9/21/2009 6:52:18 PM

 

Dear Neighbors,

Well, here we are again, on the brink of another flu season.  As a member of the Westchester County Board of Health, however, I have particular concerns this year about the health and well-being of residents in our district – and what we can do to keep both the regular and H1N1 types of flu at bay.

While the H1N1 flu, previously known as the “swine flu,” made headlines last spring – and is expected to resurge in this area this fall and winter – we cannot minimize the importance of protecting yourself against the regular flu as well.  Now is the time individuals (particularly seniors, children, pregnant women and adults with chronic conditions) should get their regular flu shots, which are available from physicians, various pharmacies including some CVS stores, and community clinics.

A list of community health centers, which provide low-cost flu shots and health care, and the phone numbers and web sites of chain pharmacies where you can get a free or low-cost flu shot, are available on the County Health Department web site, at www.westchestercountygov.com/health.

As our County Health Commissioner, Dr. Joshua Lipsman, reminded me, the regular flu is responsible for about 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year in the United States. And while County health leaders will certainly be keeping a close eye on the potential spread of the H1N1 flu, Dr. Lipsman stressed the County’s primary focus now is making sure residents who want flu shots get them.

In addition to ensuring a ready and accessible H1N1 vaccine supply, I’d like to assure you that the County already has a plan in place should a widespread outbreak occur. County government has coordinated a response plan involving the health department and area hospitals, schools, businesses and residents that would help to minimize the spread of the virus to whatever extent is possible.

The H1N1 vaccine will not be available before mid-October.  Tips on controlling the spread of all flu – which range from simple measures like washing your hands frequently and after you sneeze and coughing into your sleeve to staying home a full 24 hours after a fever subsides – also are on-line on the County health department’s web site.

As always, feel free to call me for more information at (914) 995-2802.

Best,

Judith A. Myers

9/21/2009 8:12:23 PM

 

 

(White Plains, NY) -- Westchester County Board Chair Bill Ryan (D-WFP, White Plains) announced that the proposed fair housing settlement agreement and Bond act, due for a vote at tonight’s Board of Legislators meeting has been recommitted for additional review. “Board members are not prepared, at this time, to vote on this measure,” said Ryan.  “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.”   The proposed measure is in response to a lawsuit brought against Westchester County by the Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC).  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 24th.  Should the Board fail to provide approval, the agreement shall be null and void, and all parties would proceed to trial.

 

  • A special meeting has been called to consider action on this landmark agreement for Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30pm in the Chambers of the Westchester County Board.  At that time, the following actions will be considered:
  • An Act authorizing the settlement of the lawsuit entitled United States of America, ex rel, Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York.
  • A (Bond) Act authorizing the County of Westchester to issue up to Thirty-Six Million ($36,000,000) Dollars in bonds to fund costs related to the settlement of United States of America, ex rel, Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York.
  • An additional Act which will set forth policies and procedures which must be utilized by Westchester County in furtherance of the commitments established by the Stipulation and Order which settled the federal litigation commenced by the Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. (“ADC”).

“We have heard from the Spano Administration, our Counsel, state agency heads and our own residents on both sides of this contentious issue,” said Chairman Ryan. “I want to make sure that we can come up with an agreement that truly encompasses all the viewpoints expressed by the Westchester legislators.  I’m confident that, through this process, we can have consensus on an agreement that will improve access to fair housing for all Westchester residents.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/21/2009 9:53:25 PM

 

What:

 

 

The Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman William J. Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains) has called a special meeting of the Board of Legislators to consider action on the proposed fair housing settlement agreement and the Bond Act, in preparation for a vote. The settlement agreement is subject to and conditional upon approval of the county’s Board of Legislators.  Should the Board fail to provide approval, the agreement shall be null and void, and all parties would proceed to trial. 
 

 

 

Where:    

 

 

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

 

 

When: 

 

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 7:30pm SHARP!

 

 

Why: 

 

 

In response to the landmark fair housing settlement between the federal government and Westchester County, the county’s Board of Legislators has received the final version of the proposed negotiated settlement agreement and Bond act.   The Board’s Budget and Appropriations Committee took the first step toward ratification of this settlement and bond act by approving these measures.  Over the few weeks, the Board of Legislators has conducted several public meetings and has conducting its process of thoroughly reviewing the agreement, involving our outside attorneys and County Attorney, representatives of the Spano Administration, bond counsel, and State agency heads.  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.  Although the settlement Act and Bond Act, reported out of Committee, was added to the agenda of the Board’s September 8th and September 21st regular meetings, more time was needed to review material and a vote did not take place.  At this time, the following actions will be considered:

 

  • An Act authorizing the settlement of the lawsuit entitled United States of America, ex rel, Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York.
  • A (Bond) Act authorizing the County of Westchester to issue up to Thirty-Six Million ($36,000,000) Dollars in bonds to fund costs related to the settlement of United States of America, ex rel, Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York.
  • An additional Act which will set forth policies and procedures which must be utilized by Westchester County in furtherance of the commitments established by the Stipulation and Order which settled the federal litigation commenced by the Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. (“ADC”).

