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Wolfe, Hood, Wieder, Carey Chosen As Legislative Leaders

Alden Wolfe was sworn in as the legislature's chairman.
Alden Wolfe was sworn in as the legislature's chairman.

Rockland County legislators appointed Alden Wolfe as their chairperson; Jay Hood as their vice chairperson, Aron Wieder as majority party leader and Cris Carey as minority party leader at Monday’s reorganization meeting. The legislators unanimously approved the appointment of Barry Kantrowitz of New City to represent District Five for one year. 

Wolfe had previously served as vice chairperson and Hood had been the Democratic majority leader. Carey is serving his second year as the Republican minority leader. Kantrowitz is taking over the seat held by County Executive Ed Day and will have to run for election in November. 

Wieder of Spring Valley named Toney Earl also of Spring Valley as the deputy majority leader. Carey of Bardonia named Frank Sparaco of Valley Cottage as deputy minority leader.

Legislator Harriet Cornell, who had served as chairperson for nine years, nominated Kantrowitz to fill the vacant seat, saying he has demonstrated his love for Rockland through his community service. She said his legal background; expertise and experience working with the county’s different ethnic groups will make a valuable legislator.

Wolfe, who seconded the nomination, said, “This may be Barry’s first day in public office but not his first day in public service.”

After being sworn in, Kantrowitz said he would work to meet as many District Five residents as possible in the next few months. The graduate of the East Ramapo School District said he realized the problems of that district are not within the legislature’s jurisdiction he will do what he can to improve it. Kantrowitz, an attorney, also said he hopes to work with the other legislators to repair and restore Rockland’s financial stability.

“Together with my partners I’ve been an effective advocate for families, for individuals, for businesses in the judicial branch of government helping them work their way through what is sometimes a very convoluted court process,” said Kantrowitz. “I’m looking forward to using those skills to give my constituents, my friends, my neighbors a voice in a legislature in the legislative branch of our county government.” 

Cornell also nominated Wolfe as chairperson stating that she was passing the baton into experienced and capable hands. She noted the Suffern resident is an attorney, who graduated from Leadership Rockland, has volunteered with the Rockland Community College Foundation and Habitat For Humanity and authored many of the county’s laws. 

Wolfe said one of his goals was to explore changing the county budgeting process to allow legislators more time to examine the county executive’s budget. He said Rockland has dealt with challenging economic issues in past years.

“But here at the beginning of 2014 I believe that Rockland County has turned the corner,” said Wolfe. “I’m proud that we have a balanced budget for this year that incorporates both the recommendations of our independent auditors and the requirements of the New York State comptroller. We have conservative revenue estimates and a spending plan that sets us up for a year in the black.” 

Wolfe said he would continue to oppose the Hudson River desalination plant and plans to introduce water conservation legislation.

“In the coming weeks I’ll also be introducing a non-emergency water conservation law that will maximize conservation and heighten awareness of our most wasteful water use practices,” said Wolfe. 

The newly appointed majority and minority leaders said the county’s financial woes are not behind it.

Hood of Haverstraw said as he nominated Wieder that he was passionate and a reasonable voice for his community. Wieder’s outspoken opposition to state mandates and delayed reimbursements was mentioned.

“Rockland County is facing monumental challenges, the likes we haven’t seen in recent history between economic gloom, social strife and everything in the middle,” Wieder said. “It has morphed into a real crisis. Citizens throughout the county are filled with angst and uncertainty.”

Carey said his focus will be on the county’s fiscal crisis. He said he was a pessimist and does not believe Rockland has “turned the corner” toward an improved financial condition.   

The county is expected to have a $140 million budget deficit for 2013.

Editor's Note: To hear more of Alden Wolfe's remarks, click here

 

Charles Clewsow January 07, 2014 at 08:14 AM
Here we go again. These Ramapo Democrats who have controlled the purse strings of Rockland County and drove it to near bankruptcy, ran the Hospital Nursing Home into The ground, now want to take over your water company through the guise of Conservation? Ask yourself, do you really waste water? This is a ploy to get their dirty hands into the pockets of the water company and run THAT into the ground. Do you really trust anything they do?
Charles Clewsow January 07, 2014 at 08:47 AM
Cornell leaves her post after creating a $140 MILLION deficit even after tax increases of 30%, 18% and 10% just in the last three years......PLUS 4% tax on electric bills! increased sales taxes! mortgage taxes etc? etc. .....This "First woman Chairman of the Legislature holds the record for increasing taxes more than any other living human being, man or woman.......Now she and Wolfe want to control our Water Supply? .....LOOK OUT...PAY ATTENTION....DONT LET HER CONTROL YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS LIFE SUSTAINING DRINKING WATER!!!! It is all we have left. They already got their hands on your electric bill with their 4% Conservation Tax. They are taxing your Phone bills. Tell them to stop. Conservation is just a ploy.
Mike Hirsch January 07, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Let us wring in the new year with hope that the legislature will work with our new county exec to try and turn our county around.
GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS A 0 TO 1% CHANCE OF GETTING ANY TOWN OR THE COUNTY TO ABIDE BY HIS PROPOSED 2% TAX CAP..IF NO ONE DOWN HERE IN PIN DOT ROCKLAND LISTENS TO HIM AND DO NOT RAISE OUR TAXES.. IT WILL UNDERMINE ANY POSSIBILITY OF THE GOV.RUNNING FOR SAY THE PRESIDENCY ..AS ANY OPPONENT WILL SAY" LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO ROCKLAND..NO ONE LISTENED TO YOU..MMMMDIDNT WE JUST GET A 9% TAX HIKE IN ROCKLAND??? AND OVER 3% IN CLOWNTOWN??
Preserve Rockland January 07, 2014 at 09:51 AM
The Democrats in the County Legislature have chosen poorly. Read up on Aron Wieder at this link: http://preserveramapo.org/Wieder/an_outrageous_choice.htm
Pat Godfrey January 07, 2014 at 10:20 AM
I do not like reading Wolfe, Hood's, and Wieder's comments. 140 million defecit and they don't state the obvious. The county is broke and spending to much. They come out and blame the state for a 2% limit on spending increases. They really don't get it still. What willl it take? Being 250 million over budget. Chris Carey says there is a financial crisis going on in Rockland. Thank you. We have to admit the problem first and then deal with it. Note to Democrats, you are 140 million over budget. You spend to much. You need to stop the crazy over spending.
Mike Hirsch January 07, 2014 at 10:30 AM
I agree with you 100% Pat. When Chris Carey says that we have turned the corner, then I will believe it. We are now only at the very beginning of the curve.
Sean T. N. McManus January 07, 2014 at 11:06 AM
'Clarkstown: What They Don't Want You To Know' is also carrying the Wieder story and the comments are flowing in fast and furious! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkstown-What-They-Dont-Want-You-To-Know/146207698912716

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