John B. Lovett, who served six years as Orangetown Town Supervisor and three years as a County Legislator, rising to become the Legislature’s first-ever Chair, has died at the age of 97, according to his family.
“Jack Lovett cared deeply about the Orangetown community, and about Rockland County,” Legislator Patrick J. Moroney said. “He was born and raised in Orangetown and he was very proud of his work in creating Blue Hill Golf Course. Even today, the residents of Orangetown are able to enjoy the recreation of the course thanks to his efforts.”
Lovett, who was called Jack, also supported the construction of Blue Hill Plaza, favoring a tax ratable over a possible massive public housing complex that was being discussed.
On the county level, Lovett helped oversee county government as one of the five town supervisors who made up the Rockland County Board of Supervisors. A Republican, he was Orangetown Supervisor from 1966 to 1971, according to newspaper archives.
The county later adopted a reapportionment plan, as directed by the Supreme Court, and in 1970 created the Rockland County Legislature. Lovett was among those who pushed to create the system, arguing that five town supervisors meeting only periodically could not properly oversee the daily operations of county government. The Board of Supervisors’ system had been in place for 170 years.
Lovett served as the first chair of the then-18-member newly-created Legislature. His portrait remains on display in the Legislature’s Chambers, along with others who succeeded him as chair.
He left the Legislature at the end of 1971 to become the appointed director of the Rockland County Department of Fiscal and General Services, a post roughly equivalent to a county executive. He eventually advocated for the creation of an elected county executive’s post to help improve the efficiency of county government, according to newspaper archives. He returned to the private sector after leaving county government several years later.
“Jack was also a dedicated husband and the father of seven children,” said Moroney (R-Pearl River). “He was blessed to enjoy not only grandchildren but great-grandchildren. I send my deepest sympathies to his family. He was a dear friend and he will be missed.”
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