7/10/2009 9:32:01 AM

What: 

The Westchester County Board of Legislators Committees on Budget and Appropriations and Public Safety and Security will meet to approve an act that would supply municipalities with shelter supplies in the event of an emergency that requires residents to seek temporary shelter
 

Who:

Speakers to be present (still in formation):

  • Legislator Jose Alvarado, Chair of the Committee (D, WFP-Yonkers)
  • A representative from the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services  

Where:       

Westchester County Board of Legislators Legislative Committee Room  

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

When:

Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 10:00am sharp

Why:

In the wake of the recent weather systems that  have hit towns in Southern Westchester  as well as  other recent natural disasters, the need for an efficient disaster preparedness plan is apparent.   The Department of Emergency Services would  enter into inter-municipal agreements (IMAs) with one or more municipalities to  set up emergency shelters throughout the County that would contain supplies and equipment for those that are displaced.

7/10/2009 9:42:01 AM

What: 

The Westchester County Board of Legislators’ Committee on Community Services will hear a presentation from a representative from the Hudson Center for Health Equity & Quality (HCHEQ), the creator of the web-based tool, “Enroll NY”, a state-sponsored resource that helps you find out if you are eligible for free or lost cost health insurance.
 

Who

Speakers to attend (still in formation):

  • Legislator Lois Bronz (D,I,WFP-Greenburgh), Committee Chair
  • Representatives from the Hudson Center for Health Equity & Quality (HCHEQ)

Where:       

Westchester County Board of Legislators Committee Room

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

When:  

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 3:00pm
 

Why:

In response to the increasing number of New Yorkers now eligible for public health benefits, Enroll NY was created. Keeping with the Committee on Community Service’s commitment to health care, Enroll NY offers an easier and efficient way to get information about public health benefits and how those benefits can be obtained.  Public hearings on Universal health care have been held by the committee as they continue to work closely with the Access to Care Coalition, and Enroll NY presents a new opportunity to let Westchester residents know what their benefits are. In a time of such economic uncertainty, any information that can help county residents receive health benefits is vital. 

Oros calls for establishment of oversight panel to study safety at park

7/10/2009 9:45:03 AM

 

 

Westchester County Legislator George Oros (R/Cortlandt) is calling for the establishment of an oversight panel to thoroughly review and monitor the safety procedures and training methods at Playland, the county-owned and operated amusement park in Rye.

 

Oros said a recently aired investigative program on RNN-TV centering on the deaths of two children and one park employee within a three-year span at Playland raised serious questions about the management of the facility and the attention to safety details.

 

“I could not forgive myself if another tragedy occurred at Playland and I failed to act,” Oros said. “It may be a recreational facility and an historic landmark but behind the scenes I think more can be done to make it safer.”

 

According to the RNN-TV report, when a seven-year-old boy from Norwalk, Connecticut died August 3, 2005 after falling or climbing out of a boat on the Ye Old Mill ride, there were half as many employees on duty on the ride as required.

 

Meanwhile, on June 29, 2007, when a 21-year-old county employee from White Plains was killed after a another employee prematurely started the Mind Scrambler, the state Labor Department, police and the county Parks Department all concluded proper safety precautions were not followed.

 

“For these families, Playland will always be considered a death trap,” Oros said. “Westchester is the only county in the nation that operates an amusement park and based on its tragic track record maybe there’s a reason for that. We need to find out if there’s a better and safer way to run Playland, because one death is one too many.”

 

Other tragedies at Playland include a seven-year-old girl from New Rochelle that died when she was thrown from the Mind Scrambler on May 22, 2004 after sliding herself free from the restraining bar; an eight-year-old girl that choked to death in 1988 while chewing gum on the Dragon Coaster; and a 19-year-old man that was killed in the 1920s when he was thrown off The Whip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Energy Efficiency Incentives Offered by the State are Money Saving Opportunities and a Win-Win for a Variety of Westchester Households

7/10/2009 9:59:09 AM

What:  

The Westchester County Board of Legislators Subcommittee on Energy Efficiency will meet to review new energy efficiency incentives for homeowners, renters, building owners and managers through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Who:  

Speakers to be present (list still in formation):

  • Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, Subcommittee Chair (D-Somers)
  • Elyssa Rothe, NYSERDA Energy $mart Community coordinator

Where:        

Westchester County Board of Legislators Committee Room

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

When: 

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 2:15pm

Why:  

NYSERDA partners with a network of professionals to provide energy efficiency solutions for single-family and multi-family homes. A wide variety of energy-saving incentives through NYSERDA and other agencies such as energy audits, retrofit improvements, appliance purchasing, tax credits and financing opportunities are available to homeowners which cut energy cost while improving the environment. NYSERDA can also provide incentives and technical assistance for solar and geothermal installations and green building construction.

