BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Everyone should feel as lucky as Stony Point Supervisor Geoff Finn. The leader of town government says after a month and a half on the job he has “the best job in the world.”
“I love my work…I couldn’t ask for a better job,” Finn said of his being a full-time public servant for the first time in his life. Finn, a part-time councilman since 2006, previously made most of his living owning and managing a pizzeria and renting out properties. Now his wife will take care of his pizzeria in Orangeburg, while he works full-time as town supervisor.
Finn might like the work, but his happiness will not last unless Stony Point’s economic fortunes get a boost. Finn sits in his office, decorated with portraits of President John F. Kennedy, thinking of how to attract new business to the town.
“This town needs ratables,” he said. “I have had probably 10 meetings with businesses looking at Stony Point and people who wanted to talk to the new supervisor.”
Finn is hoping that business will come to replace Lovett’s power station, Tilcon’s closed plant and that Gypsum reopens their temporarily closed plant.
One property that’s been an eyesore is the old Stop & Shop shopping center owned by Gator Investments. A Rite-Aid is still open there, but the largely vacant storefront and decrepit parking lot taunts locals and reminds passerby’s of the weak economy. He would not give details, but Finn said there is reason to hopeful that the property will finally see some improvement. “We need a high-end tenant. I would love to see some kind of retail there,” he said.
Other prospective projects include companies interested in a new industrial park zoned on Holt Drive.
Developing the Patriot Hills properties remains ever the priority, though Finn noted that it would only make sense to sell the property as part of a package including the golf course, while ensuring the golf course maintains a lower rate for membership by Stony Point residents. If you are a resident who has some ideas of their own, Finn said he is open to hear from you. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or try calling Town Hall at 845-786-2716.
Under Finn’s watch special counsel Dennis Lynch of Feerick, Lynch & McCartney remains the town’s go-to man on legal issues, despite a protracted battle by former Supervisor William Sherwood to remove him from the political mix in the town. Though critics in Stony Point and throughout Rockland commonly say that Lynch has a swami-like power over Finn, the supervisor says that’s a ludicrous notion.
“In my opinion we have a great firm over there representing Stony Point’s interests,” Finn said.
Finn also has a promise to Stony Pointers— the pool will be open on time this year. Last year, of course, swimmers missed most of the season due to unexpected filtration issues.
“A lot of money was sunk into that pool last year. It won’t happen this year. The first thing we did, we sat and made sure that’s going to be ready to go. We need to replace some pipes and concrete, but it will be ready,” Finn guaranteed.
Finn has some good news to deliver to Stony Pointers. Thanks to Old Man Winter taking the season off, the town has saved a lot of money alloted for snowplowing and has been able to go ahead and complete recovery work from areas devastated by the Hurricane Irene floods. “I’m very excited it’s not snowing. I know I’m saving money right there. And due to the mild weather they’ve been able to restore Lowland Park,” Finn said.
Finn is also optimistic because he likes what he sees from the town board. “Right now the town board is the best it’s been in my six years. Everyone is talking to each other. We’re on top of everything and informed about the monthly agendas,” he said.
He’s also been impressed with the attitude of his town workers. “It’s teamwork,” he said. “Everyone here cares about the town, it’s not like a corporation. I can relate to the employees, I am not a dictator.”
The town’s long-stalled Master Plan should be coming back up to the forefront soon, Finn said. It’s been five years in the works, however not much has been done in the last few years. Asked if he is already thinking of ways to cut spending due to the 2 percent tax cap limit, Finn said he hasn’t really had a chance to get into that yet, but will before budget season comes around later this year.