7/6/2009 9:20:27 AM

What: 

Westchester County Board Chairman Bill Ryan (D,I, WFP-White Plains) and Westchester County Legislator and Board Vice-Chairman Michael B. Kaplowitz (D,I-Somers) will lead a contingent of county legislators from Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties to voice their collective outrage with the dysfunction and the complete breakdown of leadership within the New York State Senate. Legislators will stand together to implore a swift resolution to the deadlock, in order to stave away draconian service cuts that will be necessary for the entire Hudson Valley region.
 

Who: 

Speakers to attend are (still in formation):

  • Westchester County Board Chairman Bill Ryan (D,I, WFP-White Plains)
  • Westchester County Legislator and Board Vice-Chairman Michael B. Kaplowitz (D,I-Somers)
  • Members of the Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Rockland County Legislatures

Where:    

Steps of the Putnam County Courthouse
44 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, NY (Putnam County) 
 

When: 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 12pm noon
 

Why: 

The New York State Senate, which has been in a stalemate for nearly three weeks, has postponed numerous pieces of legislation, potentially leading to a 55% property tax increase for many Hudson Valley residents.  Other pending bills are threatening thousands of local and regional jobs.  Passing these bills is serious business – the people’s business – and our state senators must stop this madness and get back to work.  The effect of not passing key legislation like sales tax extenders can have a crippling effect for our counties and bring about fiscal devastation for the entire Hudson Valley region.    This past Wednesday was D-Day for many of our county budgets. Since the state didn’t act by midnight this past Tuesday on a number of measures, a rolling cascade of draconian cuts to social services could begin.

7/7/2009 9:45:19 AM

 

 

Legislator George Oros was proud to participate in the Annual July 4 Parade in Peekskill, sponsored by the Peekskill Volunteer Fire Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legislator Pinto and Chairman Ryan Propose New Law Requiring the Licensing of Fire Extinguisher Servicers and repairmen in order to stop contractors from taking advantage of unsuspecting businesses

7/7/2009 11:18:47 AM

What:    

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman William Ryan (D, I, WFP-White Plains) and Chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee Legislator Vito Pinto (D, WFP-Tuckahoe) will announce new legislation that would require the mandatory licensing of fire extinguishers servicers and repairmen throughout Westchester County.  Ryan and Pinto will be joined by fire marshals throughout Westchester County, community leaders and several local business owners who have been victimized by dishonest contractors whose poor service, testing and repair practices of fire safety equipment, left them with the false impression that an extinguisher or system will perform its life-saving role when needed.
 

Who: 

Speakers to attend are (still in formation):

  • Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman William Ryan (D, I, WFP-White Plains)
  • Legislator Vito Pinto (D, WFP -Tuckahoe)
  • Fire Marshall Laurence Desimone (Greenburgh Fire Department)
  • Victims of alleged dishonest tactics

Where:      

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

When:  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 11:30am sharp

Why:  

In recent months, there have been numerous accounts of abuse and fraud by faulty and unethical fire safety contractors.  The Legislature has found that nationally recognized industry standards have not consistently been adhered to by those involved in the business and unbeknownst to the public, poor servicing, testing, and repair practices have left the end user with the false impression that an extinguisher or system will perform its lifesaving role when needed.   Currently, there are no requirements or standards for licensing these contractors and there are incidents where these contractors are taking advantage of this gap to prey on unsuspecting restaurateurs and businesses.  This legislation has become necessary to prevent abuse and unethical conduct from being perpetrated on the hard working businesses who are being victimized by people who purport to be reputable servicers of these Fire Extinguishers and Fire Extinguishment Systems.   The proposed legislation will regulate the servicing of portable fire extinguishers and automatic fire extinguishing systems by requiring all fire safety contractors to be licensed by the County. The proposed legislation is in the interest of safeguarding lives and property.  

