Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

January 19, 2017


Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the County Executive (845) 638-5645

Rockland County Executive Ed Day to fund nonprofits

NEW CITY, NY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced today that he will allow half a year of funding for the few nonprofit agencies known as Community Benefit Organizations whose financing was at risk.

"We value these agencies and the good work they do," Day said. "It is not fair to them that their funding has been held up by the actions of certain Legislators."

The agencies will only be funded for the first half of 2017, with $673,941 allocated by the Legislature that that would otherwise be used to reduce Rockland County's remaining deficit, Day noted.

"This county's checking account is still overdrawn," he said. "Any so-called extra money should be allocated to pay our debt. But my decision to allow this funding to forward is an attempt on my part to stop allowing certain legislators to use these good agencies as a political football."

He cautioned that the funding will only last for half of the fiscal year. Added funds will not be approved until a new source of revenue is identified.

"The good news is that source of revenue has been identified – the Sain Building," Day said. "Once we sell the Sain Building we will be able to fund these nonprofits for the rest of the fiscal year and the foreseeable future."

His decision will not affect the vast number of not-for-profits that receive $16.3 million in funding through contracts with the county.

He made the announcement accompanied by Legislators Lon Hofstein and Vincent Tyer and Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann as well as leaders of numerous Rockland nonprofits.

Leaders of the nonprofits thanked Day for his support.

He and other lawmakers have continued to show their support for these organizations.

At the December 6 meeting of the County Legislature, Legislature minority leader Lon M. Hofstein, as well as Patrick J. Moroney and Laurie Santulli recognized the value of these organizations and took a very courageous stand, Day said.

"They attempted to fund these agencies by overriding the tax cap," he said. "Unfortunately, this attempt was blocked by all members of the Legislature's Democrat majority who made it clear that they care more about politics than the work done by these agencies."

A buyer has twice offered to purchase the county-owned Sain Building for $4.51 million -- more than a half million over asking price, which means that the county will have funding for these agencies.

The County Executive asked leaders of the nonprofits as well as the people they serve to contact members of the Legislature to urge them to move forward with the sale of the Sain Building.

In December, 2015 every legislator, by vote, affirmed their commitment to sell the building but it has still not moved forward to a sale.

"Selling that building will assure your funding going forward and it will avoid this unfortunate and unfair situation that places these nonprofits in the middle of senseless political battle," Day said.

Over the past two weeks, Day and members of his administration have held meetings with members of the legislative majority, including Chairman Toney Earl and Jay Hood, chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee.

A deal was reached that called for a comprehensive plan to fund all of these nonprofits for the foreseeable future and to work to convert most of them to contracts going forward.

In return, for the commitment from the Day administration to fund these agencies, the Legislature would agree to move forward with the sale of the Sain Building.

"I had very much looked forward to a joint announcement between my office and the Legislature detailing this agreement to benefit everyone in Rockland," Day said. "I appreciate the effort by Legislators Hood and Earl, who made an effort to put partisanship aside and look to do the right thing for the people of Rockland."

After the handshake deal was reached, the administration was informed the agreement was off.

The Legislature, led the by Ramapo delegation, continues to block the deal. All members of the Republican minority have agreed.

"We do not understand the reason for the resistance from some members of the Legislature other than pure partisan politics. "Day said. "Everyone in Rockland County will suffer because of their political petulance."

The building has been put up for sale twice with only one potential buyer expressing interest both times. The Day administration has answered every question from the Legislature about the sale.

"There is obviously some secret agenda among some in the Legislature that we do not understand," he said adding "The only thing they are going to cause is a fire sale to a buyer with yet-to-be-identified intentions and a loss of millions in taxpayer dollars."

The Sain Building is in deteriorating condition. The county plans to relocate employees to Building A in Pomona, which has excess space due to the closure of the Summit Park nursing home.

Space in the building will be rented to nonprofits and other agencies.

The plan to relocate employees to Building A is moving forward.

"Very soon, the Sain Building will stand empty and, if not sold, will instead become a lasting tribute to political ineptitude," Day said.