HOMETOWN HAPPENINGS: Redefining In(Sain)ity

By Supervisor George Hoehmann

The classic, unattributed quote defining insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In the case of the Rockland County Legislature’s recalcitrance on the Sain Building, it should be amended to read that insanity “is failing to do something very obviously beneficial to the people of Rockland County and Clarkstown over and over again.”

On Tuesday evening, the Clarkstown Town Board unanimously supported a resolution urging the County Legislature to move quickly on selling the Sain property to benefit the people of Clarkstown and the Hamlet of New City. At the same time that night, the Rockland County Legislature was killing a resolution that would have started the process of getting the building sold.

Quite a contrast in styles.

Let me quickly remind you of some basic facts: The Sain building is owned by the County of Rockland. I’m sure you’ve driven past the unflattering, unwelcoming and dilapidated building a number of times by now. Due to health and safety concerns, the building is now completely vacant and very unlikely to be rehabilitated.

A company has twice offered to buy the Sain Building for $4.5 million dollars and develop an assisted living facility on the property. The benefits of this sale are obvious for county taxpayers. It would help cut the county deficit by around 40%. The benefits to Clarkstown residents? It would put the property back on our tax rolls and increase the town and school district’s tax revenue by up to $500,000.

What disappointed me and the members of the Town Board most was learning that two Legislators who represent portions of Clarkstown voted to kill any chance of the Sain Building being sold in the near future. The Sain Building has become a classic political football, with opponents of the sale playing to take time off the clock with no clear goal in mind. Guess who is losing in this game? Clarkstown taxpayers.

The Clarkstown Town Board stood united on Tuesday night. Lend your voice. Let these Legislators know what you think:

Represents Clarkstown: Harriet D. Cornell, 845-638-5753
Represents Clarkstown: Nancy Low-Hogan, 845-638-5751
Toney L. Earl, 845-638-5754
Ilan S. Schoenberger, 845-638-5754
Alden H. Wolfe, 845-638-5269
Phillip Soskin, 845-638-5753