RE: County Executive-Elect Astorinos naming of Kevin Plunkett as Deputy County Executive and Robert Meehan as County Attorney

12/3/2009 12:57:22 PM

 

 

During this time of tough fiscal challenges for our county, it’s important that we use this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to solve the problems that confront the people of Westchester.  That is why I am encouraged by County Executive-Elect Astorino’s choices for Deputy County Executive and County Attorney.
 
I have worked with Robert Meehan in his capacity of Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor during my tenure as Board Chairman.  We have always had a positive working experience.  Because the County Attorney works for the Legislature and the County Executive, it is important that there be a strong cooperative relationship between the Board and the County Attorney.
 
I’ve known Kevin Plunkett for a number of years.  Kevin was an excellent choice to head the transition team and now for Deputy County Executive.  We look forward to working with him to benefit and protect the taxpayers of Westchester.
 
The County has some major challenges to confront in the future, especially as we work to reduce the tax burden on Westchester families.  I am confident that County Executive Elect Astorino has selected two individuals that will make important contributions and commend him on these first two choices to join him in his administration and welcome them to the team of professionals needed to get our critical work done.

 

 

 

 

Board & Committee Meeting Preview: Items for Discussion

12/4/2009 5:10:52 PM

 

 

Please note: Latest Board and committee meeting agendas posted online at www.westchesterlegislators.com/calendar

 

Monday, December 7, 2009

 

9:30 AM

 

Budget & Appropriations—Hon. Jose Alvarado, Chair; Coordinator: Sally Schecter (995-2832) 

 

2010 County Operating Budget Review

 

  • BKS Oral Report – 2010 Budget
  • Additions to 2010 Budget

Joint with

 

Legislation—Hon. Bill Burton, Chair; Coordinator: Melanie Montalto (995-8620)

 

  • Agenda TBA

 

 

3:00 PM

 

Environment & Energy—Hon. Tom Abinanti, Chair; Committee Counsel: Christopher Crane (995-2104)

 

  • Agenda TBA

  

 

3:30 PM

 

Appointments (Leg)—Hon. Lois Bronz, Chair; Coordinator: Emilia Vita (995-2807) 

 

WESTCHESTER COUNTY HEALTH CARE CORPORATION CANDIDATES:

 

  • Patrick McCoy (as voting member)
  • Michael Staib (as voting member)
  • Dr. Melvin B. Weiss, M.D. (as Physician member)
  • Dr. Orlando Adamson, M.D. (as Physician member) 

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

 

  • Florence T. McCue, Esq.

  

 

7:00 PM

 

Regular Meeting of the County BOARD OF LEGISLATORS – Streamed Live from www.westchesterlegislators.com starting at 7:00 PM

 

 

 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

 

7:00 PM

 

Public Hearing on Proposed 2010 County Operating Budget

 

Board of Legislators’ Chambers
Michaelian Office Building  –  8th Floor
148 Martine Avenue, White Plains 

 

 

 

Friday, December 11, 2009

 

9:30 AM

 

Budget & Appropriations—Hon. Jose Alvarado, Chair; Coordinator: Sally Schecter (995-2832)

 

2010 County Operating Budget Review

 

  • BKS Final Report – 2010 Budget
  • Deletions to 2010 Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/8/2009 8:35:29 AM

What:

Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers), the Board’s Committee on Government Operations Chairman Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Democratic Majority Whip Judith Myers (D-Larchmont), the Board’s Committee on Legislation Chairman Legislator Bill Burton (D-Ossining), the Board’s Committee on Public Safety and Security Chairman Legislator Vito Pinto (D-Tuckahoe), Legislators Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) and John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant) will release a preliminary outline calling for consolidation and streamlining of Westchester County government. 
 

Who:

Speakers to attend are (still in formation):

  • Board Vice-Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers)
  • Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Chair – Board’s Committee on Government Operations
  • Democratic Majority Whip Judith Myers (D-Larchmont)
  • Legislator Bill Burton (D-Ossining), Chair – Board’s Committee on Legislation
  • Legislator Vito Pinto (D-Tuckahoe), Chair – Board’s Committee on Public Safety and Security
  • Legislator Peter Harckham (D-Katonah), Chair – Board Subcommittee on Septic Issues
  • Legislator John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant), Chair – Board’s Subcommittee on Litigation
  • Additional County Legislators

Where:   

Westchester County Board of Legislators Rotunda
   800 Michaelian Office Building
   148 Martine Avenue, 8th Floor (corner of Court Street)
   White Plains, NY
 

When:

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 12pm noon SHARP!
 

Why:

The overall goals of the proposed consolidation plan are to significantly save taxpayer dollars, streamline service delivery and eliminate duplicative administrative personnel and services. The Legislators will present an initial outline for county government consolidation during the press conference.

Lawmakers to Taxpayers: "We get it!"

