Vote for Chris Martone in District 5

Last year both the right wing Conservative Party and the left wing Working Families Party supported Ed Day’s  legislature candidate Lon Hofstein. Without either the Conservative or Working Families ballot lines,  Hofstein would have lost the election to me by a significant margin. My unwillingess to pledge support to opposite ends of the poltical spectrum cost me the election, but preserved my integrity.

While both of those ballot lines were necessary for Hofstein last year, neither of those parties agreed to support Hofstein this year. Minor party leaders recognized that neither Day nor Hofstein turned out to be who they expected. So without the minor party support that won them an election, Day and his supporters now proclaim that these minor parties are just corrupt “legal rackets.”  Interestingly, Day said the same thing about the Independence Party when they endorsed me last year, even though Day himself lobbied for the Independence line himself in 2013 when he ran for County Executive. See the pattern? If you don’t support Ed Day for any reason, you become the target of a smear campaign.

I chose not to run again this year, and I am happy to see that Chris Martone has stepped up.  Chris Martone brings a fresh idependent approach to the County Legislature. He has broad support across the community and is beholden to nobody.  Because he is raising his young family in the community he will represent, we can count on Chris to make decisons that protect the future of Rockland.

Posted on 1 Nov 2015, 12:22 - Category: In the News

Vote NO on the Proposed Ward System for Clarkstown!

Vote NO on the Ward System.  We definitely do not need more politicians running the Town of Clarkstown!  Adding two more Town Council members makes no sense at all for Clarkstown.  More is not better when talking about politicians.

The concept of the Ward system does not generally work at the Town level.  Think about the two Ward systems you are already familiar with-  Congress (The House of Representaves)  and the County Legislature.  Do you like the efficiency of those legislative bodies? Dividing up our Town into 6 districts may pit Nanuet against Congers, North New City against upper Nyack or even perhaps North New City against Main Street.  Why is this a good idea? Without each member owing an obligation to do what's best for the entire Town overall, Clarkstown government will come to a screeching halt.  Getting projects approved will require bargaining for each vote-- what are you going to do for me? Costs will go up.  Progress will slow down. 

The proponents of the ward system cite Ramapo as a justification, but Clarkstown is not Ramapo.  The argument that we need a Ward system in anticipation of an influx of Hasidic influence makes no sense. If the fear of an Hasidic takeover of Clarkstown was even remotely rational, which it is not, creating Wards would make it much easier for such a takeover to actually occur. Reducing the amount of votes required to get elected provides a greater opportunity to control the outcome of an election. Not surprisingly, that is what the lead "reformers" are really trying to accomplish.  It's not that they are really concerned about the potential future invasion of Hasidim, it's that they want to get the chance to get two of their people into power.  The ward system is a mistake for Clarkstown.

Posted on 0 Nov 2015, 22:59 - Category: In the News

Clarkstown Politics: Don't vote based upon Fear and Misinformation

Rockland politics in general, and Clarkstown politics in particular, have gotten ridiculously nasty and offensive. The election of County Executive Ed Day has led to the most divisive time in the history of Rockland politics. Instead of uniting the County, Day’s two year reign has resulted in a divided and dysfunctional Republican Party, and the rise of a new so-called “Reform Party.” The “Reformers” clearly function in Tea Party style to muck up progress by promoting fear and hatred through misinformation and outright lies.

Most disturbing to me, a Reform Jew who belongs to a Conservative synagogue, is the level of anti-Semitism that has become acceptable in my home town of Clarkstown. There is a publicly espoused theory that if you’re just against the “Hasidics,” you are not being anti-Semitic. Someone wrote back to me on Facebook that she isn’t anti-Semitic because even her Jewish friends hate “them!” Wake up people. This is not OK.

I have lived in Rockland for 48 years, the last 15 years in Clarkstown. My business is in Chestnut Ridge. I am a 1979 graduate of Spring Valley High School and a strong supporter of the efforts to fix the East Ramapo School District. My children are all in the public school system. I understand the issues that concern Ramapo residents. Clarkstown is not Ramapo. The “sky is falling” argument that an invasion of Hasidic Jews is imminent in Clarkstown is being used to incite fear and blame incumbents for a non-event.

The growth of the Hasidic population in Ramapo and elsewhere is a challenge that requires substantial hard work and is not to be minimized. The explosive growth of the Hasidic community over the last two decades and its insular nature present significant issues that must be addressed through specific direct action like the appointment of a monitor for the East Ramapo School Board. Laws that are being manipulated for unintended purposes need to be changed at the federal and state level, and local laws not being followed need to be enforced.

