SCHOENBERGER RESPONDS TO POTANOVIC

Re: The Truth About the County’s Capital Project Budget for Parks

Dear Mr. Potanavic,

Thank you for inviting me and my fellow candidates to last night’s debate, and for giving us the opportunity to present our views to an involved public who cares so much about the environmental issues that affect all of us. It was a wonderful chance for us to explain not only our positions on certain important matters, but to show the solutions we offer for the future.

Please accept this letter to correct and clarify the record regarding the capital projects budget for county parks.

One of the candidates misstated the truth about the current county budget. That demonstrates a lack of knowledge of county operations that you and the public should be aware of when evaluating the relative abilities and experience of all the candidates.

Mr. LaCorte repeatedly made the claim that in 2013 the county only budgeted $2,700 for parks in the capital projects budget.  By making this claim, it is clear that Mr. LaCorte does not understand the county budget. As can seen by the link below, $450,000 was budgeted for parks in the capital projects budget and that the county bonded $150,000 for specific projects. The figure that Mr. LaCorte kept throwing around, $2,700, is the balance left after approximately $147,000 of the amount already bonded was spent improving Dutch Gardens Park and Haverstraw Bay Park, not the total amount budgeted for parks capital projects in the 2013 budget. There is another $300,000 available in the capital projects budget for additional work. Anyone wishing to confirm this for themselves need only review the 2013 capital projects budget, available at http://budget.rocklandgov.com/Budget/2013-Adopted-Capital-Budget.pdf, on page 10.

Based on his repetition and reliance on this misstatement of fact last night, I can only assume that Mr. LaCorte, with his limited experience in the Village of Suffern, is simply unaware of how the complex matter of county budget actually works. Since under the County Charter, the County Executive, is the “chief budget officer of the county”  his lack of understanding of the county budget, shows the extent of the learning curve faced by Mr. Lacorte and the time that would have to be spent actually learning how county government and budgeting works. That is time this County and its residents simply can’t afford to lose.

Very truly yours,

Ilan S. Schoenberger