County Board’s review of the proposed agreement to continue with legislators the Administration, agency representatives and attorneys

8/27/2009 4:32:30 PM

What:   

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman William Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains) has officially called a series of committee meetings to provide all legislators the opportunity to obtain additional information, in relation to the proposed affordable housing settlement agreement and the Bond Act to fund costs related to the settlement.  Chairman Ryan and the members of the Legislature will be gathering more details on the settlement from various agency and Administration representatives and attorneys.
 

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: 

FIRST MEETING -- Tuesday, September 1, at 10:00 a.m. 

TOPIC: 

o       financing the requirements of the proposed settlement

o       our submissions to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development

o       HUD policies, rules and regulations, and expectations

o       other relevant topics of inquiry
 

 

SPEAKERS:

o       Todd Miles, Esq. of Hawkins, Delafield and Wood (the County’s bond counsel)

o       Westchester County Finance Commissioner Kathy Thorsberg

o       Westchester County Planning Commissioner Gerard Mulligan and Planning Department staff; representatives of the Administration

o       Westchester County Attorney Charlene Indelicato
 

 

SECOND MEETING -- Wednesday, September 2, at 2:30 p.m. 

TOPIC:

o       any outstanding legal matters

o       housing development programs including State and federal grants and loans

o       the availability of funds that could be applied for by housing developers for the construction of affordable AFFH units
 

 

SPEAKERS:

o       Michael Kalish of Epstein Becker and Green, P.C. (our counsel in this matter),

o       Westchester County Attorney Charlene Indelicato

o       Commissioner Deborah VanAmerongen -- NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal
 

 

THIRD MEETING -- Tuesday, September 8, at 10:00 a.m. 

o       This meeting is to allow time for any further discussion
 

Why:   

In response to the landmark settlement between the federal government and Westchester County, the county’s Board of Legislators has officially received the final version of the proposed negotiated settlement agreement and Bond act.  The settlement agreement is subject to and conditional upon approval of the county’s Board of Legislators.  The Board’s Budget and Appropriations Committee took the first step toward ratification of this settlement and bond act by approving these measures.  The settlement Act and Bond Act will be on the regular calendar for our Board meeting scheduled for Monday evening, September 8.  Should the Board fail to provide approval, the agreement shall be null and void, and all parties would proceed to trial.  The Board of Legislators is conducting its process of thoroughly reviewing the agreement.

RE: Proposed housing settlement with federal government

9/4/2009 10:56:52 AM

 

 

This week, the Board of Legislators continued its full consideration and thorough review of the proposed affordable housing settlement with the federal government and the bonding needed to fund the costs related to the settlement.

 

Our legislative review process began more than two weeks ago with the work of the Board’s Budget and Appropriations Committee on the settlement Act and Bond Act.  Our Committee discussion proved to be a productive first step in our process.  We made specific inquiries into the history of the fair housing lawsuit and the chief issues and concerns raised by this matter.  We obtained needed information from the Administration and our attorneys.  The Committee reported the settlement Act and bond Act to the full Board for appropriate action.

 

As the Budget and Appropriations Committee was approving the settlement and bonding, I pledged to the members of the legislature the continuation of our process of full consideration and thorough review.  We would continue to meet with relevant parties to get all the information we deem necessary for the full Board to make the correct decision on this matter. I called a series of Committee of the Whole meetings for this purpose.

 

This week, in two lengthy Committee of the Whole meetings involving our outside attorneys and County Attorney, representatives of the Spano Administration, bond counsel, and State agency heads, the full Board continued its due diligence.

 

The time spent thus far in deliberations, gathering important information and gaining additional understanding of the county’s obligations and responsibilities in this proposed settlement agreement, has been invaluable.  More time, however, is needed by the Board to continue its necessary work.

 

Although the settlement Act and Bond Act, reported out of Committee, will be live on the agenda of the Board’s September 8 regular meeting, I will not call for a vote on these items at that meeting.   Rather, I am directing our review process forward and I will continue to use the Committee of the Whole for our work sessions.  In this way, all Board members will have the opportunity to participate and our proceedings will continue to be open and transparent to the public.  I will be consulting with Board leadership over this weekend and will release on Tuesday a schedule for our work sessions.

 

All issues and questions considered, this may well be the most complex matter to ever come before the Board of Legislators and our decision here may be the most important decision any legislative body has had to make in the history of this county.  This will be a defining action for this Legislature.

 

I commend all members of the Board for the time and effort they have put into this review.  Their work has been outstanding.  And that work will continue to ensure that we are fully informed and prepared to make the correct decision for all of the people and taxpayers of Westchester County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/4/2009 3:08:04 PM

 

WHAT:   

 

 

Westchester County Legislator John Nonna (D, I, WFP-Mount Pleasant) is hosting a community town hall to give updates and details on the proposed affordable housing settlement agreement and the Bond Act to fund costs related to the settlement.

