Day Says Closing County's Budget Gap Is Top Priority
NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – County lawmaker Ed Day has been elected Rockland County executive.
Day, a Republican, defeated Democrat David Fried for the seat, which had been held by C. Scott Vanderhoef for 20 years.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Day had 52 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Fried.
Rockland’s troubled finances dominated the campaign. The county has a deficit of $128 million and a poor credit rating.
“People in the county are at a breaking point. We have to find ways of doing this without raising property taxes further,” Day told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “The financial structure of the county is priority number 1, clearly.”
Day said Rockland relies too heavily on sales tax revenue.
He said he would force every county department to start with zero and justify every dollar it needed. Fried called for economic development rather than raising taxes or cutting programs.
Day also pledged to heal ethnic and religious divides in the county and to fight against a possible $15 toll for the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
“My number in my mind is a lot less,” Day told Adams.
Day is a retired New York City police detective commander. He was also chief of detectives in Baltimore.
Day succeeds the incumbent Republican, who did not seek re-election.