BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Orangetown Democrat Chris Smith believes one way to shrink government costs is to eliminate your own position.
Smith is running for the office of Orangetown receiver of taxes on the plan that he’s the man to help eliminate the position. He is supporting a referendum that residents and town board members are also backing to consolidate the position with the clerk’s office.
Smith said receiver of taxes would probably remain a full-time job for two years before becoming a part-time job and then merging into the clerk’s office. The young “up-and-coming” Democrat noted that in many counties the clerk of the town already is the receiver of taxes and there is no reason Clerk Charlotte Madigan’s office cannot handle it in Orangetown.
In the Town of Clarkstown a similar transition recently happened with a successful result.
There is support for the idea among the Orangetown Town Board, but what longtime receiver of taxes Bob Simon thinks remains to be seen. More on that in a future issue.
Smith explained, “The position of receiver of taxes unnecessarily costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. In these tough economic times hard working Orangetown residents can no longer afford to fund redundant layers of bureaucracy. When I’m elected I’ll eliminate this office by having it absorbed by the town clerk, after voters approve a referendum in this year’s election.”
Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart is supporting Smith and he was among a crew of 50 or so Democrats who attended a fundraiser for the young aspirant held in Pearl River at Kwan Thai Restaurant this past weekend. Such luminaries as former town supervisor Thom Kleiner, Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, Sheriff Louis Falco, Chairwoman Kristen Stavisky, Senator David Carlucci, retired legislator Connie Coker, Clarkstown Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and many others were in attendance.
“I welcome all those who want to put people before politics to join me on the campaign trail, because I cannot do this alone. Together we will continue to make Orangetown a better place to live and raise a family,” Smith said in a statement released prior to the event.
Smith is a public relations professional, has helped run campaigns for local Democrats and is a former president of Rockland County Young Democrats.