White Plains, NY - When the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) passed a raft of new bills at its last regular meeting on June 6, the legislation was sent up to the County Executive’s office on the ninth floor of the Michealian Office Building here for either his approval or veto. By law, he has ten days to sign the bills, or they automatically become law.
Yesterday afternoon, the eight bills were all passed into law unanimously because the entire package of legislation was not returned to the BOL on a timely basis—thirteen days after the BOL meeting and even after a courtesy call regarding the fate of the bills was made to the County Executive on Monday morning.
“This is definitely not the way the County Executive, a public servant, should be doing the business of the people,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “The residents of Westchester deserve a thumb’s up or down on legislation that has been proposed and debated by the County legislators, then approved in Committee and brought to the entire Board for a vote. If the County Executive simply wants to ignore this entire package of legislation, again, he should explain why.”Read more
Free HIV tests in Westchester
Did you know that outside of New York City, Westchester has the most people living with HIV and AIDS of any other county in New York State? In addition, 40% of individuals in Westchester are diagnosed with AIDS within one year of learning of their HIV status, meaning that they likely had been infected with HIV years earlier without knowing.
A new state regulation now requires that people ages 13 to 64, and other ages as indicated, be offered voluntary HIV testing as a routine part of health care at hospitals and in primary care settings.
In observance of National HIV Testing Day on June 27th, the Westchester County Department of Health in collaboration with the Westchester Knows Task Force and Project WAVE agencies will offer free Rapid HIV testing at the following locations:Read more
On the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Westchester Great Hunger Memorial, County Executive Robert P. Astorino and James Houlihan, who led efforts to create the monument, will lay a wreath at the Irvington site to commemorate the occasion, as well as to focus attention on the issues of hunger past and present.
Astorino and Houlihan will be joined by dignitaries and other officials for the ceremony on Tuesday, June 21 at 11 a.m., at the Great Hunger Memorial Park in Irvington.
The bronze sculpture, created by Dublin artist Eamonn O'Doherty, is a permanent reminder of the 1840s Irish famine known as the Great Hunger.
“The memorial to the tragedy in which one million people died has become a cherished destination for quiet reflection and inspiration for the people Westchester,” Astorino said. “We thank Jim Houlihan and the many people he brought together to make this memorial a reality, and to educate park visitors about this dreadful event that we should never forget.”Read more
The Westchester One-Stop Employment Center has made changes to its Virtual Job Fair. Businesses are still participating in the Virtual Job Fair by registering and listing job openings here.
The businesses that register will be able to review the resumes and qualifications of screened customers of the One-Stop Employment Center. Individual interviews will be scheduled on an ongoing basis for different locations as required by the businesses.
Businesses may call Clyde Jones at (914) 995-7504 or Milton David at (914) 995-8631 for additional information about the job fair.
The One-Stop Employment Center provides free resources and services to help job seekers and the under-employed prepare for, or to find, jobs. One-Stop customers have access to computer and workshops to help with their job search.
Businesses may qualify for tax incentives, on-the-job and customized training funds to assist with the training of new and current employees.Read more
White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) announced today that a review of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for 2010 shows a $67.3 return to fund balance.
In addition to this $67.3 million, the Health Insurance Fund of the County is showing an increase in Fund Balance of nearly $17.5 million dollars from 2009. The fund balance in this account was previously $12,180. This increase is comprised of an allocation of nearly $15 million in savings in county health insurance, along with Early Retirement Reinsurance Program (ERRP) reimbursements of approximately $2.5 million.
Also reported in the CAFR is an increase in fund balance of $3.7 million in the County’s Retirement Fund. The additional monies now available in these two funds will help the County to stabilize the impact of unforeseen increases in both health insurance costs or retirement expenses in future years.Read more
Westchester County will use $250,000 in federal stimulus money and another $250,000 in federal and state aid to reduce its own share of a $5.63 million capital project to fund improvements at bus stops throughout the county.
County Executive Robert P. Astorino has sent to the Board of Legislators a proposed capital project amendment, which would substitute the new funds for county funds that would have been raised by selling bonds. If approved by the legislators, the county’s share of the project would be $140,000 in county cash and $400,000 from bonds.
“This essential capital project will continue to fund needed improvements in and around bus stops,” said Astorino. “Our bus ridership remains high and we have to make sure that we maintain the bus stops so that they are safe, clean and handicap-accessible.”
The bulk of the funding for the project comes from federal funds, now $4.6 million, plus the $250,000 in stimulus funds. The stimulus funds will be used to make improvements at the White Plains Bus Terminal including painting and new signage. That project is expected to be completed by October of this year.Read more
Sources with direct knowledge of a public corruption investigation in New Rochelle by the Westchester County District Attorney tell Talk of the Sound that Fleet Manager Richard Fevang is the sole focus of the pending grand jury indictment.
Several sources have complained that the DA's office appears to be singling out Fevang and ignoring siginificant wrong doing by other municipal employees. Some well-placed sources have speculated that this may be the result of political considerations by Janet DeFiore, a Democrat, who will need to support from New Rochelle Democrats when she runs for re-election. By laying the entire case at the feet of Fevang, the City can then claim they have got rid of the "one rotten apple" when they fire him to create the illusion that Fevang was a rogue employee and that no other municipal employees were involved.Read more
On June 14th in a hastily called meeting with barely 24 hours notice to legislators, the Democrat supermajority on the Westchester Board of Legislators voted to eliminate the spectator fee for county residents to Playland. The capricious fee change will cost taxpayers at least $377,000 for the remainder of the season. The Republican Caucus did not participate in the vote since over the past few weeks, we strongly opposed and voted against changing this fee structure because it was fiscally irresponsible.
This past Tuesday, the Republican Legislators challenged their Democrat colleagues to identify spending cuts to offset the loss of the spectator fees, so that we could consider supporting the change. Unfortunately, the Democrat Legislators failed to meet this challenge and simply voted to eliminate at least $377,000 in revenue from the county’s finances.Read more