Hall ends stimulus-talk tour in Stony Point

February 2, 2008

STONY POINT – Rep. John Hall yesterday answered questions from constituents and offered them a laundry list of federal spending programs geared to jump-start the economy in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York and the country.

Hall, a Democrat from Dover Plains whose district includes Stony Point, spent more than an hour talking and listening with about 30 people at Town Hall.

Stony Point marked the third – and final – leg of his “Congress on Your Corner” tour yesterday.

The second-term congressman also spent time in North Salem and Peekskill, boasting with a smile that Stony Point was the first place he arrived on time.

Hall spoke about the Obama administration’s plans to spend billions of dollars to create jobs.

He spoke about money going to infrastructure projects, including bridges and roads; weatherization and environmental programs; wastewater treatment; and Medicaid funding. He said the hope was to stabilize state and local taxes while putting people to work.

Hall also came down hard on financial institutions that he said spent recovery money on jets and bonuses, rather than giving out loans as planned. He said the Obama administration and Congress have intensified the oversight of how the money is spent.

The stimulus package estimates are 400,000 more jobs for New York, alone, he said.

Many of the residents were pleased to hear the information and meet with Hall. After the question-and-answer session, the congressman and his staff spoke privately with constituents, offering help on particular concerns.

“It was informative,” John Contento, 50, of Stony Point said. “People get a chance to voice their concerns and their needs. It was a good back and forth.”

Contento wanted to speak with Hall about financial issues, including more regulation. He said he normally wasn’t in favor of regulation of business.

James Brophy, 37, of Stony Point was happy to hear about government spending on weatherization and environmental programs. He hoped those would create jobs.

“I was especially excited to hear about programs that would put people back to work,” Brophy said.

Brophy, a mechanic, said Hall still had the glow of a newcomer to Congress and he hoped Hall’s independence and enthusiasm would last.

“He’s not tainted,” Brophy said. “I like the fact money will be dispersed equally, not based on district seniority.”

Erica Nagel, 27, who lives in Harriman State Park, works in the arts field.

She liked Hall’s description of the arts as a means to provide jobs and increase tourism, bringing more money into local communities.
Hall also laid out the government’s short-term plans to help people with immediate needs, such as managing their mortgages.

He said long-term plans go with providing more money for college expenses and research and development.

Providing education and research, Hall said, could set up the United States to compete in the future with other nations, including China, the European Union and India.