Orangetown Council, Democratic ticket

Heather Hurley, Democratic candidate for Orangetown Council (also appearing on Green, Orangetown First and Women’s Equality lines) 

BIO

I have lived in Orangetown for the last eight years. I am the mother of a teenager, a community advocate since 2014, and a small business owner.

I became involved in Orangetown civics when an application to experimentally manufacture carcinogens with unverified and undocumented quantities and emissions, situated in a residential area between Pearl River and Nanuet, came before the Orangetown Land Use Boards. I am the co-founder of two grassroots movements, Stop Anellotech and Clean Air for Orangetown. Both groups are community-based, with the intent on advocating for community health and quality of life issues, and to disseminate factual information surrounding certain environmental issues that had, and continue to be, facing our town.

Clean Air for Orangetown is a town-wide advocacy group which was created to bring an end to the continuous noxious odors being emitted from a plastic bag manufacturing facility into the surrounding neighborhoods. I have continuously spoken out since 2014 on various town issues during public comment portions at town meetings, I have attended several Countywide panels including the NYS Shared Services Initiative panels, participated in NYSERDA sponsored Land Use courses presented by Pace University, and have presented in front of the Rockland County Legislature and the Planning and Public Works Committee. I saw the need for a voice to represent the community on the Town Council, and that is a prime reason why I stepped up to run.

RESUME

I am a SUNY Purchase graduate. Most of my career has been in the television and film industry where I served as a Casting Director and Associate Casting Director on award winning films at the Sundance Film and Tribeca Film Festivals. I also worked for many years on one of the Law & Order television programs. I also have event management and design experience, and have worked as such on events as large as the Super Bowl in 2014 (NJ). I have volunteered extensively within the Pearl River School District serving as Class Parent and PTA Chairperson on several committees, and have volunteered with the Girl Scouts and Literacy Volunteers of America.

ENDORSEMENTS 

Rockland Women’s Political Caucus, Rockland United, Clean Air for Orangetown.

PLATFORM PLANKS

  • Community Quality of Life issues focusing on strengthening the Building Department and Town Code while addressing new technologies and performance standards.
  • Myriad of overdevelopment issues and how they impact quality of life, economic development, natural resources and town services.
  • Economic development and retaining local control over economic development decisions being made at the state level. I would like to create an Orangetown Economic Development Committee made up of local business owners to address some of these issues, and how to encourage small business in Orangetown.
  • Development of Lot 1 at Rockland Psychiatric Center. I feel that this would best serve the entire community of Orangetown if it became a passive park, complete with walking trail along the reservoir, with the possibility of a dog park. I think the Town should take the lead in actively pursuing projects on the campus such as a Community Center which could serve our senior citizen and teen communities. This town has the need for it, and has had the need for years, and I would like to explore ways in which to try and make it happen. I would also advocate for ideas for the possibility of a small amphitheater within that property for town wide events and performances.
  • Expansion of the D.A.R.E. program, or similar program to the high school level students. I believe it is our duty to further educate beyond the 7th graders of this town the dangers of substance addiction and dependency. I believe it can be an effective tool to prepare students for life experiences, especially in the critical teenage years.

TOP PRIORITY DAY ONE
Is to ban the manufacturing of carcinogens, such as benzene, and other harmful chemicals in the Town of Orangetown. The public has spoken over the last three years as to how they want Orangetown to move forward, and I have heard loud and clear that bringing chemical companies to manufacture here is not the Orangetown that the residents want to live in. I pledge to listen to the concerns and comments from the community and work towards achieving those goals

LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Residents have witnessed my leadership skills first-hand over the last three years. I have led the fight to defeat a chemical biorefinery (which had funding from the US Department of Energy and other large investors) from expanding in a residential community. I am not afraid to stand up for what I, and my community, feel is not right for our town. The community needs a real voice to represent all people in town government, and it is my opinion that that has been lacking for several years with the incumbents sitting on the Town Board. I will advocate for local control, and will keep my community informed and involved in town meetings and issues.

