Vladimir Leon of Ramapo entered the Rockland County Executive’s race as the fifth challenger and fourth Democrat. Leon, 38, declared his candidacy in early March.
Leon holds a Masters of Science Degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from Binghamton University and an Associate’s Degree in Math and Science, from Rockland Community College. He said he founded a small economic institution (HANBF) and has worked with different groups to foster sustainable development.
Leon said his reasons for joining the race are based on the county’s economic and budget crises. In order for Rockland to emerge from its financial woes, Leon said the new county executive must be someone who can break with old practices. Leon has not been elected to office but has run for the justice positions in the Village of Spring Valley and Town of Ramapo.
In a released statement, Leon said if elected his primary goal would be the promotion and encouragement of “a new transparent, accountable and efficient Rockland through sustainable development.”
His proposal includes setting up a management committee mandated to review all county management operations.
He added, “For continuity, this Committee will further delegate responsibility to sub-committees which will consist of professionals in the concerned field (s) to tackle existing issues and make recommendations as to the best way forward.”
Regarding the county’s deficit, he explained a subcommittee would examine budgetary report and look for ways to “minimize or prevent any further or unnecessary deficit increase.”
He also suggested encouraging joint ventures between private and public sector entities. Leon said a closer working relationship between towns and villages would improve housing, transportation and energy independency. He proposed reduction of taxes including “sales and housing taxes by .39 % for the first two years and even further reduce other taxes such as gas and cell phone taxes” when the economy picks up.
Leon wants green and traditional businesses to establish their headquarters in the county. He is working on a more detailed plan spelling out his ideas and expects to have a web site available soon.
The other Democratic challengers are Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, former Spring Valley Justice David Fried and Suffern Mayor Dagan Lacorte. Legislator Ed Day is the only Republican candidate.