Westchester Moving Forward Says County Executive George Latimer. Budget Problems Ahead. Airport Decision Ahead. Playland Decision Ahead. Consensus Decisions Considering Stakeholders

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The full address can be viewed by clicking on HERE

The full address can be read HERE.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) April 18, 2018:

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered his first State of the County address to a capacity crowd in the Legislative Chambers of the Board of Legislators.

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Latimer said: “What I am here to deliver tonight is news that it is a new day in Westchester County. A day of new opportunity, a day of new ideas and approaches and a day of new growth. And friends – the State of our County is moving forward.”

The address included various announcements and initiatives that Latimer and his team are eager to get to work on, including:

  • Westchester County’s joining of the Paris Climate Agreement,
  • a commitment to get to work on rebuilding our County’s infrastructure,
  • the opening of a female veterans clinic at Westchester Medical Center, and
  • Westchester County’s efforts to craft a shared services plan that will provide real relief to Westchester taxpayers (Editor’s note: the shared services plan, Latimer said will mean more sharing and mutual services for municipalities  than the plan offered by the Astorino administration.)

Latimer also made note of the current status of Westchester’s finances. Latimer, whose first budget will not be voted on until November of 2018 said: “…to move the State of our County forward together – we must understand where our fiscal house stands. And much to my disappointment – the numbers right now do not look pretty. Our County’s finances have fallen victim to ‘sweep it under the rug’ economics for too long.”

Editor’s Note: Latimer noted in his address that he was awaiting an audit from the New York State Comptroller’s Office to get a complete picture of the county budget situation. Since the Budget Director Larry Soule who prepared the 2018 budget under the supervision of Mr. Astorino, and the Democrat-controlled Board of Legislators approved the budget now being questioned,  Mr. Soule is still the Budget Director reappointed by Mr. Latimer. Perhaps Mr. Soule can be counted on to help the Comptroller sort out what was “swept under the rug.”

In the address, Latimer also individually recognized all 16 members of the Board of Legislators, highlighting the importance of ‘building bridges’ – a theme of the address.

Latimer said: “Right now in this Country we are divided, but here in Westchester County we are committed to building bridges.  Bridges between people, cultures, political parties, different ages, time and beliefs.”

Editor’s Note: The County Executive said that John Nonna, the county attorney and his Operations Director, Joan MacDonald were finishing up a report on Playland and he would review that with the legislature before the decision on Playland (to keep Standard Amusements, renegotiate, or junk the privatization). The Playland matter is currently being tied up in the court, awaiting the decision on the City of Rye appeal of the tossout of their suit by the New York Supreme Court, demanding the City of Rye have the right of final approval of any Playland redesign and construction.

The County Executive said the airport is on hold also awaiting review which he will discuss with the Board of Legislators.

Mr. Latimer again promised a review of affordable housing needs in the county which would highlight where more affordable housing was needed in the county.

Editor’s Note: Absent from Mr. Latimer’s address was any comment on the status and secrecy of the Bus Rapid Transit link system that is late getting established to speed traffic from Tarrytown to Port Chester, where the station stops will be, and what fixes will be made to the Cross Westchester Expressway.

The full address can be read HERE.

The introductory “#MyWestchester” video can be viewed HERE.

The full address can be viewed HERE.

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