A contingent of Hudson Valley County Legislators urge Senators to get back to the peoples business; calls on residents to voice their outrage

7/7/2009 9:36:02 PM

 

 

(Carmel, NY) ~ In response to growing citizen outrage to the continued deadlock within the New York State Senate, a contingent of county legislators from Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties gathered on the steps of the Putnam County Courthouse today to voice their collective outrage with the dysfunction and the complete breakdown of leadership within the New York State Senate. Legislators joined together to implore a swift resolution to the deadlock, in order to stave away draconian service cuts that will be necessary for the entire Hudson Valley region.

 

“There is a power vacuum in Albany and we are paying for it,” said Westchester County Board Vice-Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D,I-Somers) “Passing these bills is serious business – the people’s business – and our state senators must stop this madness and get back to work.  Democrats and Republicans must put aside partisan politics and heed Governor Paterson’s call to get to work in a special session and enact legislation vital to our counties, schools and local governments across this state.’’” said Kaplowitz.

 

The New York State Senate, which has been in a stalemate for nearly three weeks, has postponed numerous pieces of legislation, potentially leading to a 55% property tax increase for many Hudson Valley residents.  Other pending bills are threatening thousands of local and regional jobs. 

 

“It’s imperative that the State Senate quickly get beyond this disruption of its work schedule and immediately take up the important business that Westchester and other counties have placed on its agenda,” said Westchester County Board Chairman William Ryan (D, I, WFP-White Plains). “Currently, Westchester has presented to the State Senate several items that would help relieve the burden on Westchester property taxpayers.  The Westchester County Property Tax Stabilization Act, along with several other pieces of legislation that require immediate action from Albany, would generate revenue in excess of $200 million to the county, which would provide much-needed relief that property taxpayers deserve.  The prolonging of this impasse has put in jeopardy the passage of important legislation for Westchester.”

 

The effect of not passing key legislation like sales tax extenders can have a crippling effect for our counties and bring about fiscal devastation for the entire Hudson Valley region.    This past Wednesday was D-Day for many of our county budgets. Since the state didn’t act by midnight this past Tuesday on a number of measures, a rolling cascade of draconian cuts to social services could begin.

 

“We have reached an impasse in the State Senate that has crippled our entire state.  The fiscal effects of this stalemate to Dutchess County will be devastating to our residents,” said James Doxsey, Dutchess County Legislator.  “The members of the Dutchess County Legislature are imploring our Senators to put an end to the weeks-long stalemate, so that you can get back to the business of governance and passing legislation that is urgently needed for local governments.  It’s such a shame that our Senators cannot see past their political differences and get back to work of the people who elected them.” 

 

"When the Senators came to office they took a solemn oath to serve the people of this state, they have collectively and voluntarily chosen not to do so," stated Dutchess County Legislator Alison MacAvery. "This is blatant sign of disrespect to the citizens who deserve much better."

 

"The behavior exhibited by our New York State Senators is an embarrassment to all public officials.  Many of us try so hard to honor the faith that voters have given us and serve them with dignity.  This action in Albany only creates more cynicism among the voters and discourages them from participating in our democratic process,” said Orange County Legislator Anthony Marino.   “I would urge the Senators to engage in an "around-the-clock" negotiation session to settle this mess in Albany.  It has gone on far too long.  The people of New York State deserve representation from those they elect and not this chaos.  As an Orange County Legislator and a former Minority Leader I urge them to reach an agreement."

 

Westchester County Legislator Kaplowitz launched an online effort to pressure the New York State Senate to reach a power-sharing agreement and get back to doing the people’s business by creating an outlet from which Westchester taxpayers can be vocal toward the dead-locked state senate.  All residents of the county are urged to voice their outrage and concern at www.westchesterlegislators.com, where they can sign a petition urging the State Senate to “quit their petty games and get back to work.”

