(WHITE PLAINS, NY)— For the second time, the Board of Legislators ratified an agreement between Westchester County and Standard Amusements to turn over various aspects of operation to the private operator while requiring significant capital investments by the County that have been lacking in the park for years under multiple administrations.  

Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye), joined by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) and Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), voted against the agreement but in favor of separate bond acts, which authorize the largest investment in Playland since it was built.  

Legislator Catherine Parker, who represents the Sound Shore communities including Playland stated, “I believe this deal has gone backwards from the one that was crafted previously.  We are spending more money than we were in the last deal and the private operator is reaping more of the benefits of our investment than they were in the last deal.  I believe turning over the keys to one of our county’s most valuable assets without any avenue of accountability is a mistake that will cost us in the long run.  So many county residents have been involved in the process by telling us that this park has been starved for years and they want to see a change.  We’re happy that the public had another opportunity to tell the County Executive that this asset cannot function without the proper investment like he has avoided for years.  I believe the bonds we’ve passed tonight are a strong step in the direction of saving Playland”

Legislator Borgia added, “I have been a supporter of Standard Amusements’ vision for Playland from the beginning of this process several years ago when the County Executive initially selected Sustainable Playland as the operator.  With input from many of our Legislators and members of the public at that time, it ultimately became clear that the County Executive had failed to select a financially viable entity and was unaware of what was required to manage this park successfully.  The County Executive’s track record of starving Playland and failing to negotiate economically beneficial deals for taxpayers is the greatest reason for my concern over this deal despite Standard’s willingness to work with all of the Stakeholders involved.  At this time, I do not believe the county has represented its taxpayers as well as Standard has represented its investors.   

The management agreement was passed separately from individual bonds that authorized funding for several capital projects at Playland including a new fire suppression system, the North Boardwalk and various new rides and attractions.

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D-Mt. Vernon) added, “Playland is the single largest employer of summer youth in Westchester County.  I wanted to ensure that summer jobs for our young people are protected and that this historic amusement park is modernized and upgraded with new rides and entertainment for families and young people for generations to come.”

“This deal is not perfect but I do believe that paired with the bonds we passed tonight, we have made strides toward saving Playland,” stated Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), who Chairs the BoL Infrastructure Committee and oversaw large portions of the negotiation process. “The County Executive’s longtime reluctance to make needed capital investment in Playland is the reason we need a public-private partnership.  By contractually obligating the County Executive to make these investments, I believe we have given Playland the opportunity to provide enjoyment to families for many years to come.”