RE: Acceptance of the Chairmanship of the Boards Committee on Government Operations, Efficiency and Savings

1/8/2010 2:16:25 PM



“I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this capacity as the new Chair of the Board’s Committee on Government Operations, Efficiency and Savings.


My colleagues and I have heard the growing frustration of residents in our county in making government leaner, more efficient and cost-effective.


I look forward to working with my colleagues over this term to identify ways to right-size our county government.” 


The Committee on Government Operations, Efficiency and Savings (GO) provides oversight on a number of County projects, issues and initiatives.  This committee will head the Board’s efforts on these fronts:


  • Tax fairness
  • County government efficiencies
  • Shared Services
  • Consolidation
  • Mandate relief

This role will handle County government restructured, Business Advisory Council, Collaborative Assessment, Charter modifications and will coordinate the efforts with the County Association, Business Council and the Municipal Officials Association.  This role will involve having public hearings throughout the County, working with our State officials, legislators and lobbyists.  Kaplowitz, an attorney, certified financial planner and immediate past Board vice-chairman, has been an aggressive supporter of tax fairness and government consolidation. Kaplowitz authored county government consolidation plan, which would investigate streamlining mechanisms as a way of achieving efficiencies in response to citizen demands for services and cost-savings. 










1/8/2010 4:02:26 PM


The Pleasantville Village Board of Trustees will be meeting in public work session with state and county lawmakers, along with representatives of the NYS Public Service Commission to discuss the scope and impact of Con Edison’s tree cutting and removal in connection with transmission and distribution maintenance program


Speakers to attend (still in formation):

  • Westchester County Legislator John Nonna
  • State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
  • Members of the Pleasantville Village Board
  • Representatives from the NYS Public Service Commission


Pleasantville Village Hall 
80 Wheeler Avenue (corner of Bedford Road)


Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 12:30pm SHARP!

Committee Meeting Preview: Items for Discussion

1/8/2010 5:30:12 PM



Please note: Latest committee meeting agendas (including “TBA” agendas) posted at


Monday, January 11, 2010


3:00 PM


Legislation—Hon. John Nonna, Chair; Contact: Melanie Montalto (995-8620)


  • Organizational meeting
    • Legislative priorities for 2010-2011 session
    • Setting of quorums for call to order and Committee action  



4:00 PM


Environment—Hon. Peter Harckham, Chair; Contact: Christopher Crane (995-2104)


Joint with


Energy—Hon. Martin Rogowsky, Chair; Contact: Christopher Crane (995-2104) 


  • Organizational meeting












1/11/2010 5:01:48 PM

“I am honored to be asked to chair the Legislation Committee of the Board of Legislators. In the coming year, I would like to undertake a comprehensive review of the Westchester County Code to determine the following:


  • Are there County laws which are not serving their intended purpose? Are there laws we have enacted in the past which have not worked to address the problem or issue they were designed to solve.
  • Related to Item number 1, are there County laws that are not being enforced effectively. If so, we must consider why they are not being enforced, and, if they are not being enforced why do they remain on the books.
  • Are there County laws which have been pre-empted by state or federal law? If so, these laws should be repealed so they do not remain on the books.
  • Certain County laws require that reports be provided on a periodic basis? Have the required reports been provided?

This will be a ground up process that will take some time.  I am pleased that Betsy DeSoye Esq. who has been a member of the Board’s staff will be serving as counsel to the Committee. She will work on this project. We hope to recruit a number of interns from Pace Law School to assist and she will oversee the work of those interns. We also will seek the assistance and guidance of the County Attorney’s office in going forward with this project.  We will also be considering what improvements and reforms can be made in the operation and efficiency of county government through the legislative process.

In this regard, we will be working with the Committee on Government Operations, Efficiency and Savings  to examine provisions in the County Charter  regarding the formation and organization of county departments.  I look forward to the contributions of each member of the committee. We will consider legislative proposals from every legislator. In considering proposed legislation, I will urge that we focus on whether the proposed legislation is a proper subject for Westchester County to address and whether the legislation can be effectively enforced in a cost effective manner. A cost/benefit analysis must be conducted with respect to any proposed legislation to ascertain the fiscal impact of the legislation versus its potential benefits. We should also recognize that as a county government, we cannot solve all problems. Some problems can be more effectively addressed at the state, federal  and on local municipal levels.

We will initially focus on a number of items that were held over from the last session. These include item pricing, source of income, regulation of fire suppression device installers and inspectors to name a few.

We are also required by the affordable housing settlement to amend the ‘right of first refusal’ law entailing that the county first offer real property  that it seeks to sell to a municipality before it sells the real property  to a third party. The settlement agreement requires that the County amend this law to make an exception for property to be sold for affordable housing.”



The Committee on Legislation is the clearinghouse for either new county laws or proposed amendments to existing laws.  The Committee will determine if proposed legislation is in keeping with the Westchester County Charter. In addition to reviewing legislation sent to it, the Committee will also write and develop legislation to address emerging and critical issues that impact the quality of life, health, safety and welfare of Westchester residents.

Nonna, the former Mayor of Pleasantville, has served the Board as Chair of the Subcommittee on Litigation. John has practiced law for over 30 years in the area of dispute resolution. He has represented Fortune 500 companies in major litigation and arbitration and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

1/13/2010 12:38:26 PM



Westchester County Legislator Martin Rogowsky (D-Harrison) is hosting a series of community town hall meetings to give updates and details on the adopted county budget for 2010.  All citizens are invited to attend.


Thursday January 28th, 2010 @ 7pm

                                    Port Chester Senior Center
                                    222 Grace Church Street (corner of Eldridge Street); Port Chester

  Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 @ 7pm

                                    Harrison Town/Village Hall (The Court Room)
                                    1 Heineman Place (corner of Bruce Avenue); Harrison

  Thursday, February 4th, 2010 @ 7pm

                                    Rye Brook Village Hall
                                    938 King Street (near Arbor Drive); Rye Brook


This community town hall series is to provide community residents with an up-to-date explanation and discussion of the recently approved county budget for fiscal year (FY) 2010.  Residents will also have the opportunity to ask questions.