BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Stony Point’s incumbent supervisor has decided to call it quits after only two two-year terms in office, in spite of likely facing a free ride in November’s election due to his high popularity.
Democrat Geoff Finn told the Rockland County Times that after 10 years in government and four years as supervisor he’s “tired” and “beaten” and it’s time for him to focus on his family first.
“I’m doing this for myself, you can call it selfish if you want…I love my town, but I need to start thinking about my family,” Finn said.
Finn, who is only in his mid-40s, assured the public that he is not physically ill, though, he quipped, “sometimes 10 years in [politics] can make you sick.”
Finn began informing friends, family, employees and political players close to him of his decision two weeks ago, he said, and he faced considerable efforts to persuade him to stay.
Finn would not single any particular adversary or issue out as sparking his decision to leave, but repeatedly implied he was frustrated by politics. “It’s not supposed to be about politics. A lot of people get into these positions and make it about politics,” he said.
During Finn’s term the town made progress on several projects, including setting the stage for development at Letchworth Village, helping along a potential waterfront development project and moving forward a possible $600 million gasification plant on Holt Dr. The town also kept residential tax hikes below the 2 percent tax cap every year of Finn’s regime, albeit with the help of selling revenue-producing cell phone towers in 2013. During his entire tenure as supervisor, Democrat Finn was coupled with a Republican-majority board, including a 4-1 board since January 2014.
Finn first won a position on the Stony Point Town Board in 2005 and then became supervisor in 2011, defeating Republican William Sherwood by double digits. In 2013 he defeated Rockland County Times publisher Dylan Skriloff 64 – 36 percent. As of last week, he was unlikely to face a challenge in this year’s election.
Being supervisor was a dream for Finn, whose father had been a Stony Point councilman decades prior. Finn said he had his eyes on the position ever since entering government in 2005. He admitted that he envisioned staying longer than four years when he first entered office, but remarked that the town is in good shape for his successor and he feels comfortable leaving.
Finn’s family has lived in Stony Point for several generations and his popularity as a local official was boosted by his personal relationships with hundreds of families within the town. He said he plans to remain a resident of Stony Point.
Finn made over $80,000 per year as supervisor, but said, “I can always find ways to make money. I’m a businessman.”
New York State politicians gain pensions after 10 years of service, which is how long Finn will have served upon leaving office January 1.
Finn offered special thanks to his staff at town hall and said he was very proud of “high staff morale.”
The field for supervisor is wide open and Finn predicts “there will probably be a long line.” He was noncommittal about endorsing a possible successor. “It depends on who runs,” he said.
Finn said he plans to relax for a few months after leaving office, but admitted that it’s possible he’d be drawn back to politics in the future, especially if he saw the town going in a direction he did not like. The departing supervisor noted he still has eight months left in his term and he plans to work hard until the finish line.
READ MORE IN THURSDAY’S PRINT EDITION OF THE ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES