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 If so, these laws should be repealed so they do not remain on the books.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.


1/13/2010 6:03:36 PM



(White Plains, NY) -- Today, Westchester County Board Subcommittee on Appointments Chairman Bill Burton (D-Ossining) announced that the Committee will hold a public meeting on Thursday, January 14th to consider County Executive Astorino’s nomination of several individuals 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. 


“Tomorrow, this Subcommittee has the charge of conducting the nomination hearing for the leadership of agencies that are  vital to the health and welfare of our county’s residents,” said Chairman Burton. “We are moving diligently to confirm these individuals and look forward to a positive and informative hearing.” 


The meeting with take place at 2:30pm in the Committee Room of the Board of Legislators at the County Office Building in White Plains.  The names submitted for confirmation are: 


  • Acting Commissioner of Human Resources-Ed Brancati;
  • Acting Commissioner of Health-Patsy Yang;
  • Acting Commissioner of Planning-Ed Buroughs;
  • Acting Commissioner of Public Works-John Hsu;
  • Commissioner of Finance-Ann Marie Berg;
  • Deputy County Executive and Member of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA)-Kevin Plunkett
  • County Attorney-Robert Meehan 

“In accordance to the County Charter, the Board will review and deliberate all nominees,” said County Board Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “We are committed to moving quickly to confirm Mr. Astorino’s appointments while following the Charter’s  requirements. ”  Following the Subcommittee’s recommendation, the nominations must be approved by the Committee on Legislation prior to a full Board vote.  “The Committee on Legislation has already begun its work for the new legislative session.  We want to act promptly on our new County Executive’s appointees so that the business of the county can move forward,” said Legislation Committee Chairman John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant).  “We have established the Subcommittee on Appointments for this purpose. Bill Burton and his colleagues will conduct thorough interviews tomorrow and make appropriate recommendations for approval by the Legislation Committee at our next Legislation Committee meeting next Tuesday morning.”









1/15/2010 9:01:58 AM


Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon) and Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) will be joined by Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino along with local community stakeholders, clergy, business leaders and colleagues to outline various local community efforts in response to the disaster in Haiti.


Speakers to Attend (in formation):

  • Westchester County Board Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers)
  • Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon)
  • Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino
  • Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh)


Westchester County Board of Legislators Rotunda

8th Floor
Michaelian Office Building
148 Martin Avenue (at Court Street)
White Plains, NY


Friday, January 15, 2010 starting at 12pm NOON

1/15/2010 3:00:09 PM

Click here or image to watch the Press Conference

(White Plains, NY) --  Today, Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon), Legislators Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), Vito Pinto (D-Tuckahoe) and William Ryan (D-White Plains) were joined by Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino called upon all Westchester residents to do what they can to help in the international response effort to Tuesday’s deadly earthquake in Haiti.  “The thoughts and prayers of Westchester’s residents go out to the families directly affected by this tragedy,” said Chairman Jenkins. “As the immediate relief effort is underway in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas, the Westchester County government is working with local community-based organizations, clergy leaders and caring residents from all parts of our county to identify needed resources.  As a county, we are more than ready to extend our help to the people of Haiti to the extent that we possibly can.” Government leaders were joined by local community stakeholders, clergy, business leaders and colleagues to outline various local community efforts in response to the disaster in Haiti. Westchester County is home to approximately 5,000 people of Haitian ancestry.  "Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti and all of their loved ones everywhere, especially here in Westchester," said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. "As this tragedy has unfolded, people across Westchester have continued to ask, ’How can I help?’ Toward that end, we have posted information on the county’s website, Westchestergov.com, on how they can contribute to the relief effort. In the days ahead, we will monitor the situation closely to see what other ways we can help.” In terms of donation efforts, County leaders are urging residents that, for now, monetary donations are the best way to immediately get help to the region.  In the meantime, assessment teams are gathering information about what material goods are needed.  Although, not as greatly needed at this time, we urge the Westchester community to consolidate their efforts in gathering provisions like clothing and medical supplies. To coordinate donation efforts, please contact the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at 703-276-1914.