 

 

WHO:    

 

 

Westchester County Legislator John Nonna (D, I, WFP-Mount Pleasant)

 

 

WHERE:    

 

 

Mount Pleasant Town Hall
1 Town Hall Plaza (at Columbus Avenue)
Valhalla, NY 

 

 

WHEN:     

 

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. SHARP

 

 

WHY:   

 

 

This town hall meeting is to provide community residents with an up-to-date explanation and discussion of the proposed settlement agreement by the County of a lawsuit that will require the County to ensure the development of up to 750 units of affordable housing.  Residents will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

 

 

 

9/9/2009 10:29:27 AM

WHAT:   

Westchester County Legislator James Maisano (R/New Rochelle) is hosting a town hall meeting to hear the views of his constituents on the proposed settlement agreement for this controversial federal litigation and to fund costs related to the settlement.
 

WHO: 

Westchester County Legislator James Maisano
 

WHERE:   

New Rochelle City Hall Annex
90 Beaufort Place, Room B1 (the old courthouse)
New Rochelle, New York 
 

WHEN:   

Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
 

WHY:       

Legislator Maisano will open the meeting with brief comments on the settlement agreement, and then will open the meeting to testimony on this issue from his constituents.

9/9/2009 10:44:20 AM

What:

Westchester County Board Chairman Bill Ryan (D, I, WFP-White Plains) and Westchester County Legislator Peter Harckham (D, I, WFP-Katonah), along with several county legislators will announce a committee vote and movement towards passage of historic legislation that would require the forfeiture of vehicles for those convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while engaged in unlawful speed contests or races throughout Westchester County.  Today, the Board leadership is pleased to announce that enough legislators have committed their support for passage of this legislation out of committee and to a full floor vote at our next Board meeting. Ryan and Harckham will be joined by fellow legislators, representatives of various law enforcement agencies and community advocates who have been vocal in their support of the immediate passage of this legislation.
 

Who: 

Speakers to attend are (still in formation):

  • Westchester County Board Chairman Bill Ryan (D,I, WFP-White Plains)
  • Legislator Peter Harckham (D, I, WFP-Katonah) – primary author of the legislation
  • Legislator and Board Vice-Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D,I-Somers)
  • Legislator William Burton (D,I, WFP-Ossining) – Chairman, Committee on Legislation
  • Legislator Vito Pinto (D,I-Tuckahoe) – Chairman, Committee on Public Safety
  • Legislator and Board Majority Leader Martin Rogowsky (D-Harrison)
  •  Legislator Ken Jenkins (D,I,WFP-Yonkers) – Chairman, Committee on Government Operations
  • Legislator Jose Alvarado (D,I,WFP-Yonkers) – Chairman, Committee on Budget and Appropriations
  • Representatives from Northern Westchester Hospital
  • Alonzo West of the Westchester Correction Officers Benevolent Association
  • Mike Hagan of the Westchester County Police Benevolent Association
  • Robert Buckley of the Westchester County Correction Superior Officers Association
  • Helene Hodapp of the Westchester County Probation Officers Association

Where:    

Westchester County Board of Legislators Rotunda

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

When: 

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 12pm noon SHARP!

Why: 

Currently, twenty states permit the confiscation of vehicles for DWI offenses, with New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties, specifically within New York State.  Most of them are for second offenses or more. Within the last four years, Westchester County has seen a steady increase in DWI/DUI arrests.  According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, adult arrests in Westchester County for felony and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated (“DWI”) offenses rose from 2,337 in 2002 to 2,650 in 2007.  The Westchester County Department of Probation reports that DWI cases represent the largest percentage of their total cases – 23 percent.  Additionally, it has been reported that nationwide, 17,000 people die each year in alcohol-related accidents; 80 percent involve recidivist drunk drivers.

Legislator Harckham – the primary sponsor of this legislation – has worked to build a bipartisan coalition of legislators that has debated the details of this bill within the Committees of Legislation and Public Safety for over a year and has worked to add several constitutional protections for due process.  On the heels on the tragic deaths of members of the Bastardi and Schuler families on the Taconic Parkway, the Board has found that while larger fines, longer license suspensions, and increased jail sentences may deter some offenders, a stronger deterrent is necessary to protect the public.  According to the National Transportation Safety Board, civil forfeiture of motor vehicles laws serve as a deterrent to recidivism may reduce first-time offenses and will send a stern message that driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will not be tolerated in Westchester County. 

*** PHOTO OPP AND VIDEO INTERVIEWS ARE AVAILABLE ***