12/8/2009 2:16:22 PM

 Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D,I -Somers), the Board’s Committee on Government Operations Chairman Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Democratic Majority Whip Judith Myers (D-Larchmont), the Board’s Committee on Legislation Chairman Legislator Bill Burton (D-Ossining), Legislators Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) and John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant) released a preliminary outline calling for the consolidation of agencies and the streamlining of Westchester County government during a press conference today. “All across America, businesses are downsizing their operations and eliminating duplicate services in order to better control costs in these financially difficult times,” remarked Kaplowitz, a certified financial planner and immediate past chairman of the Legislature’s Budget & Appropriations Committee.  “We’ve heard the growing frustration of residents in our county, which culminated on Election Day, and we get it.  This is a strong first step towards right-sizing county government.”  Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the release of the outgoing County Executive’s fiscal year (FY) 2010 proposed budget, which calls for a 4.88% property tax increase, which Kaplowitz and others say, “is simply not acceptable.”

You can watch the press conference by clicking here (select the "Dec 08  Proposed County Government Consolidation Plan" video)

Details of the proposed outline include:

  •  The consolidation of county departments and offices from 36 to 19 departments
  • The reduction of 51 non-represented staff positions, for a total savings of $7.5 million

Increasingly, communities are looking to the consolidation mechanism as a way of achieving efficiencies in response to citizen demands for services and cost-savings.  These reductions, which recognize the severity of the current fiscal crisis, reflect common sense solutions designed to allow agencies to do more with less.

Other cuts will be targeted to eliminate redundancies and maximize efficiencies.  “Westchester’s residents are clearly suffering due to the downturn in our economy.  They have lost jobs, their family savings and retirement funds are being depleted, yet they are expected to continue paying for duplication in government,” remarked Majority Whip Myers.  “It is our fundamental responsibility as legislators to make government work efficiently on behalf of its residents, and at its current structure and size, it simply isn’t providing the financial relief to our taxpayers.”  This outline limits the scope of operations for the county to those services that are mandatory and can effectively and efficiently be conducted.  “This is a great framework and an appropriate first step.  I look forward to discussing with my colleagues the actual implementation steps to reorganize and achieve savings," said Legislator Jenkins.

“Today’s worsening financial situation means that it’s time take necessary, albeit, painful steps to cut our county budget,” said Legislator Burton.

“My constituents have no opposition to funding the social safety net that is so critical during these unprecedented economic times. What they have said to me is that we need to cut the cost of government itself, not programs,” said Legislator Harckham. “This plan makes government more efficient, cost effective and still able to deliver critical services.”

“The public has spoken with a loud voice that it wants significant steps to be taken to reduce the cost of county government,” said Legislator Nonna.  “The Board must be a leader in finding innovative and significant ways to reduce the cost of county government. We must take steps to consolidate county government departments in a responsible way.  We must find savings in budget lines.  We can no longer make excuses or point the finger toward Albany or anyone else.”

“The overall goals of the proposed consolidation plan are to significantly save taxpayer dollars, streamline service delivery and eliminate duplicative administrative personnel and services,” remarked Legislator Pinto.

Please note: Votes were unanimous (17-0) unless otherwise indicated.

12/8/2009 2:53:39 PM

 

 

APPROVED: Affordable Housing (“60 West 1st Street” – Mount Vernon)
Act authorizing the County of Westchester to purchase and subsequently convey approximately 0.45 acres of real property in the City of Mount Vernon for the purpose of providing 43 fair and affordable rental units that will remain affordable for a period of not less than 50 years. (16-1; No: Oros)           

 

  • Also approved: Related HIF Act and IMA authorizing the County to enter into an agreement with the City of Mount Vernon for the provision of funds to construct/develop public improvements associated with the development of a Housing Implementation Fund (HIF) project known as “60 West 1st Street” Affordable Housing Development in Mount Vernon and to accept a grant at no cost to the County of all necessary property rights. 
  • Also approved: Related NHLA Bond Act -- $1,265,000 in bonds to finance Capital Project BPL10: New Homes Acquisition, “60 West 1st Street” (16-1; No: Oros) 
  • Also approved: Related HIF Bond Act -- $1,552,000 Bond Act to finance Capital Project BPL01: Housing Implementation Fund (HIF), “60 West 1st Street”

APPROVED: Labs and Research Equipment Acquisition
$640,000 Bond Act to finance Capital Project BLR2B: Labs and Research Equipment Acquisition, which will fund the purchase of a gas chromatograph system for the Environmental Lab. This system will be used for the preparation and analysis of environmental samples for pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and other organic chemicals present in drinking water and waste water. (13-3; Out: Nonna; No: Oros, Maisano, Burrows) 

 

APPROVED: Cold War Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption
Proposed Local Law amending Article III of Chapter 473 of the Laws of Westchester County to increase the Cold War Veterans’ real property tax exemption authorized by Section 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law and to extend the exemption to cooperative apartments and property held in trust for the benefit of a veteran. 

