Roxanne Donnery: A Stalwart Politician of Orange County

Roxanne Donnery, an esteemed American politician, dedicated her life to serving the community of Orange County, New York. Born around 1943, she made significant contributions as a member of the Orange County legislature, representing the 14th District as a proud member of the Democratic Party. Her district encompassed the town of Highlands and a substantial portion of the town of Woodbury, both situated within the borders of Orange County. Roxanne Donnery was widely recognized for her commitment to public service and her determination to effect positive change in her community.

A Political Trailblazer

Roxanne Donnery’s political journey was marked by her decision to run against the incumbent Nancy Calhoun, who had represented the 96th District in the New York State Assembly for two decades. This bold move reflected her dedication to bringing fresh perspectives and progressive policies to the forefront of Orange County politics.

Advocacy on Key Issues

Throughout her tenure as a legislator, Roxanne Donnery championed a range of crucial issues that significantly impacted Orange County. One of her most notable endeavors was her unwavering opposition to the Kiryas Joel pipeline proposal. In 2004, she played a pivotal role in initiating legal action against Kiryas Joel and secured funding for the county’s legal battle over concerns related to the environmental review of the pipeline project. Her resolute stance on this matter reflected her commitment to protecting the interests of Orange County residents.

Despite legal complexities, Roxanne Donnery remained steadfast in her pursuit of justice. She continued to voice her opposition even after County Executive Eddie Diana dropped a second lawsuit against the pipeline in March 2010. Donnery stood by the efforts of three municipalities—the Town and Village of Woodbury and the Village of Harriman—in their ongoing lawsuit against the pipeline, which aimed to address unresolved issues, particularly those related to sewer treatment.

In her capacity as Chairwoman, Donnery also spearheaded the establishment of an independent watchdog agency—an inspector general—dedicated to uncovering instances of waste, fraud, and abuse within county government. Her persistent advocacy led to the successful passage of this initiative during the 2009 legislative session, despite facing opposition. Unfortunately, County Executive Eddie Diana later vetoed the bill, presenting another challenge in her pursuit of accountability and transparency.

Valley View Nursing Home

Roxanne Donnery actively engaged in the debate surrounding the county-owned Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. When the Legislature voted in May 2010 to explore future ownership and operational options for the facility, Donnery took a stand against those who advocated for selling the institution. She voiced concerns that privatizing Valley View could jeopardize the quality of care provided, place a financial burden on many patients, and potentially lead to job cuts. Donnery consistently voted against studying the sale of the facility, emphasizing her dedication to preserving the welfare of those it served.

A Fond Farewell

Roxanne Donnery’s lifelong commitment to public service was tragically cut short when she succumbed to cancer on January 2, 2023, at the age of 79. Her legacy as a dedicated and determined advocate for the people of Orange County lives on, serving as an inspiration to all who value principled and passionate leadership.