Howard T. Phillips, Jr. - Town Supervisor
The Supervisor of the Town of Haverstraw, Howard T. Phillips, Jr., grew up in Rockland County residing in the Town of Haverstraw his entire life. He graduated from North Rockland High School in 1975 and Rockland Community College in 1977 with an Associate’s Degree in Political Science. He then attended Dominican College in Blauvelt where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science in 1979, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1980.
Howard Phillips first began his employment with the Town of Haverstraw in 1983 as Director of Finance under the renowned and loved Supervisor Philip J. Rotella. Mr. Phillips worked for Supervisor Rotella until his retirement in 1997. His duties as Director of Finance included: Preparing the annual budget, union and labor contracts, construction contracts and other various negotiating for the Town of Haverstraw. Mr. Phillips oversaw personnel matters as well as participating in Town Board Meetings.
Howard served on many Town Committees including the Rockland County Worker's Compensation Committee, Town of Haverstraw Rent Guidelines Board, and Youth Committee. He was secretary to the Planning Board, Zoning Board, Architectural Review Board and the Shade Tree Commission.
Howard was elected County Legislator in 1995 and took office in January of 1996. He held both positions as Director of Finance and County Legislator from 1996 - 2001. In 1998, Howard was selected by his colleagues to be Vice Chairman of the Legislature, a position he held until becoming Supervisor in 2002. His many duties as County Legislator included Chairman of the Rules Committee, senior member of the Budget Finance Committee, Transportation Committee, member of the Rockland County Solid Waste Authority and many other subcommittees.
When Supervisor Phillips was a Legislator, he was the catalyst behind the County purchasing 25 acres of property on the Hudson River in the Town of Haverstraw which was used to create the first County waterfront park. As Legislator, some of his other accomplishments include: directing the County to take over Railroad Avenue as a County Road in the Village of West Haverstraw, acquiring funding for the Hudson Ferry, securing more then $200,000 in grants for not-for-profits, as well as sponsoring legislation for volunteer firefighters and ambulance corps members to receive property tax discounts on their assessment. He also created Spanish-speaking positions within Social Services and the Health Department.
Howard took office as Supervisor of the Town of Haverstraw in January 2002. Upon his election, he has secured more than five million dollars in Federal, State and local grants. He has improved the park system at Bowline Point Park and at the Philip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course. He has dedicated the newly constructed pavilion at Bowline Point Park in honor of Thomas J. Lawless and the gazebo in honor of John T. Grant. Howard, along with the Haverstraw Town Board, successfully negotiated a contract for future development of 175 acres of property known as the former Letchworth Village.
Some of the community activities that Supervisor Phillips has been a member of include: coached "Just for Fun Baseball"; North Rockland Soccer Association; Haverstraw Little League; member of the Haverstraw Elks; former Board Member of Big Brothers-Big Sisters; Board Member of the United Way of Rockland County and presently a Board Member of the Arts Alliance of Haverstraw. Supervisor Phillips has been a lector at St. Gregory's Church since 1974, a teacher of CCD at St. Gregory's School for 30 years, 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus, member of the Rockland County Democratic Committee; former New York State Committee member, and Co-Chairman of the American Heart Association Rockland County Chapter.
Supervisor Phillips currently resides in Garnerville with his adoring wife Arlette and beautiful children Veronica, Tommy and William.
· Acquired 175 acres of land at Letchworth Village
· First County Waterfront Park
· Upgraded the Town of Haverstraw “Philip J. Rotella Memorial golf Course”
· Secured twenty million dollars in Federal, State and local grants in his career
· Constructed first canoe and kayak launch in Rockland County
· Creation of Town of Haverstraw Youth Committee
· Created 6 million dollar tax stabilization fund
· Developed open-air concerts at Bowline Point Park
· Constructed water spray area, pavilion, gazebo, and handicapped accessible bathroom facilities at Bowline Point Park at no cost to the local taxpayer
· Received the Badami Outstanding Alumnus Award from Dominican College
· Beautification Program along Route 202
· Constructed a 9-11 Memorial at Town Hall
· Purchase of new Highway Equipment
· Created first School Resource Officer Position
· DARE Officers
· Passed legislation that offers maximum tax exemptions to veterans; senior citizens; volunteer firefighters and ambulance corps members and handicapped citizens
· Transformed a closed sanitary landfill into a 60 plus acre park
· Sponsored air shows with the Hudson Valley Radio Control Club
· Protecting the environment by implementing 3 million dollars of improvements to wastewater treatment plant
· Achieved highest short term credit rating and outstanding Aa3 Moody’s credit rating
· Lowest Town tax in Rockland County
· Lowest sewer tax in Hudson Valley
· 2012 NYS Comptroller ranked Town with best financial condition in Rockland County
· Established 1st ever K-9 Unit
· Acquired $200,000 of equipment at no cost to the taxpayers
· Enacted Street Crime Tactical Unit
· Assigned Supervisor to R.C. Task Force
· Assigned Officers to R.C. REACT Unit
· Created first N.R. Police Youth Academy
· Established N. R. Youth Court
· Established North Rockland Youth Explorers
· Implemented Real-Time License Plate Readers
· Created Neighborhood Watch Programs