Spring Valley mayor takes plows off roads in storm

Marcus Solis reports
January 22, 2014 2:58:43 PM PST
A Rockland County mayor is under fire because, at the height of Tuesday's snowstorm, he sent all the sanitation workers home.

"You can't keep them working 30 hours without a break. That's union rules," said Spring Valley Mayor Demeza Delhomme.

And that's the reasoning behind a controversial decision by the mayor of Spring Valley.

Tuesday afternoon at 2:30, while the snowstorm was in high gear, Mayor Delhomme ordered DPW workers off the streets.

It's a move that's drawing criticism from the town of Ramapo, which Spring Valley is a part of.

"It's the most unheard of thing I've ever seen. I think the safety factor alone just speaks for itself," said Ramapo Highway Supervisor Tony Sharon.

Spring Valley has only 28 miles of roads, but the state pays the village to clear Routes 45 and 59, which is a major corridor leading to Good Samaritan Hospital.

That's why the Rockland County executive got involved Tuesday, saying his crews would step in and help, and send the village a bill.

"I'm not going to question the mayor's intentions obviously but it was just not an acceptable approach, and I feel confident it's something he's understanding of right now," said county executive Ed Day.

Guess again. Just ask the defiant mayor, who recently took office, if he thinks he took the wrong approach.

"Even if I made a mistake, I wouldn't admit that was a mistake. There was no mistakes done, simple as that," said Mayor Delhomme.

This isn't the first time the mayor's decision has sparked outrage.

Last month he came under fire for not allowing village workers who also volunteer as firefighters to leave and answer emergency calls, a position he has since backed off of.