NEW CITY – The Rockland County Legislature opened the new year with the swearing in its newest member and appointing members for various leadership posts.
New City Republican Lon Hofstein was sworn in by Judge Scott Ugell, replacing Democrat Barry Kantrowitz. Kantrowitz was appointed by the Legislature to replace Ed Day, who vacated the seat to make his successful run for County Executive, but was defeated by Hofstein at the ballot box in the 2014 general elections.
Speaking to the legislature after his formal installment, Hofstein stressed a need for bipartisanship on issues such as high taxes and livability in the county and pledged to keep an open mind to all possible solutions while avoiding partisan bickering.
“We need to work together as a unified team to work for the benefit of our county,” Hofstein said.
Prior to his election to county office, Hofstein, a 25 year New City resident, ran a successful accounting firm in NYC and served as the president of the New City Little League for 11 years. Before that, he was a Bronx native who grew up in the Sedgwick Housing Projects, went to NYC public schools and graduated from Baruch College.
Other major posts in the legislature were filled as well. Legislator Alden Wolfe was voted into the post of Chairperson and Jay Hood was voted into the post of Vice Chairperson. Legislator Aron Wieder was approved as majority leader for the Democrats and chose Legislator Toney Earl as his Deputy, while Legislator Christopher Carey was approved as minority leader and chose the newly-elected Hofstein as his Deputy.
Wolfe’s approval vote was almost unanimous, with the sole nay vote coming from Legislator Joseph Meyers. The relationship between Meyers and Wolfe has become increasingly chilly since Meyers’ recent removal from the Democratic caucus, a decision he attributed to his support for Day’s unsuccessful budget cuts. Wolfe has maintained Meyers has chosen to caucus with Republicans rather than Democrats and was booted for a failure to participate in his own party.
In other appointments, Laurence O’Toole was approved for his longtime post as Legislative Clerk, with Mary Widmer serving as his deputy. Official papers and supplemental publications were also designated for the County, with the Rockland County Times once again making the list of official publications.