddled together at a table and listened intently to a the ideas of Congers resident, Ms. Laurie Golemba – Santulli, as well as Clarkstown residents Lon Hofstein and Bob Zeiss. They brought a wealth of knowledge and perspectives from the average Rockland resident.
Clarkstown GOP Committee persons Ralph Sabatini, Rowena Molluso, Joe Ciardullo, George Hoehmann, along with Orangetown GOP Committee person Vincenza Dimuro, and Stony Point GOP Committee Person, Lawrence Stone, conferred with Independent Richard Sena, about why he had brokered a one on one meeting between GOP Committeeman/LNRC Chairman Anthony Mele´with long time former Rockland County Democrat Chairman Vince Monte. He explained their discussion about the idea of abandoning the practice of cross party endorsements, because of the abuses stemming from the “Wilson-Pakula” that empowers Party Chairpersons to place members of other parties on their own party’s ballot. They agreed there must always be a strong opposition party to whatever party is in power.
At the conclusion, the message for the public to take away from this Community Unity Breakfast was the state of Rockland County’s current condition can be attributed equally to the inaction of apathetic voters and to a few unprincipled political operatives.
The decision to remove those politicians and their operatives working against our vital public interests, must first come from voters awakened out of their apathy toward the political affairs and governance of their treasury, and empower candidates who possess the will to do what is good and right.
Plato said: “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” The LNRC Rockland County Community Unity Breakfast stated message was to establish itself as a force for good on behalf of all the people in the County. The LNRC assembled some of the most effective and devoted people to one place, to achieve one thing, and that was to agree to work together to bring about the change needed to make this a better a place to live.