Jim Johnston of NRCSD Says Rockland County Times got Facts Straight

Stony Point supervisor says newspaper was wrong

ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES COMMENTARY

Continuing his election strategy of disparaging the popular weekly newspaper the Rockland County Times and complaining that the editor-in-chief Dylan Skriloff is running for office against him, Stony Point Supervisor Geoff Finn took to social media to cast doubt on the veracity of numbers the Rockland County Times reported in last week’s brief article on North Rockland school tax rates.

Upon learning of the controversy over the numbers in his article, Rockland County Times reporter Michael Riconda assured the Rockland County Times’ editorial board that he correctly reported what the school district announced at last week’s special meeting. However, the Journal News posted entirely different numbers, which Supervisor Finn and Stony Point Tax Assessor Bill Beckman apparently provided, and which the supervisor considers more accurate.

Riconda’s numbers said the average Haverstraw home would receive a $178.43 tax increase, while the average Stony Point home would receive a $36.34 increase. LoHud reported a $385 increase for Haverstraw and a $15 increase for Stony Point.

North Rockland School District Asst. Superintendent James Johnston told the Rockland County Times that Riconda’s reporting was entirely accurate. Johnston said, “A young man came to me and carefully wrote down everything I said. And all the numbers he reported are exactly what I said.”

Mr. Finn seems to have another interpretation of the tax numbers. He has not shared this interpretation with the Rockland County Times, however. At this time the Rockland County Times cannot account for the discrepancy between the report from Mr. Finn and the Journal News vs. the report from the school district that was reported in RCT.

The Journal News does not explain in their article where the numbers came from. The Rockland County Times will continue to investigate the matter.

Over the past several years, the brunt of increases in the school tax burden has shifted each year between Stony Point and Haverstraw, with one town getting a disproportionate bump one year and the other town the next year. Stony Point residents can rest assured that Finn plans to take credit for the low increase in school taxes this year, even though school taxes went up significantly last year