 

All issues and questions considered, this may well be the most complex matter to ever come before the Board of Legislators and the decision here may be the most important decision any legislative body has had to make in the history of this county.  It has been our primary focus toward ensuring that the members of the Legislature are fully informed and prepared to make the correct decision for all of the people and taxpayers of Westchester County.  

 

 

 

9/22/2009 2:01:00 PM

 

 

The modern center for education and recreation, which is slated to open in 2012, will be named after Davis, who in June 2007 pledged $4 million to fund the renovations. “It gives me joy and satisfaction to see this project moving ahead and to have my name and my family’s name linked to it,” said Davis, who resides in Tarrytown.

Legislators Thomas Abinanti (D/Greenburgh) and George Oros (R/Cortlandt) pose with 102-year-old philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis and Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan at a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of renovations at the historic bathhouse at Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow.

 

 

 

 

9/23/2009 1:26:01 AM

RESOURCES

ADC Settlement Agreement

Guide to Area Median Income (AMI)

Public meetings discussing settlement agreement terms

Watch the Board meeting now

Watch Chairman Ryan’s YouTube Intro

(White Plains, NY) ~ The Westchester County Board of Legislators has approved a landmark fair housing settlement agreement and Bond act.  The proposed measure was in response to a lawsuit brought against Westchester County by the Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC).  The settlement agreement was subject to and conditional upon approval of the county’s Board of Legislators.  The Board had to vote on the agreement no later than this week.  If the Board failed to provide its approval, the agreement would have been null and void, and all parties would have proceeded to trial.  “This has been a defining action for this Legislature.  Tonight, the Board took an important step toward expanding access to fair housing in our county,” said Board Chairman William J. Ryan (D, WFP-White Plains).  “Over the past month, we have heard from the Spano Administration, our Counsel, state agency heads and our own residents on both sides of this contentious issue.  After much review, amendment, negotiation and our own internal process of due diligence, we have approved an agreement that truly encompasses all of the viewpoints and concerns expressed by the Westchester legislators.  This action represents a consensus on an agreement that will improve access to fair housing for all Westchester residents.”

The lawsuit, which was originally brought by the Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC), accused the county of making false statements on federal applications about its efforts to integrate housing.  The approved settlement would require Westchester to spend $50 million over seven years to build 750 homes, in areas that are overwhelmingly white and affluent.  During tonight’s special meeting, the following actions were approved:

  • An Act authorizing the settlement of the lawsuit entitled United States of America, ex rel, Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York.
  • A (Bond) Act authorizing the County of Westchester to issue up to Thirty-Six Million ($36,000,000) Dollars in bonds to fund costs related to the settlement of United States of America, ex rel, Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York.
  • An additional Act, which will set forth policies and procedures which must be utilized by Westchester County in furtherance of the commitments established by the Stipulation and Order which settled the federal litigation commenced by the Anti Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. (“ADC”). 

Over the past few weeks, the Board of Legislators had conducted several public meetings thoroughly reviewing the agreement, involving its outside counsel from Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. and County Attorney Charlene Indelicato, representatives of the Spano Administration, our bond counsel, and State agency heads.  Legislators, also, met with the proposed federally-appointed monitor, James Johnson, and with officials from the U.S. Department of Justice.  “Throughout this process of review, I pledged to the members of the Legislature that we would meet with all relevant parties to get all the information we deem necessary for the full Board to make the correct decision on this matter,” said Chairman Ryan.

Throughout the review of this agreement, the legislators made specific inquiries into the history of the litigation, the Relator, and what is authorized by the federal False Claims Act; the federal court decision on the parties’ respective motions for summary judgment; changes in HUD policy and expectations; certifications to “affirmatively further fair housing;” HUD acceptance of County submissions; federal government intervention in the lawsuit and the right to settle; fines and fees; the monetary element of the proposed settlement; a monetary cap; rejecting the settlement and proceeding to trial; the risk of an adverse verdict and the damages that could be charged to the County (our internal analysis showing a range of $180 million to $200 million dollars on the low end, and up to $540 million dollars on the high end); possible disqualification from participation in HUD programs and the loss of community development block grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Emergency Shelter Grants and other federal funding; roles of the Monitor and the consultant; assessing the County’s “best efforts” and adjusting the obligations concerning the number of affordable AFFH units to be built.  “This may well have been the most complex matter to ever come before the Board of Legislators and our decision here was one of the most important decisions any legislative body has had to make in the history of this county.  It has been our primary focus ensuring that the members of the Legislature and our residents were fully informed and prepared to make the correct decision for all of the people and taxpayers of Westchester County,” said Chairman Ryan.
 

 

FINAL VOTE TALLY:

YES (in favor of approval)

NO (not in favor of approval)

Alvarado, Jose

Abinanti, Thomas

Bronz, Lois

Burrows, Gordon

Burton, William

Maisano, James

Harckham, Peter

Oros, George

Jenkins, Kenneth

Rogowsky, Martin

Kaplowitz, Michael

 

Myers, Judith

 

Nonna, John

 

Pinto, Vito

 

Ryan, William

 

Spreckman, Bernice

 

Williams, Lyndon