Myers says cost cutting did not go far enough

12/18/2009 8:58:55 AM



(White Plains, NY) ~ County Legislator Judy Myers (D-Mamaroneck) voted against the Westchester County $1.8 billion 2010 budget approved 9-8 Monday, saying that reductions in spending and lessening the burden on taxpayers did not go far enough.


“This budget, while providing many valuable safety and support services, could have been reduced further,” Legislator Myers said. “It anticipates revenue that is risky at best, includes too much money for county employee overtime and continues the administrative duplications that could and should be eliminated through consolidation and streamlining.”


The approved budget, which will be in effect for the 2010 calendar year, is $11 million less than originally proposed.  However, the budget does include a 2.9 percent county property tax increase that, while less then the 4.88 percent originally proposed, is something that could have been further reduced, Myers said.  Legislator Myers had supported an earlier resolution to make county government more efficient by consolidating departments, thus reducing duplications and unnecessary county functions.


Legislator Myers noted that the 2010 budgeting process was especially challenging, particularly since mandated costs and other expenses over which the county has little control increased by $48 million.  Nonetheless, there still were unrealized opportunities to make changes and cuts that would have reduced the tax levy increase, she said.


“Having heard loud and clear that now is not the time to raise property taxes, I cannot in good conscience vote to approve a 2.9 percent increase in what is, in my mind, a budget that can be trimmed,” she said.