1/18/2010 8:17:04 PM

 

 

On Wednesday January 13th over 120 people gathered at the Piazza Roma Restaurant in the Cortlandt Town Center for a Victory Celebration for newly elected Westchester County Legislator for District 1 John G. Testa.  The enthusiastic crowd was filled with friends, family, elected officials and supporters from all over Westchester and beyond.  Making a point to be on hand to congratulate Testa and wish him well was new County Executive Rob Astorino.

 

Master of Ceremonies Vincent Vesce, himself a former Peekskill Mayor,  pointed out that Testa “was an outstanding Mayor who always put the people first and accomplished tremendous things for his community and now will do the same as County Legislator for District 1.” Also on hand was NY State Senator Vincent Leibell who lauded Testa’s “commitment, integrity and accomplishment for the people he represents.”

 

County Executive Astorino remarked on Testa’s “outstanding record as Mayor” and how he is “relying on John’s experience, integrity and ability to get things done” to help him tackle the challenges that face Westchester County. Astorino noted that the County will run out of funds by the end of March and that the reserve funds were completely depleted by the former administration. “We face a difficult road ahead with many tough decisions to be made along the way,” Astorino remarked. “I know John is the right person for the job and he will be an important partner in helping get the County back on the right path to fiscal health.”

 

Testa spoke of the tremendous outpouring of support he received throughout the district during his campaign. “I cannot thank the people of Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown enough for the overwhelming support I received. It was the first time the people of Cortlandt, Montrose, Buchanan, Verplanck and Yorktown had the opportunity to vote for me and they elected me by a substantial margin. I am truly grateful to all who have put their trust in me. I will not let you down.”

 

Testa also spoke of the battle ahead to put the County back on track. “We must put everything on the table and be prepared to make the tough decisions we have been elected to do. We must change the attitude at the County level to one that realizes every dollar that is spent comes from the hard working families of Westchester. It is their money, not ours. We must cut spending and put a plan in place of consolidation and streamlining of county government, to lower taxes, and make government more efficient and accountable.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/19/2010 11:47:12 AM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) – Former Board Majority Leader and six-term Westchester County Legislator Marty Rogowsky (D-Harrison) was sworn in during a community ceremony on Friday, January 15th.  Rogowsky first served as the Sixth District’s County Legislator from 1990-1993, returning in March 2002 after winning a special election.  Rogowsky, who was joined by family, friends and community residents at the Harrison Senior Center, was officially sworn in by The Honorable Judge Marc Lust, Town Justice for Harrison. “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to serve the people of the 6th District, again, in the County Legislature,” said Rogowsky, whose legislative record spans over several decades.  “In this new term, pledge to work with our new County Executive and my colleagues on the Board to help move Westchester forward on a road to economic recovery and smarter government.”   

 

Rogowsky, the immediate past Majority Leader of the Board and newly-appointed Chair of the Board’s Committee on Energy, started his career in public service in the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. Later in his career, Rogowsky headed to Washington, DC to serve in the US Department of Energy where he held several jobs including Deputy Assistant General Counsel for the Environment and Acting Director of the Environment, Health and Safety in the Office of Fossil Energy. Rogowsky also spent three months on temporary assignment to the White House Domestic Policy Staff.  In 1998, former County Executive Andy Spano appointed Legislator Rogowsky chairman of the Westchester County Public Utility Service Agency where he served until his election to the County Legislature.

 

 

Legislator Martin Rogowsky speaking after being
sworn-in as the County Legislator for the 6th District
Legislator Martin Rogowsky with his wife, Tobi, being sworn in by Harrison Town Justice Marc Lust

 

 Photo Credit: Christina Giliberti

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/19/2010 1:18:37 PM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) – Newly-elected Westchester County Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) hosted a community swearing-in ceremony at the Theodore Young Community Center in Greenburgh on January 9th.  Williams, the former Greenburgh Town Clerk, has succeeded former County Board Chair Lois Bronz to become the newest representative from Greenburgh. 

