WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz issued the official board response Thursday to the annual "state of the county" speech given by County Executive Rob Astorino.
Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining, delivered this reaction from Democrats on Wednesday evening.
Here are excerpts from Kaplowitz' speech:
"I said that we would emphasize cooperation and compromise over partisan politics and discord, believing that bipartisanship is far preferable to legislative gridlock…and it has worked. . .
"I’d like to share with you some of the successes we’ve accomplished and some of the challenges that remain. Working with the administration and legislators from both parties, the Board of Legislators has approved 116 bond acts for more than $190 million since the beginning of the term. That translates to real jobs and improved roads, bridges and other county infrastructure. . .
"Tonight, the county executive talked about another major project that has been in the works for several years -- the selection of a private operator for Playland Amusement Park.. .
"Providing clean drinking water for nearly one million residents is a job that requires a huge network of delivery and filtration systems. For many years the county’s 'water district one' has not been in technical compliance with some water quality standards established by the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency began levying fines against the county but I’m happy to announce that the Board of Legislators, working with the county attorney, successfully negotiated a resolution with the EPA to upgrade our water treatment facilities in water district one. Our recommended plan which the EPA approved saves taxpayers $90 million..
"Controlling taxes is important, but delivering essential services and protecting the social safety net for county residents who rely on them is equally important. . .
"Finally, County Executive Astorino talked about the affordable housing settlement and the court of appeals ruling that says HUD’s actions are subject to the courts review. On this issue, the legislative goal remains to protect the financial integrity of the county and reduce our exposure to litigation and additional losses. I urge the county executive to re-open a dialogue with HUD, the federal monitor and our communities so we can finally put the 2009 housing settlement behind us."
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