Ashley HartNov 5, 2017, 8:59 pmNov 6, 2017, 2:43 pm

Rockland County executive candidates face off in final debate before Election Day

Incumbent Ed Day, Democrat Maureen Porette laid out their views on some hot-button issues

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ROCKLAND COUNTY — Dozens of voters listened in as Rockland County executive candidates, incumbent Ed Day and Democrat Maureen Porette, discussed budget issues during their final debate before Election Day.

Both took to the podium on Sunday in the hopes of bringing in last-minute votes.

Former NYPD officer, Ed Day is asking voters to grant him a second term as county executive, making the case that the county’s deficit has been significantly reduced since he’s been in office.

"The fact of the matter is, we are healthier, we are stronger, our deficit is nearly gone, our bonds are higher now than they were and we are doing quite well,” Day said. “Our budget is down to 2009 levels. We have reduced the size tremendously and we are getting better at it.”

His opponent, Maureen Porette, a practicing attorney and mother of eight claims he had nothing to do with the deficit reduction.

"I have proven that this man had nothing to do with reducing the municipal deficit budget,” Porette said. “It came because the legislators got a bond for $96 million.”

Another controversial topic discussed was the closing of the Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center. Porette claimed Day could not negotiate a deal to keep it open.

"He let this hospital close. Four-hundred-thirty-two people in the county lost their jobs. People had to be moved from nursing homes where they have been for years. Someone actually passed on because of that. Families that lived here had to move their families to other facilities, had to leave the county. Is that what you do? Is that what it's all about?" Porette said to voters.

But Day says he had nothing to do with the negotiation of the hospital, also noting that the would-be buyer of the property did not have the funds.

"The Limited Development Corporation was in charge with the sale of the Summit Park Facility. It was they who negotiated, not the legislature, and not the county executive and for a reason. You don't want people in political office involved in this. What we prepared for, what we found out to be true is the buyer was not a good buyer. We are in court with him now. The buyer did not have the money. He was looking to take us over a barrel," Day said.

One thing both candidates did agree on was that they are against Proposition 1 for the Constitutional Convention.

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