ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES
Don’t let Election Day (Tuesday, November 5) fly under the radar this year. Come January, Rockland County will swear in a new county executive for the first time in 20 years. Unfortunately, the current executive C. Scott Vanderhoef leaves behind a county with a weak bond rating, a deficit of over $100 million and a political and social fabric that is increasingly discomforting.
In order to change course and improve the situation, we believe Legislator Ed Day (R) offers the best ideas and the proven leadership skills. In addition to serving as a legislator, Day has commanded hundreds of men in the NYPD and Baltimore police departments and has been a successful executive in private security. He has raised two sons that have become war heroes and exemplary citizens.
We credit his opponent David Fried (D), a former legislator and Spring Valley village justice, as being a likable elected official with a natural inclination toward public service, however, he also represents the status quo. The leadership to turn Rockland’s finances around and to reform Rockland County is clearly coming from Legislator Ed Day’s campaign.
We also believe Fried has shown poor judgement in who he surrounds himself with on many occasions, including his association with corrupt developer Moses Stern in 2006. According to his own Democratic supporters, Fried ran his campaign out of Stern’s office. It was learned that in the past few years, Fried also accepted office space from a local property owner considered by most to be a slum lord. These are not career-ending mistakes. Fried is a young man and has time to improve his judgement of character, but we believe at this time his opponent is better prepared to lead the county. By contrast, Legislator Day has not been tainted with any questionable associations.
While serving in the County Legislature, Day has been ahead of the curve on many important issues. He, along with only two or three other legislators, began ringing the warning bells about the county’s growing deficit back in 2009. If their warnings were heeded, the county’s financial issues would be under control by now.
Day has promised to implement zero-based budgeting and to attack wasteful spending that is a byproduct of the political system. He has said he will implement sound advice from the governmental think tank Pattern-for-Progress, regarding proper annual budget practices, ceasing the habit of overestimating and assuming revenues.
He has attacked the deficiency Rockland County receives from the MTA and promised to seek withdrawal from the authority if nothing is done to remedy the situation. According to Rockland County Times analysis, if Rockland County had left the MTA in 1988 as it had an opportunity to do, the county would have saved close to $1 billion in lost taxes over the past 25 years. The MTA levies nine separate taxes on Rockland County residents, including the payroll tax implemented in 2010.
Legislator Day also has promised that under his administration the county will assume leadership on issues such as overdevelopment, favoritism and the chaos in the East Ramapo School District. Though the county is not necessarily chartered to handle every problem that arises within its borders, Day has the right idea when he says that greater leadership can be asserted. If the leader leads, solutions tend to follow.
All in all, Day has the makings of a fine executive and Rocklanders should not miss out on the opportunity to vote for him. He also has promised to implement two-term limits on the executive position. Day said if he cannot accomplish what needs to done in eight years, something is wrong with the picture. We like his attitude and believe he can restore some sanity to Rockland County.