Westchester County Legislators Withhold Vote on Proposal Requiring Health Care Contributions for County Employees

2/1/2010 9:50:50 PM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) – Westchester County Board Chair Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) announced that the proposal requiring health insurance contributions for county’s employees under the County Executive’s jurisdiction, due for a vote at tonight’s Board of Legislators meeting has been recommitted to the Board’s Budget and Appropriations Committee for additional review by Majority Leader Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh).  “Board members are not prepared, at this time, to vote on this measure,” said Jenkins.  “More time, however, is needed by the Board to continue to review this all-important matter.”  

 

The proposed measure outlines that the total cost of a Health Maintenance Organization, which is required to be paid by employees who choose such heath insurance plans, all non-represented/managerial employees and retirees under the jurisdiction of the County Executive shall contribute fifteen per cent (15%) of the overall cost of the basic County health insurance plan. 

 

“I want to make sure that we can come up with legislation that truly encompasses all the viewpoints expressed by the Westchester legislators,” said Jenkins. “I’m confident that, through this process, we will produce an agreement that will provide maximum cost-savings to Westchester taxpayers. These items include offering pre-tax flexible spending accounts, incentives for employee opt-out and issuing an request for proposal (RFP) for different health plans.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of Actions Taken by the Westchester County Board of Legislators: February 1, 2010 Meeting

Please note: Votes were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.

2/2/2010 2:12:42 PM

 

 

Annual Black History & Heritage Month Celebration
Before beginning its regular order of business, the County Board, led by Board Chair Ken Jenkins, Vice Chair Lyndon Williams and Legislator Alfreda Williams, honored “unsung heroes” from throughout Westchester, who were applauded for representing the best and brightest within Westchester’s Black community. This year’s celebration, "Living the Dream – Leaving a Legacy," also featured an invocation by Rev. DeForest Raphael, of Church on the Hill A.M.E. Zion in Harlem, a recitation of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech by Anaiya Baptista and Ameera Shaban of Mount Vernon and a recitation of the “Rites of Passage” by the Blue Nile Boys Group of Greenburgh. 

 

  • Watch last night’s ceremony online! Click here.  


RECOMMITTED: Health Care Contributions

An Act to require all non-represented/managerial employees and retirees under the jurisdiction of the County Executive to contribute 15% of the overall cost of the premium rate of the Basic County Health Insurance Plan, was recommitted to the Committee on Budget & Appropriations for further review.

 


PUBLIC HEARING SET: Right of First Refusal

A Public Hearing on a Local Law clarifying the Laws of Westchester County to specifically exempt the sale and/or transfer of county-owned property to further fair and affordable housing from a municipality’s right of first refusal, has been set for Monday, February 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM.

 

APPROVED: Rules of the Board
Resolution to amend Rule Seven of the County Board of Legislators, permitting Legislators to attend Committee meetings via videoconference.

 

RECOMMITTED: Board Personnel
A Resolution to revise, eliminate and/or amend certain staff titles and pay ranges in order to improve the efficiency of the Board of Legislators, was recommitted to the Sub-committee on Rules for further review.

 

APPROVED: Designation of Newspapers
Resolution designating the official newspapers for the publication of all local laws, notices and other matters required by law to be published.

 


The full agenda packet and minutes for this meeting are available on this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Legislator Williams Honors Greenburgh Resident at Black History Month Heritage Celebration

2/3/2010 9:13:27 AM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) -- 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) were joined by their colleagues and local community stakeholders, clergy, business leaders and elected officials to celebrate their annual Black History & Heritage Month Celebration program last night during the business meeting.  In proclaiming February as Black History & Heritage Month in Westchester County, the County Board of Legislators celebrated the outstanding contributions of Black Americans.  The event highlighted our local ‘unsung heroes’ from across Westchester, who have done an exemplary job promoting the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora.  Greenburgh resident, Frank Williams, nominated to receive the honor by Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), was joined by a select group of residents throughout the county who were recognized for their tireless efforts and contributions in their communities.

 

Williams, a fierce advocate for youth empowerment, is the executive director of the White Plains Youth Bureau, serving more than 2,000 young people each day and more than 6,500 kids each year. Williams developed programs such as the juvenile education program, the homeless education program, the Youth Council, the Youth Bureau’s Speaker Bureau and many other important programs.  Williams is on the board of directors of Good Counsel Academy, president of the White Plains Exchange Club, a member of the Black Scholars Committee, a member of the Beta Alpha Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc and an active Deacon at the Bethel Baptist Church in White Plains. “Keeping with our theme this year, ‘Living the Dream – Leaving a Legacy’, I’m honored to have shared this special event with a resident within my community who truly represents the best and brightest within the African-American community in Westchester.”

