Regardless of your politics, religion, your ethnicity or socio-economic status, we share a common concern that affects all our lives: the rising cost of living and taxes! Well, pay attention, Palisades, because you’re about to be bombarded with political flyers, yard signs, robocalls and emails trying to sway your vote to the right or to the left for Town Supervisor. On November 5th, Orangetown voters will have the chance to chose between Republican Teresa Kenny, a local attorney who has worked in the Town Attorney's office for over 22 years and is currently the First Deputy Supervisor, and her opponent, Democrat and former Town Supervisor, Thom Kleiner, who previously served Orangetown from 1996 to 2009.

Both candidates’ platforms are nearly identical, promising to “Preserve Orangetown” by promoting economic growth, enforcing zoning laws and stopping overdevelopment, and protecting taxpayers and the environment.

While there is no doubt that there are many issues the new Town Supervisor will have to face, among the most contentious will be rising taxes and zoning. Some facts a new Supervisor should consider:

Rockland County has the second highest property taxes in the United States, second only to Westchester, and the pain is compounded because most of these taxes are no longer deductible on Federal tax forms.

We have among the highest public sector salaries in the state. Fifty to seventy percent of every tax dollar goes to pay personnel expenses for Orangetown's government and school employees.

Rockland Police are among the highest paid in New York State, with nearly all making over one hundred thousand dollars a year and over fifty percent making over one hundred fifty thousand dollars a year.

Rockland has a high number of tax exempt properties, including private and religious schools, places of worship, clergy residence, colleges, and parks.

Rockland, specifically Ramapo, is 8th highest in the state for Medicaid and Welfare recipients, has one of the highest rates of poverty and has also seen the great- est population growth. The threat of overdevelopment constantly looms over Orangetown as developers scramble to purchase vacant land and a desperate Town of Orangetown is tempted by tax ratables

These are just some of the factors that contribute to our tax bills. The candidates should discuss their plans for tackling these issues.

Political campaigns have always been nasty, opponents’ accusations often misleading or downright false. Listen to the debates and ask questions. In this day of social media we often receive deceptive information, “fake news,” BUT we can just as easily find the truth. Rather than go by hearsay, look up questionable accusations and judge for yourself. Both candidates want what is best for Orangetown, but their decisions, with the support of the Town Board and the voice of the public, will determine just how successful our Town Supervisor and Orangetown itself will be. Vote wisely . . . just please VOTE!

Where: The Esplanade 640 Oak Tree Road Hours: 6am - 9pm

Meet the Candidates Kenny and Kleiner on Sunday, October 6 at 4:00pm at the Palisades Community Center, 675 Oak Tree Road