It is important to recognize that the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jews work, have businesses, and are very productive members of the community. There is, however, evidence of abuse of public assistance, inadequate secular education, and disregard for safety laws in the Hasidic community. Efforts to enforce laws should not be attacked as, and are often not, anti-Semitic solely because Jews are the subject of the enforcement. Hasidic community leaders must work to change both the perception and the reality of their community and must make visible efforts to be good neighbors to those around them. In my opinion, Hasidic leaders have failed to demonstrate an intent to prevent abuses of public assistance and have not made publicly recognizable efforts to improve relations.

None of this is an excuse for the recent anti-Semitic Clarkstown Community posts that claimed an Hasidic “invasion of New City” has started. The most recent hysteria was over the newly constructed New City Chabad Rabbis’ residence on Phillips Hill Road. Chabad has been in New City for 20+ years. Chabad and the Monsey ultra-orthodox sects are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to community involvement. Chabad is open, welcoming and inclusive and its members consist of reform, conservative and orthodox Jews. Chabad has been serving New City’s Jewish community without any complaints by neighbors. The Facebook attacks by leaders and supporters of the Reform Party clearly demonstrate their bias and willingness to mislead the public. These are not people that should be running our town-- ever.  I am sure that those fanning the flames of overt anti-Semitism by comparing the construction of the Rabbis’ townhomes to illegal housing in Ramapo, never attended even one of the Clarkstown public hearings held on the Chabad project.

It is time for responsible members of the community to speak out against those who create fear by spreading lies and misinformation.Blaming the Town Supervisor for the permitted construction was completely misplaced. Don’t let the self-appointed leaders of the new Reform Party succeed in their efforts to create panic and distrust. Take a step back and look around at Clarkstown; it’s a pretty great place to live.

Please support Alex Gromack Shirley Lasker and Dan Caprara on TuesdayNovember 3rd! Gromack and Lasker have an excellent record working for the people of Clarkstown.  Their combined experience and qualifications far outweigh that of their opponents, and their expressed confidence in Dan Caprara, who himself has a long record of community involvement, to keep Clarkstown moving forward is worthy of repsect. We need experienced, thoughtful and positive leaders in our town, not radical alarmists who make things up to incite fear.


Posted on 1 Nov 2015, 12:04 - Category: In the News

Legislator Kantrowitz' Comments on the Budget at the December 4th 2014 Legislature Meeting










Cutting all funding to non-profits and eliminating 37 Sheriff's Deputies was a "lose-lose" proposition. The County Executive's proposed budget was more about tax shifting than tax cutting. A good budget is a reflection of what is important. Just as families must decide how best to spend their money, government must allocate its resources intelligently and purposefully to accomplish necessary goals. Paying down debt is certainly important and fiscally sound, but no family would pre-pay its mortgage with money needed to operate the family business and thereby lose the business income needed to survive. No business would pay down more debt than required if it meant that the business would be so short of cash it couldn't pay its employees who did the work to generate the business income. The amendments passed tonight reflect a sensible balanced approach to spending cuts and deficit reduction. I am pleased that the revisions passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support.

The full text of my comments can be read here:


Posted on 5 Dec 2014, 11:24 - Category: In The News

Legislator Kantrowitz Recognizes Local Couple for Good Deeds

New City, NY (November 19, 2014) - Rockland County Legislator Barry Kantrowitz recognized the efforts of a young, local couple to perform acts of kindness and charity throughout the country.

Mark and Ismini Svensson made the decision to forego the cost of a traditional wedding ceremony, deciding their time and money would be better spent by performing charitable acts around the country. The goal of the newlyweds - to perform an act of kindness in each of the 50 states. The couple started in Maryland and to date has visited 36 states, completing charitable acts for school children, the elderly, homeless and people with disabilities and illness. In Florida, the Svenssons supported an effort to aid a local chapter of the Humane Society.

"The Svenssons are a very special young couple," said Legislator Kantrowitz. "When we talk about giving back to the community, we normally think about people who have had successful careers, raised families and then wish to give back to their communities after having done well after a lifetime of work. Here we have two people in their twenties who, early in life, started to pay it forward. Mark and Ismini co-founded the not-for-profit organization "Stay United" and have attracted the attention and support of people across the country. It is an honor for me to present this young couple with a Distinguished Service Award."

Photo Included (L-R: Legislator John Murphy, Ismini & Mark Svensson, and Legislator Barry Kantrowitz)

Posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:03 - Category: In The News

Pages: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


2017 ~ Barry S. Kantrowitz
Campaign Website by Online Candidate