For Immediate Release: September 7, 2012
Contact: Matt Richter
BOL Dems Were for All Aspects of Housing Settlement – Before They Were Against It
Maligned Pace Contract is a Necessity of the Settlement They Approved
Four Westchester County Legislators today criticized the Democratic majority for a press release issued yesterday that called a contract with Pace University a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“The statement issued late yesterday by the Democrats on the Board was as misleading as the day is long,” said Legislator John Testa (R Peekskill).
Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R/C Eastchester) added: “This is a lame attempt to shift responsibility for the vote they took in 2009 that has cost our County plenty more than the Pace study they cite.”
Marcotte was referring to the 2009 Federal Housing Settlement approved by then County Executive Andrew Spano and the Democrats on the Board of Legislators that will cost nearly $100 million.
“These are the very same legislators who voted for this housing settlement,” said Legislator Michael Smith (R/C Mount Pleasant). “And now they are critical that money is being spent in order to comply with what they voted for. It is as if the Democrats who voted for this albatross now want the County to fail in compliance in order to cost taxpayers even more.”
Legislator Gordon Burrows (R/C Yonkers) noted that “either they approved the Housing Settlement without understanding its terms or never read it. Either way, those Democratic legislators supporting this position are being, at best, disingenuous with the public and at worst, playing raw and unnecessary politics with one of the most important issues ever facing Westchester County.”
The four Republican legislators noted that members of the Board of Legislators who opposed this settlement voiced concern about requirements such as the one in paragraph 33 (h) that requires the County to “pay for consultants and public education, outreach out of County resources in an amount not less than $400,000.” They also noted that elected officials should clearly understand the consequences when they vote and that they should not look to abandon those decisions for political expediency when it seems convenient.
Although their efforts at trying to get the Democratic majority members to work in a bipartisan manner have been consistently rebuffed during the current legislative session, the Republican caucus remains open to working with them in order to achieve solutions that are in the best interests of the taxpayers of Westchester County.