Proposed Housing Settlement Agreement between the Federal Government and Westchester County Government now in the Hands of Legislators for Authorization

8/14/2009 9:00:21 AM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) ~ 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 proposed settlement was signed by the County Executive and has been received by the Board of Legislators for consent,” said Board Chairman William J. Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains).  “I have transmitted the settlement and Bond act to the board’s Budget and Appropriations Committee to be discussed on Monday, August 17th at 10:00am.” 

 

The settlement agreement is subject to and conditional upon approval of the county’s Board of Legislators.  The Board must vote on the agreement no later than September 25th.  Should the Board fail to provide approval, the agreement shall be null and void, and all parties would proceed to trial.

 

“Westchester County government has been active and successful in creating and sustaining affordable housing units and has always been committed to ensuring fair access to housing for all people,” said Chairman Ryan.  “The Board of Legislators are prepared to begin its legislative process of thoroughly reviewing the agreement and conducting the appropriate due diligence.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/14/2009 3:15:48 PM

 

 

Legislator George Oros was honored to take part in the award ceremony at The Peekskill Youth Police Academy Banquet Program August 6 at Cortlandt Colonial Restaurant. The two-week summer program is designed to give male and female youngsters, ages 12 to 15, a glimpse into the world of law enforcement with the hope they will receive an educated, positive view of policing. Meanwhile, Legislator Oros is also happy to announce an agreement between the county and The Peekskill Youth Bureau was reached last week to operate the Advancing Leadership Initiatives for Teens Program until the end of 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/14/2009 3:24:16 PM

 

 

Legislator Gordon A. Burrows was proud to sponsor the annual Women’s Equality Day Reformed Committee’s program August 7 in the meeting room of the Board of Legislators. The committee gathers to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting voting freedom to women, and honor pro-life women of outstanding civic and personal achievement. The 2009 honoree was Theresa Bonopartis, director of Lumina Hope and Healing After Abortion. Guest speaker was acitivist and teacher Brigid Faranda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minority Leader Criticizes Spano for Using Racist Card

8/17/2009 2:48:18 PM

 

 

Westchester County Legislator George Oros (R/C Cortlandt), Minority Leader of the Board of Legislators, issued the following statement today following the appearance of County Executive Andrew Spano at a meeting of the Budget Committee:

 

 “This morning, County Executive Andy Spano discussed plans to build subsidized housing in upscale communities as part of the federal lawsuit settlement. In the course of his remarks, the County Executive unjustifiably played the race card on Majority Leader Martin Rogowsky (D/Harrison), Vice Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D/Somers) and Chairman of the Energy and Environment Committee Thomas Abinanti (D/Greenburgh). The County Executive apparently singled out those three legislators because since the announcement of the proposed settlement they have shared many of the same reservations as I and other legislators have regarding the terms of settlement the County Executive agreed to.

 

Over the years, I have butted heads with these three colleagues on numerous issues. They are strong advocates for their positions. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. But these are good men without a bigoted bone in their bodies.

 

Each of them has sensible questions regarding the County Executive’s plan to use taxpayers’ money on an abstruse exercise in social engineering. Their questions and even their intentions are not a sign of bigotry.  It is a sign of legislative diligence and integrity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE: Todays Budget & Appropriations committee vote to approve the proposed affordable housing settlement agreement and bond act

8/17/2009 4:05:00 PM

 

 

Today, the Budget & Appropriations Committee took the first step toward ratification of this settlement and bond act by approving these measures.  Our review of this matter will continue in future committee meetings.  We are on track for a floor vote at our next full board meeting. 

 

We agree with the County Executive that this is the most important vote that any legislative body has had to take in the history of the county.  However, notwithstanding, it is essential that we not rush into an agreement that will cost county taxpayers millions of dollars without asking the tough questions and understanding the county’s future fiscal commitment, as well as detailing the implementation of the creation of the 750 units that the stipulation agreement requires.

 

The injection of race into the discussion of this issue from others is irresponsible and offensive.  Let us be perfectly clear – the Board of Legislators has always considered the impact of race when taking action towards the creation of affordable housing.  In fact, county government has been active and successful in creating and sustaining affordable housing units throughout the county and has always been committed to ensuring fair access to housing for all people.