Fighting for Taxpayers

Andy knows that though the economy is improving, town taxpayers still face property tax bills that are among the highest in the nation. That’s why he has kept town spending in check, taken a hard line against escalating, unsustainable labor costs, and fought successfully to end the town subsidy of the money-losing Broadacres Golf Course. Broadacres is now run by a private management company, Applied Golf, the Town has saved money, and the agreement involves shared risk so the Town is buffered from future losses. Thanks to Andy’s careful management of the town’s finances, Orangetown’s budgets for 2013, 2014 and 2015 all came in under New York State’s 2% tax cap and in some cases included less spending than the year before. For 2016, Andy’s proposed budget includes a 2.2% property tax cut!

Andy has also:

  • Opposed County Government’s attempt to push Rockland’s budget problems onto Orangetown. Specifically, he opposes the shifting of RCC tuition costs and Board of Elections costs, usually paid for by the County, onto the five towns.
  • Increased town grant writing to bring in additional funds from outside sources so taxpayers pay less, such as a $1.9 million state grant for new sidewalks in Pearl River and funds for new sidewalks in Palisades, a bike path in Blauvelt, and new equipment to fix the town’s aging sewer treatment sludge press.
  • Fought against outrageous rate increase demands by O&R and United Water.
  • Led the effort to eliminate the Receiver of Taxes position and consolidate this position into the Town Clerk’s, to take place at the end of the current Receiver’s four-year term.
  • Ensured that Orangetown was the first town in Rockland to receive Federal funds from FEMA to help recover from Superstorm Sandy

Economic Development

Under Andy’s leadership, Orangetown’s economy is growing, and the town is attracting new businesses to stabilize our tax base and create local jobs. After years of delay, the first part of Orangeburg Commons was completed in 2013, including the opening of the Stop & Shop supermarket and Marriott hotel. Andy led efforts to open the Bloomberg and the Ramland Road datacenters, and supports these low-impact, high tax-paying commercial developments.

Andy knows that economic development must not come at the expense of our quality of life. He rejected attempts to “downzone” residential land in Blauvelt for an industrial project that belonged elsewhere, and he opposed the controversial Anellotech and “Hillside” projects in Pearl River. He has given the public has easy access to all relevant documents from these applications on the town’s website.

Protecting Our Quality of Life

Andy has stood up to protect and improve on the high quality of life that Orangetown residents enjoy:

  • Led successful fight against United Water’s expensive and problematic desalination plant proposal and associated extreme rate hikes — he sponsored a town resolution against the desal plant, hosted a public hearing about the desal plant, and is now a  member of the Rockland County Taskforce on Sustainable Water Resources Management where he co-chairs the Drought Committee. Nobody wants to drink over-priced Hudson River water.
  • Stood up against controversial Anellotech project–the risk to public health is not worth the small increase in jobs and taxes.
  • Approved Route 303 safety and design improvements funded by New York State. Construction is now underway to make the Erie St. intersection safer.
  • Led efforts to address impacts of new Tappan Zee Bridge on traffic, drainage,and pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
  • Pushed for the completion of state-funded Joseph Clarke Rail Trail, a safe and beautiful biking & walking path connecting Blauvelt, Orangeburg, Sparkill, Tappan, Piermont, Grandview, South Nyack, and Nyack.
  • Protected the character of our community by enforcing town building and property maintenance codes and opposing new high density housing. He helped get an abandoned house demolished in Sparkill and has supported the Town Board approval of mandatory property maintenance at certain derelict properties.
  • Preserved land for a recreational trail and waterfront park along Lake Tappan at Rockland Psych Center property.
  • Supported the installation of new sidewalks in Palisades, Sparkill and Tappan, and obtained NYS funding for a massive sidewalk project on Middletown Rd. in Pearl River from Shoprite north towards Route 304.
  • Funded sewer upgrades in Nyack and Piermont to prevent overflows and odors and protect water quality in the Hudson River, Piermont Marsh and Sparkill Creek.
  • Joined many other elected leaders in lobbying for passage of vitally needed state legislation establishing a monitor to oversee the troubled East Ramapo School District.

Government Transparency

Andy is breaking new ground in making Orangetown’s government more open and accessible. He installed TV broadcasting capability in town hall so that residents can watch town board meetings on local-access TV and even view them archived on the Town’s YouTube channel.  He expanded the annual Orangetown Open House so that residents can get a behind-the-scenes look at how their government operates and he has led tours of the sewer treatment plant, Green Infrastructure in the Sparkill Watershed and Orangetown’s military history. Through informal “Q&A” sessions on matters such as the town budget and the redevelopment of the Rockland Psychiatric Center site, frequent appearances at senior clubs and other community organizations, and providing frequent updates to local media, such as his weekly appearance on WRCR radio (Wednesdays at 8:45 AM), Andy shares the important information you need to have in order to participate in decisions impacting your quality of life and property values. He posted all relevant documents about the controversial Anellotech and Hillside building proposals to the Town website to make it possible for town residents to review these applications.