HOMETOWN HAPPENINGS: Preserving Clarkstown

By George Hoehmann, Supervisor
Town of Clarkstown

Over the last 15 months, I have worked tirelessly to begin righting our fiscal ship and reducing wasteful government spending.  With the Town Board, we reduced spending by over $4 million by cutting salaries and eliminating positions; reduced stipends, merged boards, and ended the take home vehicle policy. Just as important, we are paying down our debt. Last year alone we reduced Clarkstown’s debt by almost $4,000,000. We did this by restructuring debt and paying off more bonds than we have taken out so as not to burden future generations. This era of fiscal responsibility has led to first tax cut in over 30 years.

But the question I’m asked the most as I travel around town is: What is being done to protect and preserve our quality of life?

And we all know why.

We need not look too far beyond our own border to see the ramifications of down zoning and overdevelopment.

That is why on day one I recommended bold initiatives to preserve the suburban character of Clarkstown and began cracking down on illegal housing and overdevelopment.

Last year, the I created the Code Enforcement Unit and increased the number of code enforcement officers as well as fire inspectors. The town hired a veteran prosecutor to lead the effort to enforce our town code and bring violators to justice.

And we are getting results!

In 2016, violations increased by 51% and the number of violators brought to court increased 115% from the year before! We nearly doubled the amount of violations issued and the amount of offenders we have brought to court. We are sending a powerful and clear message: Clarkstown is a great place to live and raise a family and we welcome anyone wishing to move here, but everyone will follow our laws.

We also instituted the No Knock Law to prevent door to door solicitation of our citizens. To date, over 5,000 residents have signed up. Overly aggressive solicitors will not be tolerated and this new local law gives residents a tool to stop solicitors from knocking on their doors.
We also created the rental registry to ensure safe and legal apartments across Clarkstown. If you own a one or two family home within the Town of Clarkstown, you are required to register that property with the Building Department and get a rental permit. The rental registry enhances living conditions and preserves property values.

As long as I am Supervisor, we will continue to protect our quality of life. We will continue to enhance code enforcement with additional code enforcers, expand and enforce the Rental Registry, expand and enforce the No Knock Law, coordinate with local fire departments and the County to identify illegal housing and commence enforcement proceedings.

We will do all we can to protect the safety of our residents and the integrity of our Town.

Together we will preserve the character of our neighborhoods and keep Clarkstown the best place to live and work!