 

 
Westchester County Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) presenting this year’s annual Black History & Heritage Month’s “Unsung Heroes” award to Frank Williams of Greenburgh during a reception for the honorees
Photo Credit: County Board of Legislators staff
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Legislator Rogowsky Honors Port Chester Resident at Black History Month Heritage Celebration

2/3/2010 9:25:12 AM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) -- Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon), Legislator Martin Rogowsky (D-Harrison) and Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) were joined by their colleagues and local community stakeholders, clergy, business leaders and elected officials to celebrate their annual Black History & Heritage Month Celebration program last night during the business meeting.  In proclaiming February as Black History & Heritage Month in Westchester County, the County Board of Legislators celebrated the outstanding contributions of Black Americans.  The event highlighted local ‘unsung heroes’ from across Westchester, who have done an exemplary job promoting the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora.  Port Chester resident, John William Reavis, nominated to receive the honor by Legislator Martin Rogowsky (D-Harrison), was joined by a select group of residents throughout the county who were recognized for their tireless efforts and contributions in their communities.

 

Reavis is the president of the Port Chester branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  He currently is a member of several organizations such as the Port Chester Recreation Commission, St Francis AME Zion Church and a board member of the Port Chester/Rye Town Council of Community Services.  “Keeping with our theme this year, ‘Living the Dream – Leaving a Legacy’, I’m honored to have shared this special event with John Reavis, who truly represents the best and brightest in the African-American community in Westchester,” commented Rogowsky.
 
Westchester County Legislator Martin Rogowsky (D-Harrison) presenting this year’s annual Black History & Heritage Month’s “Unsung Heroes” award to John William Reavis of Port Chester during a reception for the honorees
Photo Credit: County Board of Legislators staff
 

 

 

 

 

 

Westchester Lawmakers Respond to Submission of County Housing Implementation Plan

2/3/2010 9:33:12 AM

 

 

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), along with several colleagues, today, responded to the submission of the County’s implementation plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and to the federal monitor overseeing the county’s compliance with last year’s settlement of the fair and affordable housing lawsuit.  The settlement was in response to a lawsuit brought against Westchester County by the Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC), accusing the county of making false statements on federal applications about its efforts to integrate housing.  The approved settlement requires Westchester to spend $50 million over seven years to build 750 fair and affordable housing units, in areas that are overwhelmingly white and affluent.  The agreement, also, calls for a federally-appointed monitor, James Johnson, to assist the county in creating a housing implementation plan to meet these goals. “The Administration has taken a major step towards creating fair and affordable housing throughout our county,” said Board Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers).  “Throughout the transition of county executives and our own internal process of due diligence, the Board has played an essential role in negotiating key elements within the presented implementation plan, as well as meeting the affordable housing needs throughout the County.”

 

The Board received the settlement agreement signed by then County Executive Spano in August 2009. The Board and its Litigation Subcommittee spent six weeks of due diligence analyzing the settlement agreement and questioning members of the Spano Administration and its counsel regarding the agreement.  As a result of the direct involvement of the Litigation Subcommittee, chaired by Legislator John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant), members met with lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department, important clarification of the agreement was obtained, confirming the cap on the County’s financial commitment and the standard for incurring any penalties, as well as the County’s relationship with municipalities under the settlement.  “It has been our primary focus ensuring that the members of the Legislature and our residents were fully informed of this process and our obligation to the agreement,” said Legislator Nonna.  “The Administration has taken an important step towards complying with the terms of the settlement today. We look forward to working together with the Administration in accomplishing its goals in cooperation with our towns and villages, the monitor and the federal government. We are mindful and attentive to the concerns of our residents, as to the impact of this settlement.”

 

Following approval of the settlement by the Board in September 2009, a special subcommittee was appointed to monitor the preparation of the Implementation Plan. Led by Majority Whip Judy Myers (D-Larchmont), Legislators John Nonna (D-Mount Pleasant), Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) and Bill Burton (D-Ossining), this subcommittee monitored the preparation of the Implementation Plan closely, including meeting with the new County Executive’s staff, working on the Implementation Plan and maintained communication with the Monitor to assure him that the Board was actively participating in the process.  “Throughout the transition period, moving from one Administration to the next, the Board ensured the continuity needed within the process,” said Legislator Myers. “It was of the utmost importance that we kept the ball rolling during the transition, as we faced significant challenges in meeting the approved timetable for the plan, given the dynamic of a new Administration and the need to meet the agreed upon deadlines.” The Board’s Housing and Planning Committee plan to meet with Administration officials to continue meeting the benchmarks that were outlined in the plan. "Our committee will have the person in the County Executive’s office who will be responsible to carry out the implementation plan attend a meeting in the near future,” said Legislator Burton. “Our interest is the same as the County Executive: that Westchester complies with the spirit and letter of the settlement agreement while ensuring that fair and affordable housing is constructed or acquired promptly and within the cost limitations we have to live with.”