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Former County Chairwoman Roxanne Donnery Passes

GOSHEN – Former Orange County Legislature Chairwoman Roxanne Donnery of Highland Falls died on Monday. State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson and the Orange County Democratic Party announced her passing.

Jacobson credited Donnery’s leadership with saving the county-owned Valley View nursing home instead of becoming a private facility. And he said she saved millions of taxpayer dollars by renovating the county government center in Goshen instead of demolishing it and building new.

“It must be remembered that the Democrats did not have an absolute majority at that time, so it was through Roxanne’s skill and determination that she became chair of the legislature and then formed the bipartisan coalitions necessary to govern wisely and well,” he said.

The Democratic Party issued a statement saying Donnery “leaves behind an impressive legacy of service to the people of Orange County. She was a fighter, an advocate, and a leader that helped inspire many more.”

“I ran against Roxanne for County Executive in 2013 but we were friends and remained acquaintances after the race,” said County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “We had a great working relationship and Roxanne was well-liked and respected by her peers in the legislature and throughout the county. Roxanne will be deeply missed and my thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Donnery was tough and a fighter and had a pair of red boxing gloves hanging in her office. Prior to her county post, she was president of the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School Board.

State Senator James Skoufis said Donnery “was a true public servant in every meaning of the words. As a relentless advocate for her beloved Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District, one of her favorite stories was how she chased down then-President Bill Clinton in a Washington, DC restaurant, barging through secret service to get to his table. After making her unabashed appeal, the funding Roxanne was looking for was deposited in the school district’s bank account that same week.”

Source: Mid-Hudson News

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