Hometown Happenings: Doing More with Less

With George Hoehmann, Supervisor, Town of Clarkstown

When I took office, I made a number of promises to the residents of Clarkstown, one of them being to reduce property taxes. And for the first time in 30 years, I’m proud that we were able to cut both residential and commercial property taxes. I also promised a more muscular approach to our zoning and code enforcement to protect from overdevelopment and my administration has delivered by adding more code enforcement and fire inspectors. Fines are up and so is the number of violators being brought to court. Lastly, I promised to look for efficiencies so that government would do more with less.

No where is that more evident than in our Recreation and Parks Department.

As long as anyone can remember, Clarkstown has been hosting a free summer concert series. It started at Germonds Park in the 1970s and has been a popular town event ever since. Residents come with beach chairs and blankets to enjoy a nice summer evening with their family and friends. I remember when my kids were little, gathering them up and heading over to Germonds to enjoy some music and fun. My wife and I would enjoy listening to the bands, while the children ran around the grass and played with their friends. We have such fond memories of this family pastime.

I’m proud that we continue this town tradition for nearly 40 years—providing residents an opportunity to come together and enjoy each other’s company, with some great music in a natural park setting. The program has expanded over the years and is now offered not only at Germonds Park, but at our various hamlet parks as well, such as Congers Station Park and the West Nyack Hamlet Green. We offer all kinds of bands from the 60s, 70s, 80s, to rock, funk, and reggae bands.

This year, with the partnership of some local sponsors, we were able to make the concert series even bigger and better! We secured some big-name bands including the popular Jersey Shore band called “The Nerds.”

We always kick off the series at our Independence Day celebration at Nanuet High School. This summer, we had a Beatles tribute band and over 8,000 residents attended to listen to the music and watch our spectacular fireworks display. We had all fantastic bands and genres of music this year. Many of you may recognize the “Mighty Spectrum Band” who also plays at street fairs and other venues around the county. We also had “Alive N Kickin’,” “The Ronald Reagans,” “The Cameos,” “Country Fresh,” “Slick Trixie Band” and “No Discipline.”

Thank you to our new Recreation Superintendent, Elaine Apfelbaum, and her staff, for organizing and coordinating such a successful summer concert series this year.

The summer concert series provides free fun for all ages, from children to seniors. A place for everyone to unplug from their iPads and phones and just enjoy some music as the sun goes down in our beautiful parks. My wife and I certainly enjoyed all the concerts this year, as did many residents.

Doing more with less will not just be confined to the summer. We’re looking to extend our farmers’ market well into the fall by moving it indoors. And this winter, we’re planning a festive Winter Wonderland around Congers Lake that I’m sure will be a highlight of the season. Stay tuned!