(Oct. 9, 2018) It’s strange that it took until now for Ed Day to realize that the sale of the Sain Property to National Development was a dead deal. The rest of us knew it months ago after the Legislature formally declined to support it.
Many of my colleagues and I have had serious concerns about this deal since it was first proposed. The developer is represented by a broker named Scott Milich. Mr. Milich is not only a campaign contributor to Ed Day, George Hoehmann and others, but also served in a high-ranking position in Ed Day’s campaign. He stands to make a six-figure commission if this deal goes through. During our investigation, we learned that Mr. Milich had privately reached out to Ed Day in the fall of 2015 and arranged a private visit to the Sain Property for his client – long before it was formally offered for sale to the public. I also understand that there are still several senior housing proposals languishing before the land use boards in Clarkstown, yet town officials have reportedly given their blessing to this deal, along with a commitment to “fast track” it. Something doesn’t seem right to me. Under these circumstances I’m not willing to add my stamp of approval.
I also strongly oppose the use of “one shot” revenue items to pay for operating expenses. We’ve been warned time and time again by the NYS Comptroller and our independent auditors that this practice is frowned upon. Just last year, Moody’s downgraded Westchester County for their reliance on one shot revenue items. After all of our hard work restoring Rockland’s financial stability, I don’t want to do anything that would undermine our efforts.
Earlier this year, we finally saw the details of Ed Day’s plan to focus County services at our Pomona complex. The numbers are staggering – nearly $60 million to renovate and move offices to the aging Building A in Pomona. Combined with his closure of Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Home – turning an asset worth more than $30 million to an asset worth nothing – the total cost of this exercise would be nearly $100 million. We’ve already spent nearly $2 million dollars to move our employees from one aging building to another, and have been asked to approve spending millions more to accommodate them. The potential net proceeds from the sale of the Sain Property have already been spent and would be spit in the ocean in the context of this massive project.
I agree that the building itself should be knocked down, but I’m not yet prepared to sell taxpayer-owned real estate without a well thought out plan that meets the current and future needs of Rockland’s residents.