 

Williams, who was joined by family, Board colleagues, friends and community, was officially sworn in by The Honorable Judge James Hubert, presiding judge of the integrated domestic violence court. “I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to continue in the footsteps of Lois Bronz in serving the people of the 8th District in the County Legislature,” said Wiliams.  “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle our communities most-demanding issues and I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Board towards addressing the needs for smarter county government.”   

 

Williams was the first African-American to be elected Greenburgh Town Clerk and she held that post until 2007.  She has an extensive background in the health care stemming with major health care institutions, including Mount Sinai Medical Center and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center where she specialized in human resource administration, management training and development and risk management.

Legislator Alfreda Williams joined by her daughter, Jewel, being sworn in by Judge James Hubert

 

 

Legislator Alfreda Williams joined by her predecessor, Lois Bronz, Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams, Chairman Ken Jenkins and Board Majority Leader Tom Abinanti

 

 

 

 Photo Credit: Teresa Toscano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/19/2010 7:45:49 PM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) -- Tonight, during the regular business meeting, the Westchester County Board of Legislators several of County Executive Astorino’s appointees to serve as Commissioners and Acting Commissioners of various county agencies. Under the provision of the County Charter (Section 110.21), the Board of Legislators must confirm all appointments of the County Executive to head various agencies. 

 

“The Committees was very impressed with the caliber and experience of each appointee,” said Legislator John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant), Chair of the Board’s Committee on Legislation, which – along with the Subcommittee on Appointments, chaired by Legislator Bill Burton (D-Ossining) – oversaw the review process. Following the Subcommittee’s recommendation, the nominations must be approved by the Committee on Legislation prior to a full Board vote. “We moved diligently to confirm these individuals and look forward to working with each appointee.”

 

The names confirmed during tonight’s meeting were:

 

  • County Attorney: Robert F. Meehan, resident of Hawthorne, appointment effective Jan. 1, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive.
  • Commission of Finance: Ann Marie Berg, resident of Ossining, appointment approved as of Jan. 3, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive
  • Industrial Development Agency (IDA): Kevin J. Plunkett, resident of Tarrytown, appointed Jan 5, 2010, as a member of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive.
  • Commissioner of Public Safety: George N. Longworth: resident of Katonah, appointed Jan. 1, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive.
  • Deputy County Executive:   Kevin J. Plunkett, resident of Tarrytown, appointed Jan. 1, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive.
  • Acting Commissioners:
    • Department of Human Resources: Edward Brancati, resident of Goldens Bridge, appointed Jan. 1, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive.
    • Department of Health: Dr. Patsy Yang, P.H., resident of New Rochelle, appointed Jan 1, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive. 
    • Department of Planning: Edward Burroughs, resident of South Salem, appointed Jan. 1.2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive.
    • Department of Public Works: John Hsu, resident of Fresh Meadows, NY, appointed Jan. 1, 2010, serves at the pleasure of the County Executive. 

“In accordance to the County Charter, the Board reviewed and deliberated over each nominee,” said County Board Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “From the offset, this Board has been committed to moving quickly to confirm Mr. Astorino’s appointments, while following the Charter’s requirements. There are extremely pressing matters facing our county, and I’m confident that these individuals will bring the tenacity, professionalism and leadership needed to address these issues head on.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Legislators Support Astorino Health Benefit Contribution Proposal

Call On Leadership Of Board Of Legislators To Review And Pass 15% Contribution For Health Benefits As Quickly As Possible

1/25/2010 9:34:20 AM

 

 

White Plains, NY – The Republican legislators on the Westchester County Board of Legislators announced their unanimous support today for County Executive Astorino’s plan to require non-union Westchester County employees to contribute 15% of their health care costs.

