Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown
Recently re-elected for his fourth term as District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa will continue to work hard at bringing stability back to county government. Testa was again selected by his colleagues to continue as BOL Minority Leader for the 2016-17 term.
As a legislator Testa has worked to change the attitude and focus of county government by reducing its size and bringing spending under control while seeking to eliminate the waste that has affected the taxpayers of Westchester for far too long. The result has been 6 straight years of no tax levy increase while also maintaining vital services, protecting the environment and enhancing services those most vulnerable in our society.
In fact, with his past 8 budgets, Testa has achieved an unprecedented net tax decrease for taxpayers – delivering three 0% budgets in Peekskill as Mayor, a 2.2% County tax DECREASE in 2010, and a 0% County budget for 2011 thru 2016.
County Legislator Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1999 and then served three terms as Mayor. Testa became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility.
After taking the oath of office as Mayor of Peekskill in 2002, Testa began working diligently to achieve his vision for a better future for Peekskill. He implemented the ideals of smaller, more efficient government focusing on lower, stable taxes and to improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. His focus was to make Peekskill the most attractive and affordable place for middle-income earners to live in Westchester, which he accomplished through green initiatives, neighborhood improvements, a focus on the City’s rich history, and a reduction in crime.
But the cornerstone of Testa’s leadership of Peekskill – one of the great strengths he brings to the County Board of Legislators – is his record of fiscal stewardship. Along with his unprecedented tax record, Testa gifted the City a fund balance of more than $10 million, something never achieved by any other Peekskill Mayor in history. He pursued a smart growth strategy, and attracted more than $200 million in new development. As targeted redevelopment took place, the City’s assessment rose, taxes stabilized – attracting many new middle-income families to the City – and Westchester Magazine declared Peekskill under Testa’s leadership one of the “Top Ten Places to Live” in Westchester and Hudson Valley Magazine named Peekskill among its “Top 10 Terrific Home Towns” in the Hudson Valley. His focus on environmental issues has consistently earned Testa the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters. The Westchester Arts Council for his commitment to arts and cultural initiatives also named Testa a “Champion of the Arts”.
One of Testa’s most recognizable accomplishments has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks. During his service as Mayor, Testa brought an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, encompassing the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. He has served as President of The Lincoln Society in Peekskill and is presently the President of the Lincoln Depot Museum, which was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museum’s in Westchester.
For more information on Legislator Testa visit: www.johngtesta.com