CANDIDATES PROFILE — TOWN OF RAMAPO SUPERVISOR — SPECHT vs WEBER

Michael Specht, Candidate for Ramapo Supervisor (Democratic Party)

BIO

I’ve lived and raised my family in Suffern for almost 25 years. A former prosecutor, I began my legal career in 1990 trying cases for the Rockland County District Attorney’s office. I now run a Nanuet-based firm that represents small businesses, families, and individuals. I have also served as a part-time Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Ramapo, where I gained two decades of insight into the challenges facing the Town and the changes that need to be made to create a Ramapo that is safer, cleaner and more open for all.

Rather than point fingers and promote divisiveness, I have built my career and this campaign on finding common sense solutions to the problems facing Ramapo. I grew up in Rockland County, graduating from North Rockland High School.

RESUME

After graduating from North Rockland High School, I earned a Bachelor’s in History from Cornell University, and a law degree from Albany Law School of Union University. I was admitted to the bar in 1990 and have been practicing law in good standing ever since.

ENDORSEMENTS

Rockland County Central Labor Council

CSEA

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Rockland County

The Rockland Review

PLATFORM PLANKS/TOP PRIORITY

My top priority is to bring Ramapo together so we can work across communities to solve our problems together. For too long, public discourse in Ramapo has been dominated by those who seek to divide us.

Here are the key planks of my platform:

First, we must work together to pass sensible reforms that will promote sustainable, safe and sensitive development. Ramapo is growing. We must learn to work more effectively together. That starts with a thorough review of our Comprehensive Land Use Plan that fully engages the public.

Second, we must reduce our town taxes while maintaining the quality of life issues that are so important to all of us. That is why I am committed to cutting Town taxes by 13 percent over the next two years.

Third, we need a complete overhaul of the Department of Building, Planning and Zoning. It is sad but true that many people believe it is easier to seek forgiveness instead of permission. Not on my watch. We will make sure the price of breaking the law is always higher than the cost of obeying it.

Fourth, elimination of the temporary modular law and reforming our school approval process will allow us to accommodate the need for schools without sacrificing safety and neighborhood character.

Why should voters believe you have the leadership qualities necessary to achieve your goals?

The elections this November present an opportunity for Ramapo to turn the page. If we are going to build one Ramapo for All our citizen, we need new leaders who will end the finger pointing, scapegoating and attacks against various parts of our community. It is not enough to complain about the problems we face. For too long, public discourse in Ramapo has been dominated by those who seek to divide us. Real leadership means working in an open and transparent way to identify meaningful solutions to the problems we face.

Contrast vs. Opponent

Having never run for or held elected office, I offer a fresh start for Ramapo. But more importantly, you don’t have to guess what I will do as supervisor. On the first day of my campaign, we released a detailed platform outlining my agenda. That is a big reason why CSEA, the Rockland County Central Labor Council, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Rockland County and the Rockland Review all endorsed my campaign.

My opponent still hasn’t posted his platform on his website. He refuses to tell you what he’ll do with your money. This is a pattern with him. He’s a divisive figure who complains a lot without offering solutions. He complains about the ballpark, but won’t say what he’ll do with it and — as the CFO of Turco Golf — personally benefited from the millions of tax dollars that built it.

He complains about openness and transparency, but has failed to file legally required ethics forms in this or any of his earlier failed campaigns. Complaints won’t fix Ramapo. I look forward to bringing this town together around solutions that will make Ramapo safer, cleaner and more open for all.

 

 

Bill Weber, Candidate for Ramapo Supervisor (Republican, Green, Reform & Ramapo New Direction)

BIO

My name is Bill Weber and I am running for Ramapo Supervisor. I am a Certified Public Accountant since 1994 and have been the CFO of a local small business, with over 130 employees, for the last 17 years. I am the proud father of four children and have been married to my wife Lee for 16 years. I am a lifelong resident of Rockland County, born and raised in Pearl River and a resident in the Village of Montebello since 2007. I became actively involved in Ramapo politics when I began seeing the town experiencing financial distress. I knew at that point that I wanted to run for office to utilize my experience to fix the those problems.

