WOODBURY - Declaring that "the time to end dysfunction and restore trust is now," County Legislator Roxanne Donnery declared her candidacy for Orange County Executive on Friday evening in Woodbury.
Donnery, a former Chair of the County Legislature, stood before a standing room only crowd and said, "The problems with Orange County Government go beyond Valley View Nursing Home and the County Government Center. It goes to a matter of trust. Due to the misrepresentations and arrogance of the County Executive, the people have lost faith and trust in County Government."
Donnery has been on the forefront among opponents fighting incumbent County Executive Edward Diana’s plans to sell Valley View and build a new Government Center. She led the charge to have two investigative committees on those issues. The committees were formed despite the fact that the Legislature is controlled by Republicans and Donnery is a Democrat. Donnery chaired the special Legislative committee on Valley View last year that issued a report that said the costs of running the nursing home had been exaggerated and driven up by poor management.
Standing in front of a banner with her trademark pink boxing gloves, Donnery pledged to bring "our government back to the people and restore the trust that has been eroded."
Donnery said the Republican-dominated Legislature went along with County Executive Diana "in lock step," and that decades of one-party rule have reduced the county government’s accountability and transparency.
In addition to her 16 years in the County Legislature representing the Towns of Highlands and Woodbury, Donnery was on the Highland Falls School Board for 18 years serving as its president for seven years. She is credited with saving the near bankrupt school district due to her successful lobbying in Washington for impact aid. Most of the property in the school district is West Point which pays no property taxes.
Donnery is famously known for the time she cornered then President Bill Clinton in a Washington restaurant to secure special legislation leading to funding which continues to this day.