GOSHEN – With his wife Mary and daughter Danielle by his side, Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana announced today that he will be retiring at the end of his third term, December 31, 2013.
“For the past 11 ½ years, I have been honored and humbled to serve as your County Executive,” said Diana. “I am proud of what we have accomplished to improve the quality of life for all Orange County residents. We have enhanced public safety, held the line on taxes, facilitated economic growth, strengthened County finances, and updated our infrastructure. It is a track record of success of which we can be very, very proud,” Diana said.
During his three terms as County Executive, Diana’s accomplishments to enhance and improve the overall quality of life in Orange County have been numerous:
- Maintained lowest level property tax rate since World War II
- Reduced debt service by 9%.
- Implemented a revenue sharing agreement and provided $67 million in sales tax revenue to municipalities to help them keep property taxes down.
- Orange County has earned a Triple A Bond Rating, the best in New York State.
- Built a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations and E-911 Dispatch Center – on-time and under budget, as well as many other significant building projects throughout the County.
- Introduced an automatic vehicle locator dispatch system to reduce response time and increase officer safety
- Funded a school safety program.
- Implemented initiatives to combat gang and drug violence and held three gun buy-back programs.
- SUNY Orange college campus in Middletown was expanded; a state-of-the-art branch campus was established in Newburgh that will change the lives of young people and families for generations to come.
- Orange County was named one of the 100 Best Communities for young people, three years in a row.
- Preserved thousands of acres of open space, expanded the Heritage Trail, improved County park properties, and supported the arts.
- Quick response to unprecedented storms including Hurricanes Irene, Lee, and SuperStorm Sandy.
- Closed Camp LaGuardia and established permanent County program to provide for Orange County’s homeless needs.
- Established a business accelerator to create jobs and promote Orange County as open for business.
“I have had many chapters in my life – student, teacher, business owner, public servant – and now it is time for me to move on to the next chapter so that I can replenish my energy, get my liver transplant, and recharge my physical batteries,” said Diana.
Diana announced last November that he was diagnosed with non-alcohol related fatty liver disease and has been placed on the transplant waiting list.
“This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I do so for my health and the love of my family who have stood by my side and supported me throughout my life and my career,” said Diana. “I am still a young man in spirit and of sound mind, and once the body that nourishes both is repaired, I will be looking for new opportunities to serve the people of Orange County.”
“When I first became County Executive, I realized that my one true mission was to leave the great County of Orange a little better than it was when I started. I’m happy to report that Orange County remains the best place in the nation to live, work, and raise a family,” continued Diana. “I appreciate the encouragement and support from all those who have been with me along the way.”
County Executive closed his remarks with a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”