ESSAY:Location, Location, Location: Next Stop Rockland! A recap of the history and value of the County I grew up

Location, Location, Location: Next Stop Rockland!

BY CAROL MCILMURRAY

OP/ED HISTORY ROCKLAND

Westchester is a vast space of manicured lawns with villages, towns and hamlets neatly tucked in between large commercial venues, strip malls, and eateries. In its well-planned and generous thoroughfares there is enough space for large financial and technology commercial buildings to line its very well appointed walls of safety, security and taxpayer monies.

Rockland is virtually equidistant from Manhattan, its once rural charms are retained in its history preservation projects and state lands and private lands such as Hook Mountain in Nyack, Davies Farm in New City, respectively and with in its community members that have grown up here, and have mulitgentional roots in New York State.

Each of its five towns have a unique and specific population and lifestyle that it has been developed and honored throughout the past half-century.

Pearl River is known for its large and friendly Irish-American population.

New City is known for its Jewish and Catholic community that seem to get along effortlessly. New City’s religious leaders never seem to be at odds, even if Clarkstown Town Hall is at its height of being at total odds.

Nyack comprised of creatives, trendsetters, and people that enjoy looking at the Hudson River from the hills or walking to hook mountain past the 1780-1920’s mansions that line the Hudson River bank.

There are quiet bedroom communities whose residents mostly commute to their jobs in Manhattan, Westchester, and New Jersey using the quaint and direct route to NYC, the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Voted 1964’s most scenic highway in America, over 50 years later looks just as amazing with cliffs and waters below that leads people to and from city life with a pleasant lull on its four lane highway, divided groves of trees.

In the center of Rockland lies Nanuet, a town once known for its mall, now known for its “Shops at Nanuet”, will be the first town below Ramapo to take a big turn into the future.

According to Nanuet town planners, the new heart of Rockland, literally the center of Rockland  will be a millennial (and taxpayer) friendly town houses with a civic redesign to be near a train station for mass commuting, something Rockland largely lacks.

The new TZ Bridge was at one time rumored to have a train line to link up with Westchester’s extensive train system, but it never panned out over the ‘Tap and See.’

Now as politicans, public figures, and public servants get ready to name the $4.5 billion dollar bridge and drivers get ready to pay for the new luxury of not driving on one of the worst bridges in America, New York hits another fork in the road.

When the bills and taxes are going to so many houses, when do the payers pull out and pay a different slot game? Yes, ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he once joked “Surprisingly, there are other states.”

The answer is people, even though you don’t see them anymore, they live happily in other states.

A recent trend of people moving to other States such as Colorado, South Carolina, and Florida for the obviously far less convulted and polluted political structures, has New York begging financial and State funded job creation through tax shelters for college systems and job hiring.

While that task has not answered itself yet, Cuomo did address a real and present problem, the Tappan Zee bridge, a long over due and, “oops!”, it was not budgeted as a predestined item. New York State resident and politicians have known since day one in 1955 it was only be a temporary bridge lasting until 2005, 12 years ago.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who took on the enormous toll, and bouyed one of the worst bridges in America into a worldwide project (including a 2013 Rockland County visit from President Barrack Obama)  is to be heralded for bridging Westchester and Rockland back the TZB 3-mile bridge and tourist destination. Tourist travel from all over the world including Japan, Italy, and Ireland, and possibly even Russia, to see the great American project.

The falling apart bridge that sits next to the new construction, voted one of the worst bridges in America, continues to fall apart as motorist drive on it. Another reason Rocklanders are leaving Rockland is unsolved mass transit issues. Many commuters Westchester are considering moving to avoid the purported $17 dollar a-hike bridge.

State Senator David Carlucci, who has miraculously (and routinely) negotiated some of the biggest windfalls for Rockland residents has been steadfast on making Rockland residents tolls much lower considering the cost of life and other economic factors.

Living in New York, its hard not to throw a nickel and meet your local representives, and that is a right we all should be thankful for.

Most of our politicans make them self available to the public and selfless give life into communities that have been ignored in larger political schemes or planning.

Rockland County Executive “Ed Day has been tasked with doing the impossible, and he has done just that.  He has tackled budgets like he used to tackle bad guys, and done it with merit,” said a local veteran when talking about supporting Ed Day’s son Christopher Day at the Orangetown strip mall. The strip mall in Orangetown like many other strip malls in Rockland finally got an upgrade from 1970s,  the last real estate boom in Rockland when the 70’s malls were strip malls were built. It is a more than positive sign that these structures are being reinvested in and meeting a quality of life that reflects the homeowners values.

As political fever hit the internet, most people hit the ignore button and enjoy the tranquility that Rockland affords them, right next to one of the busiest cities in the world.

The political in fighting gets old, then it gets loud, and then people who are in taxpayer funded jobs sue the towns that once (or are presently) are giving them paychecks, it happens too often.

In a small town in Rockland I once heard a local attorney say, “In Rockland County, the greed has no limit.”

One massive tree in the political arena, Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, just fell from his position that he carried for 17 years with close to half of that time being protested and then shockingly raided and investigated by the FBI twice.

The FBI and politics in New York have become like the cart and the horse.

To be a real politician in New York you must have ideals and values that reflect a general and humble soul. Those people exist here in Rockland County, but the trenches around our representatives are loaded with the deals and some serious dollar signs.

Clarkstown is buzzing with new streets, lights, and upgraded amenities. Orangetown follows with lights, and new projects to come.Ramapo is changing, every day, every meeting. Buildings and city like environments have replaced the once sleepy bedroom town of Ramapo. Stony Point and Haverstraw have retained its historic charm, landmarks and parks.

It really takes community involvement to understand how important it is to vote. It is afforded to each and every American citizen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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