 

RESUME

  • BBA in Public Accountancy, Spring 1991, Pace University, Pleasantville, New York
  • Turco Enterprises – Chief Financial Officer – Suffern/Pompton Lakes – 08/00 – Present
  • KHN&H, CPA’s (Grassi & Co) – Certified Public Accountant – New City –   5/91 – 08/00
  • Private Practice – Certified Public Accountant – Montebello – 05/07 – Present
  • Mental Health Association of Rockland – Member of Board of Directors
  • Boy Scouts Pack #94 – Assistant Pack Leader
  • Rockland County/Ramapo Republican Committee – Executive Committee Members
  • Ramapo Town Council – current candidate for Ramapo Supervisor; previous candidate Town Council
  • Member of AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)

ENDORSEMENTS

County legislators Charles Falciglia, Lon Hofstein and Chris Carey.

Supervisor George Hoehmann (Clarkstown)

Mayors Lance Millman (Montebello), Phil Gigante (Airmont), Ed Markunas (Suffern), Pete Akey (Sloatsburg), Craig Flanagan (Hillburn), Demeza Delhomme (Spring Valley), Bret Yagel (Pomona)

Trustees Peter Blunnie (Airmont), Kevin Warbrick (Airmont), Anthony Valvo (Airmont), Paul Marchesani (Airmont), Frank Hagen (Suffern), Moira Hertzman (Suffern), Joseph Russo (Suffern), Emilia White (Spring Valley)

PLATFORM PLANKS

My main platform items are fiscal responsibility, sustainable development, transparency, and unity.

What is the top priority you will tackle day one in office?

My top priority upon taking office will be to get the fiscal house of Ramapo in order. The town hasn’t filed financial statements since 2014, has seen its bond rating deteriorate to near junk bond status, huge taxes increases, and staggering negative fund balances. I want to get all of these items under control so that taxes can level off and give the residents a sense of security that the town they love will not go off the fiscal cliff.

Why should voters believe you have the leadership qualities necessary to achieve your goals?

I am running for Ramapo Supervisor because the town has been devoid of independent, competent leadership for far too long. As mentioned earlier, I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Chief Financial Officer. I have the financial acumen to identify and then address the financial issues of the town. My extensive management skills will be useful in running the town and I won’t need on the job training to get started. I have been actively involved in Ramapo politics for many years, running for office, attending Town meetings, studying Ramapo finances and reporting on my findings to the public and various news outlets. I know the problems that exist within Ramapo government and have a detailed platform to fix them

Contrast vs. Opponent

Ramapo needs new leadership from independent competent people from the outside. Ramapo is one of the most fiscally stressed town in the State of New York and my financial background will allow me to hit the ground running on day one, whereas my opponent will need on the job training. Ramapo has a tremendous issue with overdevelopment, and all of the issues that come along with that (traffic, drainage, etc).

My opponent has been the Ramapo zoning attorney for over a decade and has guided the zoning board on decisions that has put us in the issue that we are in today. I will bring in new planning and zoning attorneys who will give the planning and zoning board members the proper legal guidance they need to follow the current and newly enacted town comprehensive plan.

There are still a bunch of bad characters working for the town of Ramapo, namely Michael Klein and Nat Oberman. These people have cost us taxpayers upwards of a million dollars in SEC legal defense fees. The current town leaders are rewarding their bad behavior by allowing them to continue to work for the town and will continue to employee these people. I want to bring in new professionals from all walks of life to help my run this government, people who have no current ties to what if still left of the St Lawrence administration.

Lastly, the town has been divided for so long and has been perpetuated by the St Lawrence administration. I am running on a coalition ticket, with people from all different political, ethnic, and religions. We look like Ramapo today and will unify the town by governing with ALL residents interests in mind.