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Westchester Members Encouraged To #AskAstorino Anything

Members of Indivisible Westchester at Monday night's "Ask Astorino" Town Hall meeting in White Plains. Photo Credit: Contributed
An 'Ask Astorino' forum drew hundreds to Cortlandt in January to discuss the closure of Indian Point. A similar meeting is planned Monday night at White Plains Ciry Hall, led by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Photo Credit: Contributed

This story has been updated.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- With rising tensions over immigration, discrimination and deportation, Monday evening's “Ask Astorino” Town Hall meeting is expected to diverge from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino's planned agenda.

The Feb. 27 town hall meeting begins at 7 p.m. at White Plains City Hall at 255 Main St.

Follow Monday's forum at #AskAstorino and #AstorinoTownHall via Twitter.

According to his press spokesmen, Astorino plans to give a 20-minute overview of his annual budget designed to "provide tax relief, preserve essential services and promote economic development."

Otherwise, everything is on the table, the spokesman said, noting Astorino is "expecting a wide variety of questions."

The forum comes the same day separate bomb threats were reported at Jewish Community Centers in Scarsdale and Tarrytown, as reported here by Daily Voice.

In addition to this being the seventh straight year of no tax rate increases for county taxpayers, Astorino will discuss initiatives including Playland, the Westchester County Airport, and infrastructure investments to parks like the proposed skating rink at Kensico Dam Plaza, the spokesman said.

However, one public interest group is encouraging county residents to attend the meeting and ask questions beyond the county budget. According to an announcement by Indivisible Westchester, "Freedom means having the right to question your lawmakers about issues of concern at any time. Any attempt to control your right to ask questions is an authoritarian move that is an assault on your freedom."

Aaron Steinberg, a member of Indivisible White Plains, said, "We are normal citizens and residents: students, working people, family people, retirees, and many other who are turning out in droves to make our voices heard. We are not being paid to come tonight. We have been dragged from our warm homes by our values. The values of equality, justice, and representative government."

"Many good people around this country are afraid of having their lives turned upside by an unexpected raid by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There are residents of White Plains who are afraid to come to meetings like this out of fear that it will place a target on their backs," Steinberg added.

"We are here on their behalf, on behalf of those afraid of losing healthcare under a Trump Administration and Paul Ryan Congress, on behalf of those who see public education under threat by Betsy DeVos and the disastrous voucher system she promotes, on behalf of County police officers whose budgets have been cut and who are concerned about public mistrust due to new immigration policies, on behalf of people who don’t want gun shows on county property -- particularly ones with Nazi and Confederate propaganda for sale along with assault rifles, on behalf of county citizens who are concerned about the quality of water -- my three young children who have been raised on water that is not meeting government standards. And on behalf of countless others who don’t feel they are being adequately represented by County Executive Rob Astorino."

Steinberg continued: "Rob Astorino aspires to be Trump’s man in Westchester. We don’t want Trump in Westchester, and we don’t want Astorino running Westchester. His disastrous budgetary policies that have placed a burden on the county that will last for decades end this November. We are blessed with multiple qualified candidates to run against him for County Executive, and we’re confident they each have what it takes to win."

Finally, anyone experiencing problems at the state Department of Motor Vehicles also might be interested in Astorino's take on customer service there.

Earlier Monday, Astorino took to Twitter to report: "So much fun waiting...and waiting...and waiting at DMV for my deli-style ticket number to be I can fill out even more forms!"

Check back with Daily Voice for updates and more photos from Monday's forum.

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