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2011 Closing Statements: Rockland County Legislature

NyackNewsAndViews offered more than twenty candidates on the ballot in Nyack the opportunity to submit a “closing statement” for voters before the Tuesday Nov 8 General Election.

Here are statements from the candidates for Rockland County Legislature. Candidates are listed in random order.

  • District 10 — Nyack, Upper Nyack: York Kleinhandler (R), Harriet Cornell (D)
  • District 17 — South Nyack: Guy DeVincenzo (R), Nancy Low-Hogan (D)

District 10

York Kleinhandler: Rockland County has the unfortunate and completely un-necessary distinction nationally of being the 4th highest taxed county and home to the highest taxed town. We have witnessed firsthand, my opponent, Harriet Cornell squander a budget surplus into an $80 million deficit due to mismanagement and lack of oversight, only to find Rockland County on the verge of having the State taking over our finances because of this gross mismanagement. Fortunately for the people of Rockland County this doesn’t have to be the case and I need your help to change our future.

I am York Kleinhandler and I am running for the Rockland County Legislature from the 10th district because it’s time for a change, it’s time for action, and it’s time for new leadership. I am honored to have the support of the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Working Families parties, united behind the principles of bringing fiscal discipline, smaller government, and lower taxes to Rockland County.

As a soldier, successful small business owner, husband, father, and longtime resident of Rockland County, I can say without doubt that our government is broken and there is nothing appealing about Harriet Cornell’s track record of increasing Rockland County’s debt over 75%, spending $200 million in excess of our revenues, and the prospect of higher taxes because she is unable to make the difficult decisions.

I will eliminate waste and cap taxes, including property taxes. This will stabilize our local economy, provide much needed relief to the taxpayers, and make Rockland County an ideal location for new and existing businesses. I will insist upon a balanced budget and not approving any new spending unless we know how to pay for it and I will promise to reduce our deficit by cutting spending and making the difficult choices.

For real leadership, vote York Kleinhandler.

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Harriet Cornell: It has been my privilege to serve the people of Rockland County as a member of the County Legislature. I work every day to ensure the health and safety of the public, to ease the challenges faced by older people, to help children achieve optimal development, and to assist families struggling during these hard economic times.

I brought transparency to vital issues so your voice could help create public policy. Together we created the family, school, community collaboration known as Rockland 21C, now with Family Resource Centers in 40 schools. Understanding the importance of a healthy start, I am fighting to keep the county’s Pre-Natal Clinic at Nyack Hospital to ensure that all women have access to quality care so babies are born healthy’€”saving money and anguish in the long run.

I am equally involved with issues of aging, recognizing the growing elder population. My report, Project Tomorrow: Aging in Place has been included in the County Comprehensive Plan and its recommendations on mental and physical health, affordable housing, recreation, home care and many other topics will be used by planners now and in the years to come.

I will continue to fight fort your interests with regard to the Tappan Zee Bridge, keeping local concerns front and center with state and national leaders. The need for mass transit is a key priority.

I have worked to keep the county tax rate the lowest in the state. County taxes are 7% of your total annual property taxes (school taxes are 65%; town and village taxes are 20%; other taxes are 8%.) I formed a Deficit Reduction Committee of unpaid private sector financial experts; and my Multi-Year Financial Plan Law was adopted and requires the County Executive to give an accurate picture of the county’s financial position’€”and to make course corrections during the year if revenues and expenditures don’t reach his budget projections.

And as Chairwoman of the Legislature, I have saved taxpayers millions by cutting nearly 400 county jobs through retirements and attrition’€”not layoffs. I am fighting to repeal the unfair MTA Payroll Tax and am pressing for state takeover of Medicaid costs to save the county $70 million annually.

Whether working on MTA issues, or creating a comprehensive water policy or serving on Governor Cuomo’s Infrastructure Co0mmittee of the Regional Economic Development Council, I bring people together to make good things happen. We are in critical times, and experienced, trusted leadership is essential. Governor Cuomo has endorsed me by saying, ‘€œHarriet is a tireless community leader and colleague in government who has dedicated herself to making government work for the people of Rockland County. Together we can continue getting results in Rockland and New York State.’€

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My love of public service is inspired by a deep belief that government can and should be a force for good. I am proud of my record of accomplishment and would appreciate your vote so I can continue to serve as your legislator.

District 17

Guy DeVincenzo: For the last four months during my campaign, I’ve spoken to hundreds of residents about the important issues facing our community: stabilizing taxes, stopping wasteful spending, creating economic development, protecting open space, road safety and reviewing the wisdom of the proposed sale of Rockland County’s Summit Park Hospital. These issues can relate to both local and county levels.

Our county and our community also needs and strives on small businesses.  Our region continues to struggle under the pressure of a weak demand and sluggish sales.  Corporate profits may be at a record high, but businesses on Main Street are struggling. Consumers of small business services and products, you can say, are on strike. They’re under water on their mortgages, they’re uncertain about their job security, they’re juggling higher gas and food prices and their health insurance premiums are still rising.  The fact is that our consumers are strapped or skittish and they’re not spending money in our local small businesses.

We need to declare a cease fire on the private sector.  Small businesses need lower taxes, fewer regulations, cheaper energy and affordable health plan.  Words don’t create jobs, pro-growth policies create jobs and that is why this county needs to reverse this trend.  We need to take a page from Orangetown Supervisor’s playbook of hanging out the ‘€œopen for business sign’€ at the gateways of our community.  A welcome mat has been rolled out for small and large business.  Supervisor Paul Whalen and his team are creating an express lane for small and mid- size businesses to relocate here and bring new jobs to our community and to Rockland County. I believe people are the key to turning this local economy around. Government on all levels must listen to the people.

Please vote for me for County Legislator on November 8.

Nancy Low-Hogan

 

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