WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. August 9, 2017:
When will the voters and the residents of Westchester County “wake up and smell the coffee,” as Ann Landers used to say?
There is one government, not two parties and both parties work to protect one another and keep themselves in power.
Here we go again:
The Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino and the Westchester County Legislature are working the tried and true “Veto Play.”
This time they are working the Veto Play with Immigrants.
Immigrants: The hardest working people in Ameria. Afraid of deportation by the Trump Administration secret police (ICE). Afraid everytime they are stopped by police. (Keep those tail lights functioning!)
Afraid each night they go back to their over-crowded illegal housing which is permitted callously by the administrations of countless towns and cities in the county, who do not enforce housing codes.
Afraid employers will fire them immediately on a whim and report them. What Hell it is to be an immigrant these days who may be illegal. Or legal but speak Spanish. Or in fear of not having their VISA renewed.
Here’s how the two parties…the Astorino administration and the County Legislature are working the Veto Play that makes everyone look good under the shameless sham of protecting immigrants.
The Democratic-controlled legislature cooks up some legislation, in this case, the Immigrant Protection bill, allegedly to protect immigrants from exposure to the ICE authorities currently scouring the county for immigrants here illegally, with expired visas or with possible criminal backgrounds and the purpose of the Immigrant Protection Bill is to as County Legislator Catherine Borgia puts it,
“immigrants have reported that they are less likely to contact police officers if they have been the victim of a crime because of potential immigrant consequences. Westchester is too diverse a County for our residents to live in fear.”
So what does this bill do?
It follows New York State Attorney General Eric Sneiderman’s guidelines: it says that local authorities limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement by not serving civil immigration warrants; by refusing to detain and hold “uncharged” individuals in custody for over 48 hours (allowing ICE to “pick them up”); restricting federal authorities to individuals presently being held; and restricting information-gathering to federal immigration enforcement (local police not asking for i.d. papers, personal information, etc.).
So, the Democratic-controlled legislature cooks up this “feel good” immigrant protection bill, passes it 10-5, to demonstrate that and these are my quotes: “we are behind you immigrants. We will protect you. Democrats are for you. Vote for us.”
The County Executive then steps and in and plays his role, threatening to veto the legislation they passed Monday within 10 days.
Kenneth Jenkins candidate for County Executive nomination for the Democrats in the September 12 primary vows to work hard to override the expected Astorino veto. State Senator George Latimer has not yet weighed in on the side of the immigrants.
So now both sides of the aisle working the Veto Play to perfection look good.
The Democrats appear to be championing the population of the county of immigrants. The Astorino Republican side does a careful appeal by vetoing to the Trump constituency upcounty while appearing to support local law enforcement.
Aren’t we tired of this game yet, voters?
Don’t you see right through these political maneuvers? Both parties are playing you for suckers.
The Democratic Party that controls the legislature of the county, did the same ploy on the Astorino “no tax increase” budgets the last eight years. They wring their hands over cuts to services, but always two Democrats vote with the Republicans to pass the budget, despite moaning over the $15 Million budget deficit in 2017and borrowing to balance the budget. That happened again in December of 2016.
The Democratic party now is running on the lame premise that the county is running a deficit. But they did not. The county had a surplus this year. Now the Democrats’ loan issue is the airport lease agreement, objecting to leasing the airport for 20 years. They talk about “Westchester Values,” whatever they are.
They also did a reverse veto play on Playland.
The Democrats rejected Sustainable Playland, Rob Astorino’s first plan because Sustainable did not have financing. So that deal went away. Then the Democrats got behind the Standard Amusements plan, only to agree to a deal that will cost the county $50 Million in new Playland debt over the next 20 years if Standard Amusements finally accepts the deal.
Don’t you remember that County Executive Robert Astorino’s original deal with Sustainable Playland and then Standard Amusements would eliminate Playland debt with payments? Well, it did.
But nooooooooooooo, the Democrats said the Sustainable Playland deal was not well financed, so they threw it out. Then Standard Amusements, after having three years to inspect Playland, said they would not pay for all the repairs needed and the county said they would: instead of Playland debt being reduced to nothing, it went up $30 Million. Then the Legislators said they wanted to keep the Playland Pool…Boom! Another $10 Million was added to the debt, up to $40 Million. Then you have the $10 Million the county has spent on the Children’s museum Then the City of Rye sued over the Standard Amusements deal, and if the City of Rye does not withdraw the suit, well if I were Standard Amusements, I’d walk. Attendance is down 22% anyway.
Now we are multiplying the county Playland debt ten times to $50 Million if you include the $10 million we have burned on the Children’s Museum.
The County Legislators have to learn how to count. They are not good businesspersons. They only want to make the County Executive look bad and their efforts to do so, only make situations worse.
Now—back to the Immigrant Protection Act.
If the promised Robert Astorino veto is overridden, then it will only take a couple of tough calls from the Department of Justice to force local law enforcement agencies to “cooperate.” If the Trump Troopers want you to do something they will apply the pressure: pulling back community development funds, threats, threats and more threats.
The county, the cities in the county will fold like the cheap suits they wear.