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“Election Manipulation Without Representation” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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State Senator James Skoufis tried his best to paint my factual concerns about significant changes to local elections as nothing more than a child’s tantrum. The State Senator dedicated more words to name calling and insults than he did trying to justify this poorly disguised, partisan power grab. The fact is he took away a choice that should ONLY be made by those people affected by the law.  

Local self-determination is a founding principle of this nation and this State. For 250 years, since 1789, the people of Rockland, and their legislators and executives have decided through democratic processes, what years local elected officials are up for election and the length of their terms.  

When Albany – specifically Governor Kathy Hochul and New York State Senator Skoufis and his fellow legislators from New York City and other upstate cities make drastic changes, impacting how county officials are to be chosen rather than letting local voters decide, they are taking that choice away from you. 

Elected officials, me included, serve the public plain and simple. 

What State Senator Skoufis isn’t disclosing is that this was a self-serving decision to disallow the public to weigh in because he stands to gain the most as there are rumblings he is running in the near future for a seat that would benefit from the change. 

The facts are this decision was overwhelmingly decided by New York State Legislators representing New York City, who this does not effect, rather than the upstate counties, towns, and villages who it does. This is election law manipulation without representation is an insult to what democracy stands for.

In the New York State Assembly, excluding representatives for districts outside the City of New York, delegates voted no against this 57 to 34. 

In the New York State Senate, excluding representatives for districts outside the City of New York, delegates voted no against this 22 to 10. 

The total vote on this by representatives outside New York City was 79 against and only 44 in favor.  Why is New York City and Governor Hochul dictating to us when to have our local elections and when our elected official’s terms start and end? 

As for my track record in just 10 years:

  • Dug Rockland out of a $138m deficit and into a surplus.
  • Implemented a 2% county property tax cut, following two years of no tax increase. A huge leap from the double-digit tax increases every year before I took office. 
  • Repealed the Energy Tax, equivalent to an 8.4% County Property Tax cut, saving families $12 million annually. 
  • Transformed this administration from the most fiscally stressed County statewide to one of the strongest. 
  • Launched two college tuition assistance programs for volunteer firefighters and emergency responders.
  • Constructed a new Fire Operations Building. 
  • Still waiving bus fare for riders since the pandemic. 
  • Rehabilitated the Demarest Dam.  
  • Equipped school buses with stop-arm cameras at no cost to families or schools.
  • Preserved 25 acres and counting of open space.
  • Built a new County Highway Garage. 

The list goes on. 

With so many accomplishments under my belt, yes, I stayed longer than originally planned when I ran so I can lock in a few more achievements that would ensure the residents I live and breathe for are in good hands well long after I’m out of office. 

If the State wants to engage in tyranny, depriving us of self-determination, and taking the power to control these local elections from the people and their local officials, the question should be put up for a public referendum in the municipal jurisdictions it impacts. If it passes, then I would concede, because it would truly be what the people decided. 

In his last statement on this matter, State Senator Skoufis said, “let them vote.” If he truly meant that and cared about the will of the people – or their voices – he would sponsor a bill to repeal this law and redraft it to put it up for referendum in the local counties, towns and villages, let the people vote on this change, rather than Albany and New York City. 

* This is a weekly column by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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Government

FBI Warning of Potential Attack County & Towns, Law Enforcement On Alert

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New City, NY – The County of Rockland, along with towns and law enforcement, are on alert following an FBI warning made Thursday to the House of Representatives. During that panel, FBI Bureau Director Christopher Wray said he was increasingly concerned about “the potential for a coordinated attack here [United States] in the homeland, akin to the Isis-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall just a couple weeks ago.”

“As I look back over my career in law enforcement, I would be hard-pressed to think of a time where so many threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at once. But that is the case as I sit here today,” said Wray.

Back in March, 144 people were killed and over 500 injured when four armed gunman stormed a Russian concert hall and open fired before setting fire to the building. The Islamic State group took responsibility for what is the deadliest attack in Russia in two decades.

The County of Rockland along with its municipal partners are on alert following the FBI Warning and urge residents who see something to say something.

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Government

Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Held a Senior Scam Presentation At Atria New City

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Chief Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frawley, Executive Assistant District Attorney Nabeela McLeod, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Joseph Santangelo had the opportunity to meet with seniors from Atria in New City to discuss how to identify a scam call, the most recent scams that are targeting senior citizens, and the best ways to protect yourself and loved ones from scams.
This is an ongoing initiative for District Attorney Tom Walsh and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and we will continue to attend and host these informative presentations across Rockland County.

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