I have organized thousands of people through social media to become interested and involved, and have organized meetings on town issues with record numbers of attendees. I have advocated for all land use board meetings to be televised, and am proud to know that my advocacy led to Orangetown Planning Board meetings were moved to Town Hall as of last year. I have advocated for an amendment to ban the manufacturing of benzene, toluene, and xylene in the Town of Orangetown, presented the town with documents on how to address this, and two years later, no amendment has been passed, leaving the Town of Orangetown vulnerable to future toxic applications. I will fight for all residents. I will not rush to judgement.

I will listen to all sides on issues facing the town, and I will respect the rights of Orangetown residents to voice their concerns or disapprovals. I will be respectful to fellow Town Board members, regardless of party affiliation. I wll make informed decisions on appointees to town positions and land use boards, and will advocate for the most qualified of individuals to fill those seats. I will always keep the Orangetown residents first and foremost when making any decision impacting our town. The residents of Orangetown deserve nothing less. My experience brings a different perspective to town government, and I will greatly appreciate the support of Orangetown residents on November 7.

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Allan Ryff, Democratic candidate for Orangetown Council

BIO 

In January 2012 Supervisor Andy Stewart recruited me to join him and serve as our to   Deputy Supervisor, a volunteer position. As a lifelong resident of Tappan, retired corporate executive and former councilman, I viewed it as a way to continue four decades of service to the town beginning in the late 1980’s with my appointed to Orangetown’s Affordable Housing Committee resulting in the construction of the Cortwood Village, senior housing complex. Together, Andy and I accomplished more than we ever thought possible ranging from the recent completion of the JPM Chase data center at RPC – a 48 million dollar transaction – to placing our golf courses under private management saving taxpayers millions and drafting Orangetown’s No Knock Law, which the town council approved, and there is much more.

RESUME

  • Lifelong resident of Orangetown, raised and lives in Tappan;
  • Attended Tappan Grammar School and Albertus Magnus H.S.;
  • Graduated from Fordham University – played Rugby;
  • Holds Masters Degrees from the University of Delaware, Fairfield University and was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Hagley Fellow at the Eleutherian-Mills Hagley Foundation;
  • Over four decades of public / private sector experience in Human Services and Corporate Real Estate Management. These include Administrator, Bergen County, NJ Dept. of Family Guidance and Director, Corporate Real Estate for A&P, Waldbaums, Pathmark Supermarket chain;
  • Appointed to the NJ Supreme Court Youth Services Commission and went on to receive a U.S. Department of Justice Special Recognition Award in Juvenile Delinquency Prevention;
  • Named Gold Medal Performer ”Fiscal Contributions” by the A&P Supermarket chain;
  • Longtime member of the Sierra Club and Ancient order of Hibernians;
  • Appointed Deputy Supervisor by Andy Stewart -2012 – Present, a volunteer position;
  • Chairs Orangetown’s Labor Management Committee; Supervisor’s Committee Tappan / Palisades Historic District Code Review (Strengthen Town Code in historic districts); Liaison – Orangetown                                                                                                                                                                                        Board of Ethics.

ENDORSEMENTS: I have not been endorsed by any special interests and unlike my Republican opponents have not accepted money from entities doing business with the town. I prefer to be endorsed by the electorate.

PLATFORM

  • Support the strengthening of the Building Department giving the new director the staff and tools she needs to bring the department into the 21st century and prioritize enforcement;
  • Authorize a review of the town’s codes, which are antiquated and require an updating;
  • Strengthen our Parks and Recreation programs promoting the RPC lands (35 acres) along Lake Tappan for passive recreation in the center of town to include a lake side walking path, dog park, a multi-purpose butler building for seniors / youth and town-wide events – a mini Central Park;.
  • Review and update the current Master Plan to provide buffers between residential and commercial properties;
  • Attract new industry that is appropriate and non-toxic in nature.


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