County Legislator Ed Day, R-New City, has been nominated by the Rockland County Republican Party as its candidate for Rockland County Executive in the Nov. 5 general election.
Day was backed by the party Thursday during its convention at Clarkstown Town Hall, where Donna Held of New City was also nominated as the party’s choice for Rockland County Clerk.
New York state Republican Committee Executive Director Michael Lawler was the keynote speaker and Montebello village Mayor Jeff Oppenheim spoke in support of the nomination.
Four Democrats are vying for their party’s line in the Rockland County Executive’s race. Held will take on incumbent Paul Piperato.
HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPT OF DAY’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH VIA HIS CAMPAIGN WEB SITE:
First off, I would like to acknowledge the strong words of support from my friend Jeff Oppenheim, the Mayor of the Village of Montebello in the Town of Ramapo.
My gratitude to my colleagues in the legislature and our town chairs for the unanimous show of support this evening, along with the efforts of our county chairman Vincent Reda.
I would like to thank all of you who took the time to be here in support of me this evening. It is heartening to see that as we move forward, we will stand as one, with our beloved county in the forefront of our thoughts.
And to my family: thank you to my wife and best friend Jean, my sons Chris and Mike, who is especially in my thoughts while he pushes through some of the toughest training the army has to offer as we speak, and my grandson “CJ”. It is your constant support that keeps me motivated and focused in all I do.
Our keynote speaker Mike Lawler crystalized the core issue perfectly. He is a man who has spent his whole life here, and is seeing what was a great place to grow appear to slowly slip away. He knows what we all know – with the current direction unaltered, the county we all know and love will no longer be.
During my 30 years in Rockland, this community provided my family with lifelong friends and lifetime memories. I love this county. This is a county I adopted many years ago and chose to raise a family in. It is a county I am proud of. It is home. And nothing will either divert or distract me from the covenants that I will speak of tonight.
In my months of crisscrossing Rockland, I have heard many sadly similar tales. Many residents expressed a sense of downcast resignation over the failures in Rockland. Others threw their hands up in frustration over the circumstances we have in front of us. Increasing numbers of our neighbors are actively planning on leaving our beloved county. These thoughts are not unlike the ones I heard from many of you when we spoke at gatherings over the past few months, and they are powerful to hear.
Look, there is no doubt that challenges abound. It seems at every turn we hear negativity about Rockland County, the place we call home. Deficits, overspending, overdevelopment, and high taxes dominate the news – and now we add to that the incessant stories of corruption in government.
We all yearn for simple things: Belief in our leaders. Integrity within government. Efficient delivery of services. Reasonable taxes. An ability to focus on our day to day lives without the added worry that our government does not have our back as it should.
I’m here to tell you that these things are achievable, that we have it within ourselves to rise up and cast off the heavy weight bearing down on us. We should not feel downcast and defeated, we should feel optimistic and ready to fight, and we have every reason to feel this way. The answer to our problems is within this community and within each of us; all it will take is honest, forthright, and dedicated leadership to bring it to fruition. I am prepared to step forward and provide that leadership.
This has little to do with party or politics. Some of you may have heard my colleague Legislator Joe Meyers this morning on WRCR announce his support for me. Legislator Meyers made it clear that my leadership and fiscal management is what this county needs – and he believes, as do I, that many democrats will vote for me because I am the best candidate for the job. It’s that bipartisan support that will lead us to victory, and I thank Legislator Meyers for sharing his position publicly. Actions like his demonstrate the truth and impact of my philosophy of “people over politics.”
What this has everything to do with is a great challenge we here share with all our neighbors, and a common bond: a love for our homes and a deep resistance to giving up without a fight. This brings us two incontrovertible truths:
First, now more than ever, we need a leader that is up to the task at hand. One who has been battle tested, who will not waiver, will not yield, and will not fail. The people of Rockland need a proven, experienced leader who understands the vitality and strength that can be found within all of us working together.
Second, the time is now for our party to answer the naysayers. To pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and recognize that we can, and must, lead during this most critical time in our county’s history. And lead we will, because together we will bring a new mantra forward – integrity in government, fiscal accountability, economic growth, and stopping government’s ever growing reach into our wallets. This is a message that our friends and neighbors of all political persuasions can identify with and will join us in echoing.
My administration will set a course of re-envisioning county government, ensuring that basic services such as our public health, our roads, and public safety are no longer compromised.
I recognize that increasing taxes is not the answer; it is a job killer and a people chaser. To that end I will chart out an aggressive course of action for economic development, with the goal of increasing wealth and the tax base, rather than government taking an ever greater slice of a shrinking pie.
Your county government will become the exacting caretaker of the funds we collect from people to do good things. We will not be betrayed by inefficiency, waste, lack of forward thinking, or an attitude that the more we spend, the better everything will magically be. I will ensure that the county’s budget is run with at least the same care as your household budget, because it is the morally and fiscally right thing to do.
New service models, effective consolidations, and partnerships across county, town, and village will be implemented. Instead of focusing on which level of government is budgeting the service and who gets credit for what, my goal will be to reduce the total cost of each and every citizen’s tax bill.
It is an unfortunate reality that there are those who will game the system when it comes to our social services or paying for their share of government. Look, we are a good and helping community, and while those in need will continue to be helped by their neighbors as part of my administration, know that those who abuse the system and siphon our goodwill in any way will be stopped through a full review of all county administered services, and those who seek to avoid fair assessments will be identified and penalized.
Make no mistake about it – we are at a crossroads here in our beloved county. But know that we have great strength too, and it is found within all of us – along with our civic organizations, the business community, unions, citizen groups, emergency responders, our town, village, and state officials, and our not-for-profits. And it is this strength, combined with these and other tangible actions and reforms, which will save the day here in Rockland.
Let us all pledge tonight to again bring back that great promise handed from one generation to the next – being able to look our children and grandchildren square in the eyes and say to them the same thing our parents said to us – that their lives will be better than ours.
My friends, I believe we will prevail. I believe better times are ahead. And I believe we can overcome the extraordinary challenges we face in this community and make that promise true again. Tonight, join me in knowing that we can surmount any obstacle and defeat any foe. Tonight, let a message be sent loud and clear: that our homes and families will no longer be threatened, and they will not be abandoned. Tonight, let us begin a journey to November 5th, the day that all our voices will be heard when we place Rockland back into the hands of the people!
And so, it is with a deep sense of humility and an unyielding sense of shared strength of purpose that I proudly accept your nomination for the position of County Executive! May God bless you all. Thank you.