Alex Gromack Addresses Surcharge, New Highway PT Position

Gromack suggested that the civic association invite Clarkstown Town Assessor Cathy Conklin to their next monthly meeting as a guest speaker


With a few controversial Clarkstown items happening recently and Supervisor Alex Gromack on the list of guest speakers, more than 60 people filled the seats at Thursday’s Nanuet Civic Association meeting.

Many were interested in what Gromack had to say about the on school tax bills and the new Highway Department’s , which pays $75,000 a year. Frank Sparaco, a Rockland County legislator, was hired for this position by Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard.

Unfortunately there was not enough time left for many questions from the public so Gromack said that he will return for a later civic meeting to answer the public’s questions.

“Orangetown is looking at a 15 percent tax hike … they’re trying to manage as best as they can, but the numbers aren’t working,” said Gromack. “In the town of Clarkstown, we’ve done some things that have structurally changed government. The last three years, we had a 1.6 percent tax hike, 2011 we had 0 (percent tax hike) and 2012, a 0 (percent tax hike). How did we do it? We reduced our workforce by 15 percent, we consolidated offices … we didn’t rehire (people for certain positions) … Just the other day, we consolidated the town garages … over the next six years, that will be a million-dollar savings.”

He added that these tactics have allowed him and the Clarkstown town board to avoid high tax hikes.

“We need to talk about where we are as a town and a county because that is a fundamental. We are being poorly treated by the county executive,” said Gromack, adding that he and the town board are going to fight Vanderhoef’s policies that hurt towns and schools, but the fight comes at a price.

“We’re going to fight it, but there’s going to be some pain in fighting it,” he said. “(Orangetown Supervisor) Andy Stewart is looking at a 15 percent tax hike. I don’t believe we’re going to be anywhere near that …  For this year, we’re getting a $2 million bill from Scott Vanderhoef that we never had to pay before,” such as towns contributing to Rockland Community College and taking over some of the costs of monitoring mosquito trappings, which is a county responsibility.

Gromack said that decisions made by County Executive Scott Vanderhoef are hurting the towns, which led to Clarkstown’s addition of the 1 percent surcharge as a processing fee to collect school taxes.

Gromack said that the town had been able to collect the taxes without charging a fee for many years and were happy to to do so. In comparison, "Ramapo collected a fee for over 20 years, Haverstraw for 15 years, Orangetown did it last year. We never had to do it, but when the county executive gave us a $2 million bill this year … we said, something’s got to give … so yes, we had to do an assessment to help balance the books. The sad part is, if we collect $1.5 million (from the surcharge) … that money’s going to go right back to Scott Vanderhoef.”

Gromack added that Legislators Ed Day and Chris Carey are two that fight for the towns on the legislature. He also suggested that the civic association invite Clarkstown Town Assessor Cathy Conklin to their next monthly meeting as a guest speaker.


The second concern many had at the meeting was Sparaco’s new part-time position. Unfortunately, Ballard was not present due to a scheduling conflict.

Gromack responded that the appointment was something he and the town board had no control over.

“The appointment of the people in the Highway Department under New York State Law is an appointment solely by the superintendent of highways,” he said. “Mr. Ballard said he will come and will explain it.”

Related Patch Articles:

Mike Hirsch September 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Let's say that replacing the CPD with a state barracks is not a viable option. That leaves cutting the CPD budget as the only way to reduce town expenditures and taxes in this regard. That can be done with a swipe of Alex's pen. I say just do it. Will crime increase in Clarkstown? I doubt it.
INTHEKNOW September 13, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Yep, just call the state police, they will be happy to respond from Tarrytown or Monroe, as the Haverstraw barracks are closed at 11 pm. Aside from you and your band of self important blowhards, most of us have no problem with the CPD. They are a top notch dept. that does more than you will ever know, much more than is reported, and are a well respected dept in the region and beyond.
Mike Hirsch September 13, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I, and I think most of the residents, don't have a problem with the job that the CPD does. They do a good job. The problem that I, and I think most of the residents do have, is that their pay scale and benefit package is out of control and which translates directly to our too high tax burden. Thanks in large part to the work of our group, the CPD operates with 10 fewer officers than it did three years ago. I have not noticed an increase in crime. We have helped save the town $2,000,000/yr on this issue alone. You can thank us for the 0% tax increases that you've seen in your bill for the past three years by sending us a contribution in order that we may continue with our good work. www.clarkstowntaxpayers.com
ELITECZM September 19, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Ya know, every single comment from you, regardless of what the actual article is in reference to somehow has "Brega Transportation" in it. Why is it that you have such a gigantic hard on for this company? Are you just against him running a contract? Are you an employee of one of his competitors trying to slander him? Or is it that you simply believe yourself to be a Transit god (judging by yet more comments.) All I have seen you do is sling Richard Brega's name and business into the mud. Seems like you have a personal agenda against the guy....grow up "william smith". And to answer your rebuttal - no, I am not a "Supporter" of Brega. I just think it is disgusting that you sit here and polute other people with your distastefull, slanderous, childish, and most importantly immature badgering of a Rockland Business man, who by all means seems to be trying to save the county some money.
ELITECZM September 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM
You can drop the caps lock, its not going to do anything but affirm what i mentioned before - immature behavior. I think you missed my entire point - What does Brega have to do with the appointment of an official? Where does this tie in to School tax (wether owed or not)? Get a grip, stop polluting every single article with your singleminded badgering of someone you obviously have a problem with. Wether that problem exists due to personal or professional reasons is irrelevant. Oh, and by the way....he underbid by 7 million, not 5. Drink your coffee and wake up before you make claims of knowledge that you cannot back. Good day sir.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »