Howard T. Phillips, Jr. - Town Supervisor

Howard T. Phillips, Jr., grew up in Rockland County residing in the Town of Haverstraw his entire life. He is a graduate of North Rockland High School in 1975 and in 1977 graduated from Rockland Community College with an Associates 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 and Science 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. While under Supervisor Rotella, he requested that the Supervisor implement a Fourth of July fireworks Independence Day celebration and it has been one of the largest and most successful events since its inception.

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. 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, now known as the County of Rockland’s Haverstraw Bay Park. Also listed as many of his accomplishments were directing the County to take over Railroad Avenue as a County Road in the Village of West Haverstraw, 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. Since his election, he has secured more than twenty million dollars in Federal, State and private grants. He has improved the park system at Bowline Point Park and at the Philip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course. He has dedicated the Lawless Pavilion at Bowline Point Park in honor of Thomas J. Lawless and the Grant Gazebo in honor of John T. Grant. The Town of Haverstraw is very proud that it has recently acquired 25 acres of land at Helen Hayes Hospital which will be future recreational fields as well as a permanent home of the Challenger League.

Supervisor Phillips is the current Chairman of the Joint Regional Sewerage Board (JRSB) and was recently named by his colleagues the Chairman of the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority (RCSWMA). The RCSWMA handles all the solid waste and recycling in Rockland County. 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 a former 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 over 30 years, 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus, member of AOH Division 1, member of the Rockland County Democratic Committee; former New York State Committee member, and former Co-Chairman of the American Heart Association Rockland County Chapter.

The Supervisor and Town Board were very proud to recently acquire the Civil War 95th Regimental Flag where it is now on permanent display at Town Hall. This battle flag was at numerous battles including Fredericksburg, Antietam and the defining battle of Gettysburg. Many members of the 95th Regiment were from Haverstraw and now the flag has a final resting place and will never leave Haverstraw again.

Supervisor Phillips currently resides in Garnerville with his wonderful and loving wife Arlette and beautiful children Veronica, Thomas and William.

Major Accomplishments

- Acquired 25 acres of land at Helen Hayes Hospital for future recreation facilities for Town residents
- 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
- Cofounder with Athletic Director Joseph Casarella of the Annual 5K North Rockland Community Fun Run and raised over $250,000 since its inception
- Constructed first canoe and kayak launch in Rockland County
- Creation of Town of Haverstraw Youth Board which enables our youth to attend Broadway plays, museums, exhibits, concerts and sporting events at a very affordable price
- Sponsored Dancing Under the Stars in the Villages of Haverstraw and West Haverstraw
- Sponsored Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Show at Bowline Point Park
- Sponsored Annual Halloween Festival for the children of Haverstraw and North Rockland
- Constructed new: water spray area, kiddie pool, pavilion, gazebo, and handicapped accessible bathroom facilities at Bowline Point Park, a fishing dock in Bowline pond, currently constructing fishing pier in the Hudson River at no cost to the local taxpayer
- Developed open-air concerts at Bowline Point Park
- Created first N.R. Police Youth Academy
- Established N. R. Youth Court
- Established North Rockland Youth Explorers
- Sponsored radio control air shows with the Hudson Valley Radio Control Club with over  800 participants in 2014
- Created 6 million dollar tax stabilization fund
- 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
- 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 and 2013 NYS Comptroller ranked Town with best financial condition in Rockland County and one of the best in the State of New York
- Established 1st ever K-9 Unit
- Acquired $200,000 of equipment at no cost to the taxpayers
- Enacted Street Crime Tactical Unit