FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2011
Contact: Jim Maisano 914-469-5486
White Plains, NY – The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators are sending a strong message to their Democratic colleagues to stop playing partisan political games with County Executive Rob Astorino’s appointments.Read more
I have now served on the Westchester County Board of Legislators for 13 years. I served with both Democratic and Republican County Executives. One principle I have observed, along with the other County Legislators, is that the County Executive has a right to select the members of the administration. Even though these appointments must be approved by the Board of Legislators, I have voted to support the County Executive’s appointments (for Andy Spano and Rob Astorino), which would include several hundreds of votes over 13 years. I even approved people I thought had borderline qualifications because of the importance of this principle that the Executive Branch (President, Governor, County Executive, etc.) should pick its administration. We should only verify two things before voting to support such appointments: 1) do they have the necessary qualifications? and 2) is there anything in their background that could embarrass the county – like a criminal record?Read more
Talk of the Sound has confirmed that the Westchester County District Attorney has expanded their investigation of the City of New Rochelle Department of Public Works to include the City's Department of Parks and Recreation. After receiving a tip that Fevang was keeping a boat at the New Rochelle Marina, investigators from the DA's office inspected the boat and called upon Harbor Master Salvatore "Sal" Gugliara.
DA Spokesperson Lucian Chalfen declined to comment on the investigation of the New Rochelle Marina citing the ongoing investigation.Read more
Emergency responders are converging on the waters off New Rochelle near the New York Athletic Club where initial reports are that two boats collided sending people into the water. There are unconfirmed reporters that two boats capsized. Westchester County Police are sending a helicopter to the scene.
UPDATE: People are now out of the water. Another boat came over and rescued people in the water. The boat is bringing to the people to the Glen Island dock. No information whether anyone is missing. New Rochelle Harbor Patrol is now responding to the scene.
UPDATE: New Rochelle Harbor Patrol is standing down as all people are accounted for.
If you have photos, send them.
In the heated and at times overheated process of proposing, debating, amending, and passing a budget for Westchester County, most attention has centered on funding this program or that; keeping or eliminating one budget line or another.
Unfortunately, what was lost in the clutter of that debate is that the real challenge for all elected officials now and for the future, must be that of making government smaller.
Taxpayers can no longer afford the superstructure of government and all the costs associated with it, that has been constructed in Westchester County’s case.
Westchester residents are the most heavily taxed in the nation and the relief they demand, and deserve, will not come solely from trimming around the edges of budgets and plucking out one cost or another.
Tax relief, meaningful tax relief, will come only from making fundamental structural changes to the model of government and by reducing spending in smart, future-oriented ways.Read more
County Executive Robert P. Astorino today named a new commissioner of Social Services, selecting a person with almost three decades of bottom-to-top professional experience in health and human services to oversee the county’s largest department.
Kevin M. McGuire, a one-time New York City social services caseworker who up until this week was executive director of the Maryland Department of Human Resources Family Investment Administration, was selected following a nationwide search. He will begin his new job next week.
“Kevin McGuire is a professional with a successful history of managing the many complexities of a large social services organization,” Astorino said. “He knows how to deliver crucial safety net programs to residents, navigate constantly changing state and federal regulations and ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely.”Read more
County Executive expresses disappointment in “spending spree” at taxpayer expense
County Executive Robert P. Astorino today slammed the Democratic-majority of the Board of Legislators for overriding hundreds of budget vetoes, thereby adopting a 2011 budget filled with runaway spending and speculative revenues.
“The Democrats on the board went on a spending spree this month,” Astorino said, “Next month the bills will start coming in. The Democrats have decided to put the bill on the taxpayer’s credit card. But make no mistake. The bill has to be paid and it can’t be paid with phony revenues. This budget by the Democrats is government by gimmicks.”
Astorino in November had proposed a spending plan for next year that cut the county levy by 1 percent, protected the county’s most needy, continued all essential services and protected the county’s three AAA bond ratings.Read more
White Plains, NY – Republican County Legislators criticized a “flawed process that led to a flawed product,” and blasted their Democratic counterparts for their strict adherence to party line votes to override virtually all of County Executive Rob Astorino’s vetoes.
“Too much of the budget process was done behind the closed doors of the Democratic caucus, and result was 247 vetoes and a blown opportunity to dramatically reform the county government. They made questionable decisions outside the review of the media, public and Republican legislators. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority voted to override several of the County Executive’s efforts to create a more taxpayer friendly budget, downsize the county government and create savings for the taxpayers of the county with highest property taxes in the nation,” said Minority Leader Jim Maisano (R, New Rochelle).Read more