FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2012
Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-815-4462 (cell)
Westchester Legislators Re-Commit Astorino’s “Flawed and Mean-Spirited” 2013 Budget
Opportunity for Astorino to Submit a Better Budget That is Right for Westchester
White Plains, NY – Determined to produce a fiscally sound budget that creates jobs, protects families and safeguards our environment, the Westchester County Board of Legislators re-committed County Executive Rob Astorino’s Proposed 2013 Budget with the hope that a better spending and revenue plan can be effectuated.
By re-committing Astorino’s Proposed 2013 Budget, the plan goes back to the BOL’s Budget & Appropriations Committee for possible future consideration. If a new budget is not in place by December 27, the County Charter dictates that the 2013 revenue and spending plan will follow the 2012 budget.
“The Board of Legislators is letting the County Executive know that his fiscally irresponsible budget hurts too many Westchester families and puts political pork ahead of public safety and health priorities,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “We’re giving him an opportunity to reconfigure key components of the budget and present a new plan that makes more sense. The ball is back in the County Executive’s court, and we look forward to a better budget with the proper adjustments.”
Jenkins reiterated that the BOL Democrats will not support a budget plan that bonds to pay for tax certioraris, and that Astorino is both wrong and disingenuous to criticize using $13 million of fund balance for this expenditure, especially since he proposed using nearly $40 million of fund balance for the 2011 Budget. Earlier today, the Westchester County League of Women Voters criticized Astorino’s bonding and borrowing plan for tax certioraris and pension costs as “unsustainable in the long run.”
In Astorino’s budget, funding for programs like subsidized child care, youth services and neighborhood health centers would all be cut, along with popular park programs, support for the arts and infrastructure investments.
“The Democrats on the Board of Legislators agree with the hundreds and hundreds of Westchester residents who came to our three public hearings and spoke out against the County Executive’s budget,” said BOL Vice Chair Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon). “Astorino’s budget decisions are flawed and mean-spirited. The people of Westchester deserve better.”
“Returning to last year’s budget will be a huge improvement and big step toward fiscal stability compared to what the County Executive is proposing,” said BOL Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-Katonah). “There’s no way we sanction laying off 126 experienced professionals, including County employees who worked day and night in the aftermath of Hurricane sandy, while agreeing to keep 57 political hires on the County payroll. This is not the kind of budget Westchester taxpayers want.”
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