“As the representative to the largest population of Haitian immigrants in Westchester, I am truly saddened by the catastrophe that has hit Haiti, causing the tremendous destruction of one of the jewels of the Caribbean,” said Vice-Chairman Williams. “It truly is a heart-wrenching tragedy in a nation that, as we all know, has had more than its share of hardship.  However, as we learn more about the devastation, many of us will be looking for ways to help.  At this point, the best way to help is through a financial donation. Unfortunately during times such as these there are some who try to talk advantage of the situation.  After September 11th, hundreds of bogus support efforts sprang up and thousands of people donated money to organizations that just pocketed what they collected.  The County has compiled a list of local relief efforts for concerned residents who wish to donate their time, finances or necessities in response to the tragedy.”  You can access this list below.

“We should all say an additional prayer for the many selfless Westchester residents who were volunteering their time in Haiti when the earthquake occurred, and for some, whose safety is not yet known,” said Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh).  “The response from ordinary citizens in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy has been awe-inspiring, especially here in Westchester.  I encourage all residents to reach out to one of the many international aid agencies currently on the ground in Haiti to ask how they may be able to help the rescue and relief effort. Westchester residents will do everything we can -- as soon as we can -- to help the people of Haiti recover."



City Council Majority Leader Patricia McDow’s and Council Member Wilson Terrero’s office
Yonkers City Hall
40 South Broadway, Room 407
Contact: 914-377-6311

Assemblyman Mike Spano’s District Office
35 E. Grassy Sprain Road, #406B, Yonkers
Contact: 914-779-8805 

One Nation City of Praise Church
320 Walnut Street

Accepting: clothing and non perishable food items only

Lilly’s Beauty Salon
331 Walnut Street

Luis Auto Shop
150 School Street

Amigo Travel
314 New Main St

Life Cleaners
300 Nepperhan Ave

Clean City
244 Warburton Ave

Blue Hair Studio
140 Lake Ave


For inquiries about loved ones, there is the hotline number -- (888) 407-4747 -- which can be used to find out information about U.S. Citizens.  To find out information about Haitian nationals, please call the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC at 202-332-4090 or the New York Haitian Consulate at 212-697-9767.

Governor David Paterson has established an online registry of New York State citizens in Haiti at the time of Tuesday’s horrific earthquake. To access the online registry, go to the Governor’s website, www.ny.gov/governor/ and click on the New York State Registry of New York Citizens in Haiti. You will be asked to provide the name of the individuals you have not had contact with and provide some essential contact information. For those who do not have access to the web, the Governor has established a hotline – 1-888-769-7243 – staffed at the Department of Taxation and Finance. The information collected will not be used or shared for any purpose unrelated to locating and identifying family and friends in Haiti. 


Sunday, January 17 at 4:30pm
Sacred Heart Roman,
Catholic Church
115 Sharpe Blvd
Mt. Vernon, NY

For more information:

Sunday, January 17 at 5:00pm
St. Gabriel’s Roman
Catholic Church
120 Division Street
New Rochelle, NY

For more information:

Sunday, January 17 at 6:30pm
St. John the Evangelist Parish
148 Hamilton Avenue
White Plains, NY

For more information:

Sunday, Jan. 17 at 4:00 pm
Hope for Haiti benefit concert
Mariandale Retreat and
Conference Center
299 North Highland Ave
Ossining, NY


Grammy Award-winning artist and producer and native-born Haitian activist Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti, has been accepting donations.  Text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill.

At this point in time, the American Red Cross is accepting monetary donations. You can text “HAITI” to “90999″ to make a $10 donation to be charged to your phone bill.


Visit www.CHARITYNAVIGATOR.ORG or the www.guidestar.org for a database of non-profits and ratings of the best charities online. Here is a short list of reputable non-profit organizations that are accepting financial donations:

Haiti Earthquake Fund
(800) 4-UNICEF