 

APPROVED: Sewer District Modification (Harrison/Mamaroneck SSD)
Act to modify the Mamaroneck Sanitary Sewer District (SSD) by the removal of one (1) parcel of property located in the Town of Harrison (109 Pleasant Ridge Rd.) 

 

APPROVED: Sewer District Modification (Yorktown/Sanitary SSD)
Act to modify the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District by the addition of two (2) parcels of property located in the Town of Yorktown. (2930 Gomer Street; 921 Union Road) 

 

APPROVED: HOPWA Program for Fiscal Year 2009
Act authorizing the County of Westchester to enter into intermunicipal agreements with the City of Mount Vernon and the City of Yonkers to provide funds under the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program for Fiscal Year 2009. Also approved was the HOPWA (Grant Acceptance) item, an Act authorizing Westchester to enter into a grant agreement with New York City to accept a federal grant from the HOPWA Program for 2009. 

 

APPROVED: Settlement of Litigation – DiBattista Case
$1,200,000 Bond Act to fund costs related to the settlement of litigation entitled Carmine DiBattista, et al. v. County of Westchester. Also approved was an Act authorizing an increase in the “not-to-exceed” amount in the contract between Westchester County and the Law Firm of Jackson, Lewis (for a total “not-to-exceed” amount of $150,000) for continued legal services to represent the interests of Westchester and County Executive Andrew J. Spano in appealing the decision rendered in the case. 

 

APPROVED: Merestead Site Improvements
$400,000 in bonds to finance Capital Project RMS01: Site Improvements at the historic Merestead property, located in the Towns of Bedford and New Castle. 

 

APPROVED: Prisoner Transport IMA (Greenburgh)
Act authorizing the County to enter into an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) with the Town of Greenburgh in order to provide reimbursement for prisoner transportation to the Westchester County Jail.

 

APPROVED: Water Quality Improvement Projects (Manursing Island)
$500,000 amended Bond Act to finance Capital Project BPL21: Water Quality Improvement Projects at Rye’s Manursing Island. 

 

APPROVED: Water Distribution Improvements (County Water District No. 3)
$9,800,000 Amended Bond Act to finance Capital Project WD302: County Water District No. 3 Water Distribution System Improvements. Also approved was an IMA between the County and the Town of Mt. Pleasant in order to facilitate the construction of a new interconnection to the Town’s pipeline, as well as construction of a County-owned transmission pipeline and pump station to serve Water District No. 3, and to accept grant(s) to the county of any and all necessary property rights. 

 

APPROVED: WCC-Agreement-Employees (CSEA)
Act approving financial terms and conditions of employment (requiring legislative approval by law) in a collective bargaining agreement for employees of Westchester County represented by the Civil Service Employees Association, Inc. Local 1000, AFCME, AFL-CIO Westchester Local 860 Westchester County Unit 9202 for the four-year period commencing January 1, 2006 and ending December 31, 2009.

 

APPROVED: WCC-Agreement-Federation of Teachers
Act approving financial terms and conditions of employment (requiring Legislative approval by law) in a Collaborative Bargaining Agreement for employees of Westchester County represented by the Westchester Community College Federation of Teachers for the three years commencing September 1, 2008 and ending August 31, 2011. 

 

APPROVED: County Pay Plan Amendment
Act amending Act No. 26-1952 as amended, which amended Act No. 40-1941, entitled "An Act establishing personnel rules in Westchester County service and adopting classification of positions and schedules of pay." 

 

APPROVED: Health Care Cooperation Agreement
Act authorizing the County of Westchester to enter into a First Amendment to the Cooperation Agreement with the Westchester County Health Care Corporation in order to revise the credit support pay down schedule in Section 9.0. 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD 

 

  • Cold War Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption Public Hearing on a Local Law to increase the Cold War Veterans’ real property tax exemption authorized by Section 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law and to extend the exemption to cooperative apartments and property held in trust for the benefit of a veteran. 
  • Water District No. 3 Public Hearing in connection with the proposed increase and improvement of facilities for Westchester County Water District No. 3. 
  • Sewer District Modification (Yorktown) Public Hearing on the proposed modification to the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District by the addition of two (2) parcels of property located in the Town of Yorktown (2930 Gomer Street & 921 Union Road) 
  • Sewer District Modification (Harrison) Public Hearing on an Act to modify the Mamaroneck Sanitary Sewer District by the removal of one (1) parcel of property in the Town of Harrison (109 Pleasant Ridge Rd.)

PUBLIC HEARING SET: Housing Opportunity Commission Law
A Public Hearing on a Local Law amending Article XII of Chapter 277 of the Laws of Westchester County, in relation to the Westchester County Housing Opportunity Commission has been set for Monday, December 14, 2009 at 10:30 AM

 

Appointments to Westchester County Boards

 

The following appointment was approved: 

 

Human Rights Commission
Florence McCue, Esq. of Elmsford