Harrison Declares Candidacy
By Susan Hallock
NARROWSBURG April 27, 2007 Patrick Harrison of Narrowsburg announced that he will be running for the District 1 County Legislative seat this November. If elected, he will succeed Chris Cunningham, who will not be seeking another term.
District 1 consists of the Town of Tusten, Town of Cochecton, Bethel, and part of the Town of Delaware. Harrison has officially been endorsed by the Sullivan County Democratic Committee.
Harrison feels he is the right man for the job.
“Sullivan County is at a true crossroads and I feel that I can bring forward creative thinking for planning and new directions,” Harrison said. “The issues that face Sullivan County now are very important to me, and I am the father of two children and I want to see their future grow in Sullivan County. I understand the burdens that face the communities today as well as families both young and old.”
Regarding economic development, he said, “Businesses should be welcomed into Sullivan County with open arms and the businesses that are here should also be enhanced and encouraged to grow to their full potential.
“Our schools need to be able to function and offer all the best that they can to our children, our future generations and our future legislatures,” he added.
Harrison also noted, “I would like to see our taxes stabilized, our county spending should be evaluated and the county budget should be watched carefully.”
Further, “We need to support our local community organizations, fire departments, police departments and emergency services. Our young people need to be able to get jobs here in the same county they live in. They attend our local college and should be able to get a job here and be able to support themselves and a possible family. Our young children and young adults are our greatest assets and we need to give them the best start we can on the county level because they are the future of Sullivan County.”
Harrison’s platform is simple: Leadership, integrity and commitment to the county and its people.
“Many of the issues facing us today are the results of ineffective business controls and practices and they need to be looked at,” he said. “However, they are not the true crux of the problems of Sullivan County. Our main issues are Zoning, environmental protection, and economic development. We need to focus on how we want the county to evolve, what direction we want the economic development to take, and how we intend on achieving that goal. Change is a force of nature, the direction of change for Sullivan County is a conscious act of the residents of the county.”
Harrison’s experience for the seat includes a six-year stint in banking and finance with NatWest Bank, where he managed a quality control department within the commercial lending division.
“This position has given me the experience to know the ins and outs of the importance of business practices, controls and operations as well as how they lend themselves to effective management,” Harrison noted.
Harrison and his wife currently own and operate Rasmussen Funeral Home and Rasmussen Furniture Store in Narrowsburg, and he understands the needs of the small business owner first-hand.
“I understand what the ‘Mom and Pop’ stores are going through and the tough times they are having,” Harrison said. “I understand what the regular business owners are going through also. We need to attract tourism into the area to enhance our businesses and if we can enhance the tourism as well as work on ways to help businesses survive in the county , then you will see less and less businesses going out of business,” commented Harrison.
“Sullivan County is a beautiful area to live and raise a family as well,” he added. “We have many Renaissance projects ongoing that are just enhancing our towns, we have so much to offer a tourist who comes to the area and I truly feel with the right direction, Sullivan County can become a solid year-round economic community.”
Harrison is a third generation funeral director, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and an Associate Degree in Occupational Science, and was awarded the Achievement of Outstanding Mortuary Science.
He is a member of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce, Barryville Chamber of Commerce, Narrowsburg American Youth Soccer Organization, National Funeral Directors Association and the Orange, Rockland, and Sullivan County Funeral Directors Association.
He lives in Narrowsburg with his wife Peggy and their two children Patrick and Molly.