WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2013. By John F. Bailey. July 23, 2013:
NOAM BRAMSON, Mayor of New Rochelle, and candidate for County Executive vistited White Plains Monday evening, taking his message to WP to about 30 persons at the YWCA. About ten of those 30 were political officer holders, including Mayor Tom Roach of White Plains and 4 White Plains Councilpersons, and State Senator George Latimer, and Assemblyman David Buchwald.
HE PRESENTED WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS WRONG ABOUT THE ASTORINO ADMINISTRATION HOUSING SETTLEMENT POSITIONS.
HE POINTED OUT HOW HE FELT THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE MISREPRESENTED WHAT THE HUD ( DEPART OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT) HOUSING SETTLEMENT WOULD COST THE COUNTY, HOW MANY UNITS THE COUNTY WOULD HAVE TO BUILD, AND CHIDED MR. ASTORINO FOR SAYING HUD WAS CALLING FOR REMOVING LOCAL ZONING.
INSTEAD BRAMSON SAID HUD WAS CALLING FOR COLLABORATIVE DISCUSSIONS ON ZONING THAT RESPECTS THE RESTRAINTS PUT UPON COMMUNITIES.
Bramson, speaking with an articulate, compelling freshness of style charged he current County Executive “had not demonstrated constructive leadership when it comes to resolving the affordable housing settlement and enabling us to move on, accusing him of engaging in “a campaign of significant public deception.”
Bramson promised that when the HUD housing crisis was resolved he would work for a “new comprehensive housing policy,” to provide housing for workforce families and young professionals.
He criticized the present administration for a lack of planning and having NO coherent development plan to bring business to the county, criticising how the County Planning Department had been gutted and Westchester has refused to participate in area sustainbability alliances.
He defended the rate of tax increase in New Rochelle as being the lowest among big cities of Westchester, and touted the New Rochelle municipal tax rate as the lowest in Westchester. He did not answer a question about how much taxes had gone up when asked.
For the record, the New Rochelle city website, http://newrochelleny.com/DocumentCenter/View/696 Document Center reports that in the 10 years between 2003 and 2013, when Mr. Bramson was on the city council and in 2007, becoming Mayor, the New Rochelle CityTax Rate went from $107.14 per $1,000 to $198.50 per $1,000, a tax increase of 85%. The year Mr. Bramson became Mayor (2007) the tax rate was $139.81 per thousand and six years later it is $198.50 per thousand, a 39% increase. The White Plains Tax Rate for 2013 is $191.74 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, compared to $198.50 New Rochelle.
The Consumer Price Index for the New York Metropolitan area increased 27% from 2003 to 2013.
Mr. Bramson accused the County Executive borrowing 90 Million over the last four years, $48 million in the last year. He said this drawing down of fund balance was how Astorino had prevented tax increases.
He said he would create a framework to create savings on services by sharing expenses. He did not say if he would raise taxes to cover the shortfalls filled by taking county fund balance.
ON THE PLAYLAND SITUATION, HE DID NOT ENDORSE ANY ORGANIZATIONS TO TAKE OVER PLAYLAND. HE BLAMED LOWERING ATTENDANCE ON THE SHARPLY INCREASED ADMISSIONS POLICIES OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS.
HE SAID PLAYLAND WAS ACTUALLY BREAKING EVEN IF YOU TOOK THE DEBT SERVICE CHARGED THE PARK OUT OF THE NUMBERS. HE SAID THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION, AND BY INFERENCE THE BOARD OF LEGISLATORS HAD NOT VETTED THE SUSTAINABLE PLAYLAND PROPOSAL WELL. INDICATING THAT HE IS SIMPLY AGAINST THE SUSTAINABLE PLAYLAND PROPOSAL ABOUT TO BE ENTERED INTO IN A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY TODAY
He stood for strengthening families
HE SAID HE WANTED TO REORGANIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO SAVE MONEY AND MAKE A ONE PORTAL DELIVES ALL TYPE EXPERIENCE FOR THOSE USING THE DEPARTMENT. HE SAID METRICS OF PERFORMANCE SHOULD BE APPLIED TO EVALUATE PERFORMANCES IN ALL DEPARTMENTS. He says this WILL DELIVER A BETTER FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
HE ACCUSED THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION OF APPLYING A MEAT CLEAVER TO SAVING MONEY ON SERVICES…SUCH AS ITS CUTS ON CHILD CARE.
HE SAYS THE ADMINISTRATION APPROACH SEEMS TO ALL “SPRING FROM AN IDEOLOGICAL PREDISPOSITION AGAINST PUBLIC ACTION WHICH REALLY BELIEVES THE LESS WE DO TOGETHER THE BETTER OFF WE’LL BE AND THE MORE WE’RE LEFT TO FEND FOR OURSELVES THE BETTER OFF WE’LL BE.”
He said THE ATTITUDE ON THE NINTH FLOOR OF THE COUNTY OFFICE BUILDING TODAY IS “IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM,” AND SAID, ”I THINK WE HAVE MORE OF A SENSE OF COMMON PURPOSE THAN THEY DO NOW.”
HE SAID HIS SUPPORT OF ABORTION (MR. ASTORINO IS AGAINST ABORTION), IS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER BECAUSE IT ENTERS INTO POLICY MAKING, POINTING OUT THAT ASTORINIO VETOED AN (ABORTION) CLINIC ACCESS ASSURANCE BILL AT THE COUNTY LEVEL.
BRAMSON WRAPPED UP HIS TALK SAYING OF COUNTY EXECUTIVE ROBERT ASTORINO,
“HE CAMPAIGNS A LOT LIKE NELSON ROCKEFELLER, BUT WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT HIS GOVERNING AGENDA, IT RESEMBLES WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT FROM NEWT GINGRICH. THAT IS NOT WHAT LOTS OF PEOPLE BARGAINED FOR WHEN THEY ELECTED HIM FOUR YEARS AGO. I THINK WE NEED A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE.”