(WHITE PLAINS, NY) In response to County Executive Rob Astorino’s state of the County Address, Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) reiterated many of the concerns members of the Democratic Caucus have voiced about the operational and financial management of Westchester County.  In a 3 minute video, Borgia summarized that “everything starts and ends with our finances and at the moment ours are in bad shape.”

The Democratic response touched on the results of having a multi-million dollar budget deficit created by repeated overestimation of sales taxes that have been criticized by independent auditors and budget advisory groups.

“Our roads and bridges continue to be in significant disrepair; flood-prone coastal neighborhoods have been neglected and homeowners fear damaged every time there is rain during high tides; and providers of services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and mental health disorders are turned away because the administration refuses to honor its responsibility to the health, safety & welfare of Westchester residents,” Borgia explained.

As a practical solution, Borgia restated a priority of using the county as a tool in helping local governments consolidate, share services and find existing efficiencies before cutting vital services, “Over the last 7 years the County has missed lots of opportunities to consolidate and share services amongst municipalities.  As a former Town Supervisor, I’ve seen how these mergers work and the significant savings they yield for taxpayers.”  

Westchester County is already behind on 2016 sales tax collections and is likely to face another large budget deficit at the end of this year that will cause us to dip into the County’s reserves and has already begun to have impact on services including public safety.  

“There are no silver bullets to solve our fiscal difficulties; however there are still creative solutions to manage our budget outside of raising taxes and cutting services.  All it takes is a little effort, ambition and some cooperation,” Borgia concluded.

Click Here to Watch the Democratic Response