Thom Kleiner, a resident of Sparkill, served as Orangetown Supervisor from 1996-2009. He inherited a town government plagued by cronyism and fiscal mismanagement but immediately implemented a merit hiring system, and restored fiscal transparency to town government. During his 14 years of service, Orangetown improved its bond rating and had the lowest property growth of any town in Rockland.
As Chief Economic Development Officer for Orangetown, Thom spearheaded efforts to attract high tech businesses and jobs to Orangetown. He co-authored the Route 303 Overlay Zone legislation that has kept the Route 303 corridor as a hub of jobs and business, and protected it from being overdeveloped with residential housing.
When a developer announced plans to build 5,000 houses on Rockland Psych. Center, Thom stepped up and negotiated with New York State to sell the property to the town instead, so we could control our own destiny. Now the site has been redeveloped with the Chase Data Center, fields for soccer, little league, and the Gaelic Athletic Association.
During his tenure, he led a $50 million overhaul of the town Sewer Plant to protect the environment, eliminate odors and stop sewage overflow into the Hudson River. And while Thom was Supervisor, Orangetown purchased hundreds of acres on Clausland Mountain, permanently protecting this property as open space.
In 2009, Thom ran for Rockland County Executive and took a strong stand against overdevelopment in Ramapo, even though he knew it could cost him the election. After he joined residents on the front lines in fighting New Square’s proposal to build a chicken slaughterhouse in a residential neighborhood, the Bloc vote delivered over 7,000 votes for his Republican opponent.
Since leaving office, he has served in senior roles at the New York State Department of Labor and Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, where he had the opportunity to observe and implement best government practices around the Hudson Valley and make our region more economically competitive. He is currently Executive Director of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board whose primary mission is linking job seekers with employers and partnering with community leaders to enhance economic development and business growth. In this role, Thom administers a $7 million budget and supervises 25 employees of the workforce board and career center network.
Thom’s commitment to protecting the community and standing up for people in need started decades ago. Before becoming Supervisor, he started his career working for the NYC Department of Housing, prosecuting slumlords for code violations. He subsequently worked at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs prosecuting unscrupulous contractors who preyed on innocent consumers and the elderly.
He serves on the boards of the Nyack Hospital Board of Trustees (Secretary), the Rockland County Historical Society, and the Rockland Hospital Guild. He previously served on the boards of the Orangeburg Library, Helping Hands of Rockland, JCC of Rockland and the United Way of Rockland.
He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan. He is married with two college-aged daughters.
In his current campaign for Town Supervisor, Thom is focusing on a number of pressing issues for our town, chief among them, the need to deal with encroaching overdevelopment from Ramapo, and the need to keep a tight lid on property tax growth. To read more about his positions on issues facing our town, please visit his issue page.