New Committee to help strengthen this important component of Westchesters economy

7/10/2009 12:00:50 PM

 

 

Westchester County Legislator Lyndon Williams (D, I, WFP-Mount Vernon) will hold the first meeting of the newly-created special committee on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE).  This new special committee of the Board, created by Board Chairman William Ryan (D, I, WFP-White Plains), seeks to strengthen existing minority and women-owned businesses throughout the county and to promote the growth of this important component of the county’s economy. At this first business meeting, Williams will announce the appointment of Robin Douglas, Michael Carriere, David Turner, Fannie Lansch and Ann Janiak as citizen members of the committee.

 

“I am pleased to appoint these outstanding individuals to this special committee,” said Williams.  “This new special committee will work to remove barriers and ensure that any resident who seeks to become financially independent by engaging in business and entrepreneurship will find a fair and open environment in Westchester.  I look forward to working with these citizens members in achieving our mandate” said Legislator Williams.

 

The creation of the Special Committee on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises is the second step in three months taken by Chairman Ryan to engage the County Board in work aimed at boosting the local economy.  Back in March, the Chairman established the Legislative Task Force on Westchester Economic Recovery to ensure that the county is taking maximum advantage of the stimulus money being made available to counties from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and to work with local governments, business groups, non-profits, and the public to develop ideas and initiatives to boost the economy on the local front.

 

“Early on, the Task Force identified an immediate need to address the concerns of minority and women-owned businesses,” said Ryan.  Legislator Williams added, “In recent years, MWBE’s have come under much state and federal scrutiny.  Unfortunately, it’s been determined that this growing segment of our business sector has been underutilized and often overlooked during the competitive bidding / contract awarding process.  This new special committee will be empowered to push an aggressive legislative agenda that will build the capacity of MWBE firms and increase the utilization of qualified MWBE’s throughout the county.” 

 

This new special committee will work closely with the County Executive’s Office of African-American Affairs, which recently launched an initiative that makes minority-or women owned businesses more visible to county departments, contractors, municipalities and anyone else that might be interested in purchasing their services or products.  The initiative centers around a new online registration process available at www.westchestergov.com/mwob

 

Business owners that sign up will automatically get email notices whenever new opportunities are posted in their area of expertise.  In addition, county departments are required to use a centralized database when looking for vendors to provide services.  To ensure compliance, all short-form contracts must be reviewed and approved by the Office of African-American Affairs under the leadership of Tracey Mitchell, who is the director of the county’s Minority-and Women-owned business program.  To date, 24% of all short-form contracts have been awarded to MWBEs.

 

Legislator Williams outlined the unique oversight responsibilities of the new special committee:

 

  • Ensuring Westchester County provide fertile ground for the development of MWBEs, promote employment opportunities, a more open competitive process and fair access to the County’s competitive bid / contract awarding process.
  • Ensuring the practice of “fair share” contracts, as stated in the State Article 15-A of the Executive Law, is adhered to in Westchester 
  • Examining and addressing the disparities between the numbers of qualified MWBE’s ready, willing and able to perform county contracts for commodities, service and construction and the number of such entities actually engaged in such contracts within the County. 
  • Recommending changes, if any, to state and/or county policies affecting MWBE’s, where appropriate 
  • Reviewing and recommending corrective County action affecting MWBE’s, where appropriate 
  • Ensuring MWBE’s fully participate in opportunities provided by anticipated Federal stimulus initiatives 
  • Promoting and fostering better relationships between the County and MWBEs

Brief Bio on Citizen Appointments:

 

Robin Douglas, Director African American Chamber of Commerce, Westchester/Rockland. An independent not-for-profit agency whose mission is to preserve competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of Westchester and Rockland counties. 
 

 

Michael Carriere, Business Representative District Council # 9- Local Painters Union # 113.  This organization is committed to promoting the union labor workforce, protecting prevailing rate wages and serving and ensuring the safety of all its members.
 

 

David Turner, President, United Association of Contractors and Developers.  Comprised of professionals committed to teaching formerly incarcerated/troubled young men the electrical, laborer, carpentry and plumbing trades. 
 

 

Ann Janiak, Executive Director of the Women’s Enterprise Development Center Inc. (WEDC), a non-for-profit microenterprise development organization in White Plains, NY that helps women achieve economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship .
 

 

Fannie Lansch, President of the Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, an independent not-for-profit agency whose mission is to facilite business relationships between growing Hispanic market and the business community at large.