Rita Louie, Democratic primary candidate for Haverstraw town supervisor

rita001Rita Louie is a trustee on the Village of Pomona board and was the deputy Mayor of the village of Pomona from 2009 through 2013. Rita knows that as taxes rise and the quality of life in Rockland continues to be threatened by over development and destruction of natural resources, a caring voice must be raised for the constituents of north Rockland, which is one of the most environmentally and historically sensitive areas of our county. It is because of this, and other critical factors that Rita Louie is running for the position of Town Supervisor for Haverstraw.

Rita Louie has been active in local community groups, including:

§ The East Ramapo PTA (President)

§ New Holland Village Condominium Association (Board Member)

§ East Ramapo Marching Band Parent’s Association (Vice President)

§ Stage Left Children’s Theater (Production Assistant).

§ Village of Pomona Planning Board. (2002)

§ Elected as Trustee in Pomona in 2007

§ Deputy Mayor, Pomona, 2009-2013

§ Board of the Rockland Municipal Planning Federation, 2nd Vice President

§ My Haiti of Rockland Committee

§ Ms. Louie is a member of the core group of the Cropsey Farm Alliance

§ Ms. Louie is an active member of the Rockland Farm Alliance.

PLATFORM PLANKS

Fairer Taxes:

I will review each and every line item in the budget and identify issues, over-payments, waste, fraud and abuse of the Taxpayer’s money. I will not continue the practice of treating taxpayer money like a personal piggy bank. I will make sure each job is filled with the most qualified applicant, not the person who got the most signatures on a political petition!

Concern for environment:

The Hudson Valley, and specifically, the Haverstraw Bay Area, is one of the most unique and ecologically sensitive areas in New York State. When the land was purchased in 1666 from the local Natives, it was with the understanding that it would be respected and protect for all time. The name of the area was “Haverstroo” meaning Oat Straw because of the vast amount of coastal plants.

Vision for future:

I see Haverstraw as a thriving, historical, lively Town that will attract tourists and visitors and be a hot bed of education and history. We can take the lead in advertising and expanding awareness of the historical value of the Hudson Valley and the Hudson River. We should, this is where much of the settlement and the expansion of industry on the River corridor began.

Honest & open government:

Since the leaders of our town have been in power for so long, they have forgotten what having a Town government is supposed to mean. The reason the Town Supervisor’s term is 2 years, is because the Town is supposed to be run by the Town’s people, not by career politicians.

Cultural diversity & history:

The settlement of immigrants in our town, historically, is very interesting. Currently, we have representatives from dozens of countries around the world. We need to celebrate our cultural diversity, not ignore it. The Latin Day parade & Festival is just a start and, I think, does not go far enough. 65% of our Town is Hispanic, yet there is less than 5% representation of this immigrant group in our local government and police department.

Leadership strengths:

I have 30 years experience in the private sector workforce, in addition to being a community activist, developer, gardener, builder, artist, project manager and mother. My opponent is a career politician with little insight into the real world. I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table that he cannot begin to match, including extensive, real world experience in negotiations, bid documents, contract writing, legal document analysis and construction management.

I do not owe anyone and have never taken money from companies or corporate interests, so we can start with a clean slate where jobs and contracts will go to the best and the brightest, not the ones with the most influence or the one who got the most signatures on a political petition.

If the Town of Haverstraw has any chance of competing with a new and changing world, the leadership needs to change with it. We cannot continue to keep doing the same things year after year and expect a different outcome, while the rest of the river towns move forward into the 21st century and beyond.

Top 2 agenda items:

1. Tax relief: I have already begun to review the budgets from the last 6 years and can find significant savings by eliminating waste, redundancies and abuse. The current administration has given themselves raises in excess of 18% over the last 6 years. I find this unconscionable and will role back these salaries, including my own, to 2006 rates, to begin with.

2. I will review all of the circumstances behind the misguided project to pump Hudson River water into our drinking supply and the Town’s plan to sell off toxic landfill property to United Water, which will put our town in significant jeopardy over the next decade, should there be a problem with the land. I will put together several commissions made up of citizens groups and experts to review ideas and projects to pursue in the first year that will get our Town moving forward.