Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown
Recently re-elected for his second term as District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa will continue to work hard at bringing fiscal sanity back to county government. During his first term he 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. Testa is committed to bringing fiscal responsibility to county government while also maintaining vital services, protecting the environment and those most vulnerable in our society.
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; lower, stable taxes and a decent quality of life for everyone in the community.
In fact, with his past 5 budgets, Testa has achieved an unprecedented net tax decrease for taxpayers – delivering three 0% budgets in Peekskill, a 12.2% County tax DECREASE in 2010, and a 0% County budget for 2011.
His main goals were to restore economic stability, make Peekskill the most attractive and affordable place for middle-income earners to live in Westchester, and improve the overall quality of life – through green initiatives, neighborhood improvements, a focus on the City’s rich history, and a reduction in crime.
To achieve these ends, Testa enacted a multifaceted approach.
During his six-year tenure as Mayor, he pursued a smart growth strategy, which considered the opinions of everyone in the community, and attracted more than $100 million in new development. As targeted redevelopment was deployed, 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. Testa was also named a “Champion of the Arts” by the Westchester Arts Council for his commitment to arts and cultural initiatives.
During his service as Mayor and President of the Lincoln Society, Testa brought an unprecedented focus on the City’s rich history, encompassing the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. He continues that focus as President of the Lincoln Depot Museum.
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 in Peekskill. 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.
Testa’s focus as County Legislator has been to achieve the same successful vision he achieved in Peekskill at the County level.
For more information on Legislator Testa visit: www.johngtesta.com