Rockland County Executive Ed Day was sworn in Monday for his second term before a crowd of hundreds at the Rockland Fire Training Center in Pomona.
"Today, on the first day of 2018, we celebrate how far Rockland County has come in just four short years and, as importantly, how much more we will achieve going forward," Day said after taking the oath of office, administered by Clarkstown Justice Craig E. Johns.
Numerous people participated in the ceremony, including Daniel Moscato, chief advisor to the County Executive and Deputy County Executive Guillermo Rosa.
Day outlined his accomplishments in his first term and set goals for his second.
"When I took the oath of office for the first time, Rockland County was in a full-blown crisis on numerous fronts," he said. "We had a $138 million deficit, we were the most fiscally stressed county in New York, our bonds were near junk and people were reeling from years of double-digit tax increases fueled by an endless tax-and-spend cycle."
In just four years, the county's deficit has been eliminated, spending has been cut, taxes have stayed within the state property tax cap, the county's bonds have been upgraded five times and are in the A range, Day said.
Just as importantly, the county's economy is booming, unemployment is at record lows and new businesses have added more than $5 billion in new ratables over the past three years, he said.
Day has focused on bringing more wealth to the county through state Economic Development awards, which totaled nearly $6 million in 2017, more than the combined total for the three full years prior to his administration.
And he has taken on slumlords and addressed irresponsible development.
"We have come back from the ashes," he said to cheers. "We have fulfilled the promise I made right here exactly four years ago – we ushered in that 'Era of Renewal' in Rockland County."
He said that Rockland County will continue that journey during his second term.
"We now embark upon a full renaissance of our beloved county," he said.
Under his leadership, Rockland County will strengthen its fiscal condition, enhance infrastructure without putting future generation into debt.
He will strengthen government accountability and combat corruption with a newly established county auditor.
Day vowed to work with towns and villages to ensure services are delivered at lowest possible cost to taxpayers, and said he will continue to use every means available to protect neighborhoods and natural resources.
"Greedy developers and slumlords heed this," he said. "We will not let you victimize those unable to defend themselves or risk the lives of our volunteer firefighters or destroy this county that we cherish."
He also said he will work to unite the county, an effort led by a reinvigorated Human Rights Commission and supported by faith-based and community groups.
"Much more joins us than divides us, as we find in common the air we breathe, our dreams for our families, the environment around us, and the blood that courses through our veins," Day said. "My pledge today is that I will travel anywhere, to meet anyone, at any time in support of that effort."
The ceremony included performances by Scott Walters, a tenor, the Rockland County Conservatory of Music, the Lower Hudson Valley Children's Chorus and the Rockland County Firefighters Pipes & Drums Band, and others. Pearl River School of Irish Music
Also taking part in the ceremony were Monsignor Edward J. Weber, Rabbi Jeremy Ruberg, Barry Fixler, the Rockland County Firefighters Pipes and Drums Band, the Clarkstown Police Honor Guard and the Rockland County Corrections Color Guard.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.