Rockland County Legislator Ed Day officially kicked off his campaign for county executive Tuesday night at the Nyack Seaport, surrounded by colleagues, supporters and family.
Family was a focus throughout the night, both with those who spoke about Day and with Day himself. He was introduced by his oldest son, Christopher Day, an Army veteran. In his speech, Ed Day talked about how Christopher encouraged him to run, telling him “with ability comes responsibility.” Day asked his son where he heard that and Christopher Day told him he said the same thing years earlier to Christopher.
Christopher Day told his father that he had watched him lead over the years whether in law enforcement, as an elected official or elsewhere.
“Chris was right,” Ed Day said. “In the final analysis, it simply comes down to giving of yourself, having an effect, bringing a positive impact and conducting yourself in such a way that you can walk away knowing that you did some good things in life.”
Day also said his son is facing similar issues as many other young people in the county, such as trying to raise a family while living in Rockland.
“I chose to return to this county and live here,” Christopher Day said. “I’m raising a son here. I want to build my life here, here in this special corner of the Hudson Valley. I want someone who can fix the problems we face, and I know that I will not find anyone who will fight harder for us than he would. And I can confidently say that if his last name was Smith instead of Day.”
Also speaking Tuesday night were Dan Moscato, who knows Day from the Little Tor Neighborhood Association; Ed Infante, who worked alongside Day as a police officer in Harlem, and Hector May, president of Executive Compensation Planners and a board member with the Rockland Business Association.
“His family and his community are paramount in his thought process,” Moscato said. “His honesty and integrity and forthrightness are his hallmark. It’s the people that bring him to this next step. He’s not driven by political gains, he never was. He has remained true to himself and his family, and that’s why he’ll be successful. Ed is the hope for our county.”
Day said the 150-plus people in attendance Tuesday night should already know what kind of leader he would make if elected.
“I will govern with a passion,” Day said. “I truly believe that the county executive should be in the lead when it comes to any kind of issue that affects this county, a tireless advocate for the good of the people. It is a 24/7 kind of job that certainly I have been used to and look forward to.”
The position of county executive is open since current County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef announced earlier this year he will not seek reelection. So far, fellow Rockland Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, Suffern Mayor Dagan Lacorte and former Spring Valley Justice David Fried have also announced they will run for county executive.
Day went over some of ideas for the county, should he be elected. They included:
- a complete zero based budget initiative with a presumption of zero dollars in each county department, and the need for a detailed rationale for every penny given to that department.
- economic development intended to increase wealth and the tax base opposed to increasing taxes.
- a focus on customer service and efficiency within government intended to make government more accountable
- utilizing social media, texting and a comprehensive partnership with the local radio station, WRCR, to get information out during times of crisis.
There were also many other elected officials in attendance, including fellow Rockland County Legislator Chris Carey, Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack, Clarkstown Town Councilman George Hoehmann and Village of Pomona Deputy Mayor Rita Louis.
One other item Day talked about was reintroducing term limit legislation, which he added he’s brought up for the last three years, and will bring up again if elected and reelected.
“I will impose a term limit on my tenure as county executive to two terms,” he said. “Quite frankly, if I do not have this fixed after eight years, someone else should take the helm. Seriously, though, I believe it to be important too that the tree of government be refreshed from time to time. I also believe that this will remove any doubt that my sole and only goal, focused and direct, is to put our train back on the tracks and to get us on a direction to again becoming the great county that we know we are. Once accomplished, the time will be at hand for me to move on.”