A bill from a state senator to take Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump's name off Donald J. Trump State Park in Yorktown and Putnam Valley has drawn reaction from the towns' lawmakers.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for a renaming of the park and said he will also introduce legislation to rename the park, which was closed in Feb. 2010. A sign for the park is displayed on the Taconic Parkway.
"Mr. Trump’s rhetoric in his presidential campaign has become increasingly hostile to the core values of our state and nation," Squadron said. " His discriminatory proposals are unbefitting of a campaign for our country’s highest office. Mr. Trump has shown that he is unworthy of having a New York State Park named in his honor."
Squadron said Trump has little historical significance to Westchester and Putnam counties.
"A reality which will hopefully continue into the future," Squadron said.
Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) blasted Squadron's proposal and said he is more concerned about undoing the harm caused by Squadron and his fellow New York City Democrats.
"Why is Sen. Squadron interested in renaming a park that he and his Democratic colleagues voted to close along with dozens of others they shuttered during their disastrous term in the Majority?" Murphy said.
Assemblywoman Sandra Galef (D-Ossining), whose district covers Putnam Valley, said she believes the signs on the Taconic Parkway should come down because they are misleading.
"It's false advertising," Galef said. "It's not a park, it's just donated land."
Assemblyman Steve Katz (R-Yorktown) said Squadron's proposal was absurd and a "pathetic, small-minded, self-service political diversion."
"As members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, we have more important issues that need to be addressed such as; draining corruption in our state government, providing mandate relief to our over-burdened taxed communities, and making New York State business friendly."
Galef said the terms of Trump's donation mean they probably can't take his name down, but she plans to write to the Department of Transportation about taking down the signs.
"We should never keep a sign up if a park is closed," Galef said.
Putnam Valley Supervisor-Elect Sam Oliverio said no matter what you think of Trump, who owns an estate in Bedford, h did generously donated the land.
"We are changing history if we decide to change the name," Oliverio said. "The land didn't come form anyone else but Donald Trump. This senator is just trying to make political hay over an issue that's not an issue."
Trump donated the 436 acres in 2006 after he was unable to get town approval to develop a $10 million golf course. The state saved $2,500 a year by closing the park and it was maintained by staff at nearby FDR State Park. Trump, who received a tax deduction for donating the land, did not create an endowment for the park.
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