Take some time to view Rob’s State of the County Address (http://www3.westchestergov.com/state-of-the-county). You’ll know why I am so proud and honored to be part of his team. If your time is limited, I urge you to go about 30 minutes into the speech. Rob gives a concise explanation of the federal housing settlement and why he is standing strong against HUD. Please, pass this along to family and friends or put it up on your facebook.
At my State of the County Address on Tuesday, I pledged to deliver the fourth straight budget with no property tax increase while also preserving essential services, promoting economic growth, and protecting our municipalities against federal efforts to dismantle local zoning.
A partnership with the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester County Association and the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association to stop Albany’s unfunded mandates;
A new food rescue initiative to redistribute unused food from our schools, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants to our food pantries and soup kitchens;
My leadership to ensure that the new Tappan Zee Bridge has mass transit the day it opens; and,
Support for expanding cleaner and cheaper natural gas to the Westchester County Airport and the Material Recovery Facility in Yonkers.
I also presented an update on several of our initiatives, including:
The County’s new Local Development Corp., which has already approved $128 million in low-cost and tax exempt financing to nonprofit agencies at no risk to county taxpayers;
Reinventing Playland for the 21st century with an investment of $34 million in private money and a management agreement with a team of world-class operators who will restore the park as a year-round destination for Westchester’s families;
“Safer Communities,” which has built a coalition among our schools and municipalities to share resources and best practices as part of the County’s ceaseless effort to keep our kids, our schools and our communities as safe as they can be;
The County is a year ahead of the annual benchmarks for facilitating the construction of 750 units of affordable housing under the 2009 housing settlement with HUD; and
A bi-partisan joint action with the Board of Legislators to prevent HUD from re-allocating $7.4 million in federal funds already promised to Westchester’s communities in 2011.
From day one, our goal has been to deliver results. But results don’t come easy. Priorities must be set. Hard choices must be made. Partisanship must give way to partnership. Rhetoric must yield to leadership.
Westchester County continues to move forward carefully and steadily. We pledged to protect taxpayers, and we did just that. We pledged to preserve essential services, and we did just that. We pledged to promote economic growth, and we did just that. And working together, we will continue moving Westchester County toward an even brighter future.