NEW CITY, N.Y. -- County Executive Ed Day says two years of fiscal responsibility and economic growth have made Rockland more stable, and things will only get better.
Day, in his state of the county speech Tuesday, outlined his administration's accomplishments and said its policies have helped cut the deficit by 30 percent over the last two years.
It was, he said, “the largest year over year budget reduction” in the county’s history.
Rockland is "strong, and getting stronger," he said.
Some of the hard decision the county had to make to gain its financial stability was the closing and sale of the troubled Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center in Pomona.
The county has plans to turn the facility into a health and human services complex, Day said.
"Because of our ability to make difficult choices, we have overcome complicated problems with innovative solutions, and our taxpayers have benefited," said Day. "We all have a stake in the future of our county, and we must work together to realize our potential."
The county’s unemployment rate, he said, is currently 3.8 percent, its lowest since 2006.
Among Day’s plans for 2016 was the creation of a rental certification and registry initiative targeting what he called “slumlords.”
He promised to do what he could to ensure that “neither a child, or a resident, or a member of Rockland’s bravest (firefighters) dies in a converted attic or a hidden stairwell.”
He also promised to focus on economic growth and jobs; a front-end detection program which would identify and target problems in the public assistance application process; and continued “conservative budgeting.”
Day also called on Albany to remove the “shackles” of legislative mandates and let county executives, like himself, do their jobs.
“If you want true reform, let our county executives run these programs,” Day said, adding: “Do not gives us the rules, stick us with the bill, then run and hide.”
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