BY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE DAVID FRIED
As a former Judge in Spring Valley, when making a ruling, it’s critical to know all sides of an issue, to understand and hear people out. Only with all the available information can you make an informed decision, a just decision.
Most importantly, you can’t make assumptions. You can’t take anything for granted. In his just-released 2014 budget, incumbent County Executive Scott Vanderhoef does just that – he assumes too much.
· Assumes the deficit bond: Still awaiting the Governor’s signature, the deficit bond legislation was written before the deficit had ballooned to more than $125 million. Without the Governor’s approval, it is criminally negligent of Scott Vanderhoef and his Republican allies in the legislature to count on the deficit bond being approved and treating it as cash-in-hand.
· Assumes families can afford a 10 percent tax increase: For too long, county government has directly and indirectly raised taxes on working families. Families are being squeezed out of Rockland. Instead of raising taxes, government needs to lead by example – that’s why I’ve pledged to reduce the county executive’s salary 20 percent. It’s why I want to shrink the size of the County Legislature. Rockland doesn’t need more government or less government – we need smarter government. Before government asks people to do more with less, government should do the same.
· Assumes higher revenues: One of the biggest reasons for Rockland’s burgeoning deficit has been its overreliance on pie-in-the-sky revenues. But with businesses leaving because of Rockland’s bleak economic situation, with families moving out because they’ve been taxed out of their homes, and with our economy still struggling, the idea of assuming tax revenues will increase is irresponsible.
Assumptions are what have brought Rockland to the verge of bankruptcy. The assumption of higher tax revenues from one year to the next brought us a $125 million deficit. The assumption families and small businesses could bear more taxes without leaving Rockland brought us the lowest credit rating in New York. And the assumption of the deficit bond’s $96 million is just more of the same – Einstein said it best, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Rockland is desperate for a new direction, for a new generation of leaders to move us forward and give us a fresh start. By making government more efficient, cutting wasteful spending, and government leading by example, together, we’re going to lead Rockland forward.