 

“Enough is enough.  The taxpayers are relying on their state senators to discharge their duties and bring the relief they promised to Westchester County residents.  I’m encouraging all residents to voice their outrage for this behavior by signing the online petition and letting your state senator know how you feel.  They can fight and play games on their own time,” he concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinto, Ryan and Harckham propose new law requiring the licensing of fire extinguisher servicers and repairmen in order to stop contractors from taking advantage of unsuspecting businesses

7/8/2009 3:11:08 PM

 

 

In response to dishonest service tactics used by fire safety protection services, Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman William Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains), Chair of the Board’s Public Safety and Security Committee Legislator Vito Pinto (D, I, WFP-Tuckahoe) and Legislator Peter Harckham (D, I, WFP-Katonah) announced new legislation that would require the mandatory licensing of fire extinguishers servicers and repairmen throughout Westchester County.  Ryan, Pinto and Harckham were joined by fire marshals throughout Westchester County, community leaders and several local business owners who have been victimized by dishonest contractors who’s poor service, testing and repair practices of fire safety equipment, left them with the false impression that an extinguisher or system will perform its life-saving role when needed. “Portable fire extinguishers and fixed extinguishing systems are the first line of defense in the control and extinguishing of residential and commercial fires,” stated Legislator Pinto. “It’s imperative that these devices be regularly inspected, tested, serviced, and repaired to ensure their usefulness and effectiveness when discharged on incipient fires that occur.  This proposed legislation seeks to do just that.”

 

In recent months, there have been numerous accounts of abuse and fraud by faulty and unethical fire safety contractors.  The Legislature has found that nationally recognized industry standards have not consistently been adhered to by those involved in the business.  “This legislation is necessary to protect hard-working business owners and other who are being victimized by unethical service providers,” said Chairman Ryan.  “Upon hearing from professional fire and building inspectors, as well as people throughout the county who have been victimized by these underhanded tactics, the County Board needs to act to protect the public.”

 

"It is unacceptable that unscrupulous individuals are victimizing Westchester businesses, often in vulnerable communities, with fraudulent inspections and work orders,” stated Legislator Harckham.  “This legislation will restore the public’s confidence in the fire extinguisher contractor network, weed out the bad actors and provide a fair environment for those contractors who work hard and adhere to ethical standards." The proposed legislation will regulate the servicing of portable fire extinguishers and automatic fire extinguishing systems by requiring all fire safety contractors to be licensed by the County.  The final version of the bill will seek to contain a provision that the Licensing Board created by the law will be charged with enforcement of it by suspending or revoking licenses upon receipt of complaints and/or by referring the complaints to the County Attorney to bring the appropriate civil action.  Additionally, the law may provide for criminal penalties, if applicable.  The proposed legislation is in the interest of safeguarding lives and property.

 

“We all have the common desire to protect our fellow citizens from injury or worse because of faulty fire inspections by a few companies that are interested only in turning a profit,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Laurence Desimone, President of the Westchester County Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.  “I’d like to thank Chairman Ryan and Legislators Pinto and Harckham for standing up for small business-owners and drafting this legislation that will surely stop this vicious practice in Westchester.” 

(Left to right) Chairman of the Westchester County Board’s Public Safety and Security Committee Legislator Vito Pinto (D, I, WFP-Tuckahoe) joins with colleagues and fire inspectors throughout the county to announce new legislation that will require mandatory licensing of fire safety service providers throughout Westchester County.

 

 

   

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Bill Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains) and Legislator Peter Harckham (D, I, WFP-Katonah) join with fire inspectors to  announce new legislation to mandate licensing for all fire safety service providers throughout Westchester.

 

 

   

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Bill Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains) and Legislator Peter Harckham (D, I, WFP-Katonah) inspect faulty fire extinguishers with Mt. Kisco Fire Inspectors Ed Hardy and William Stewart. Also, pictured in background is George Ulley.
 

 

 

   

 

 

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Bill Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains) and Legislator Vito Pinto (D, I, WFP-Tuckahoe) inspect faulty fire extinguishers