 

In a memo (see below) to the chairs of the committees that will be reviewing the proposed legislation, Minority Leader Jim Maisano (R, New Rochelle) voiced the support of the Republican Caucus for this fiscally responsible reform.  The legislation has the full support of Minority Whip Gordon A. Burrows (R, Yonkers), and legislators Bernice Spreckman (R, Yonkers) and John G. Testa (R, Peekskill).  Maisano stated in his memo, “It is the fiduciary duty of every legislator to promote fiscally responsible and cost-effective reforms to control governmental spending.  The County Executive’s proposal is a step in the right direction. In that spirit, we ask that your committees review this proposal at a meeting as soon as possible and that your committees move decisively to schedule a vote and pass this important legislation.”

 

The legislators emphasized that their support is not partisan. Burrows stressed, “We must support this common sense cost-saving proposal not as Republicans or Democrats, but as the elected stewards of the county’s fiscal resources. We must make sure this government becomes more fiscally responsible.”

 

“Simply put, these are the new economic facts of life for all of us,” said Testa. “Westchester should join those counties that do require a contribution to health care cost. The impact on county revenue and Westchester’s already sky-high taxes mean we must reduce the cost of government and provide relief to hard pressed taxpayers. Benefits starting with health care must be included, and that means a contributory plan.”

 

Maisano’s memo stresses, “It is imperative that every legislator recognize how this economic uncertainty has impacted the county’s revenue stream. 2010 will be very difficult for the county’s finances, and next year’s budget will be even more challenging, with a looming multi-million dollar deficit, and if we do not take all action to address these budgetary problems, their impact will be forced upon the taxpayers of Westchester County, something this caucus will not support.”

 

“In these trying economic times, any little bit I can do to help the taxpayers, I will willingly do,” added Spreckman

 

The Republican legislators noted this is a time for aggressive and thoughtful leadership.  While the proposed legislation does not include the Board of Legislators, the Republican legislators will also be looking to include the Board in future reforms and hope passage of the County Executive’s proposal will be the start of additional actions that will eventually mandate that all county employees will be contributing to their health benefits.

 

The overall goal of the Republican legislators is to be leaders in the effort to mandate more cost-effective government in Westchester and to ensure that the county government be more in tune with the economic realities of the times.  Burrows noted that health costs have doubled in the past decade to $149 Million annually and added, “I look forward to taking a lead on this issue and will work diligently to convince my colleagues to pass this legislation as soon as possible.

 


 

From:

 

 

Hon. James Maisano, Minority Leader and Republican Caucus

 

 

To:

 

 

Hon. Jose Alvarado-Chair- Budget and Appropriations Committee 
Hon. Michael Kaplowitz -Chair, Government Operations, Efficiency & Savings Committee 

 

 

Date: 

 

 

January 25, 2010

 

 

Re: 

 

 

Republican Caucus Support for County Executive’s Proposal that Non-Union County Employees Contribute 15% of Their Health Care Costs    

 

 

 

I write on behalf of the Republican Caucus to voice our support for County Executive Rob Astorino’s proposed common sense initiative calling for non-union Westchester County employees to contribute 15% of their health care costs.  We do so because it is the fiduciary duty of every legislator to promote fiscally responsible and cost-effective reforms to control governmental spending.  The County Executive’s proposal is a step in the right direction. In that spirit, we ask that your committees review this proposal at a meeting as soon as possible and that your committees then move decisively to schedule a vote and pass this important legislation.

 

These are distressing economic times unlike any in recent memory.  It is imperative that every legislator recognize how this economic uncertainty has impacted the county’s revenue stream.  2010 will be very difficult for the county’s finances, and next year’s budget will be even more challenging with a looming multi-million dollar deficit, and if we do not take all action possible to address these budgetary problems, their impact will be forced upon the taxpayers of Westchester County, something this caucus will not support.

 

It is simply an economic fact of life that the public and private sectors must change the way they operate and find new cost effective models to fit these times. The County Executive’s proposed legislation meets that standard.

 

This proposal has our support, and we look forward to working with all of our colleagues to continue efforts to reform our government and to find efficient and cost-effective measures to address Westchester County government’s financial challenges.

 

cc   Board of Legislators
       County Executive Astorino