GOP Caucus At Board Of Legislators Enthusiastic About Astorino’s State Of The County Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  – April 24, 2015

Republicans Proud of County Executive Holding the Line On Taxes and Spending, Praise Fatherhood Initiative and NYC Economic Development Office

Republicans on the Westchester County Board of Legislators were today speaking highly of County Executive Rob Astorino’s State of The County Address, most especially his continuing to hold the line on county taxes, keeping spending in check as well as fostering responsible parenting and promoting business in Westchester.

Said Minority Leader John Testa (R-Peekskill), “Rob has been consistent in his mission to ease the burden on Westchester taxpayers. Many can relate to his line about not being broke, but not having a penny to spare. That really does apply to the county as well as so many of her residents. With all the unfunded mandates coming down from Albany, can you imagine where we’d be without the leadership of this County Executive?”

GOP Legislators anxiously await County Executive Astorino's Address. L-R: David Gelfarb, Michael Smith, Sheila Marcotte, Minority Whip Gordon Burrows, Minority Leader John Testa.

GOP Legislators anxiously await County Executive Astorino’s Address. L-R: David Gelfarb, Michael Smith, Sheila Marcotte, Minority Whip Gordon Burrows, Minority Leader John Testa.

Vice Chair of the Board Republican Jim Maisano of New Rochelle said, “Rob did an excellent job articulating the challenges facing our county, and explaining that we must address them in the most fiscally responsible manner possible.”

Astorino discussed his Fatherhood Initiative where more than 400 men gathered at the

Minority Leader Testa with former NY Knick and General Manager of the Westchester Knick D-League team Allan Houston.

Minority Leader Testa with former NY Knick and General Manager of the Westchester Knick D-League team Allan Houston.

Westchester County Center for a day of seminars and fellowship with the help of service organizations and faith-based groups. The day was spearheaded by Astorino and his Department of Social Services headed up by Commissioner Kevin McGuire and his Deputy Joe Kenner. Former New York Knick Allan Houston will team up with Astorino’s Fatherhood Initiative via his own foundation going forward.

Said Legislator David Gelfarb (R-Rye Brook), “It was so inspiring to see what a rousing success the Fatherhood Initiative was. It’s quite apparent that we have a compassionate forward-thinking County Executive in Rob Astorino. He’s also tough when he needs to be. It does Westchester a world of good when he defends us from accusations of exclusionary zoning. That’s offensive, and just plain not true. Good for him.”

Michael Smith, legislator from Mount Pleasant said, “The State of the County address evidenced yet again why Rob Astorino was elected twice in a 2-1 Democratic county. He is a pragmatic leader with a strong social conscience. Furthermore, when he stands up to an overreaching federal government, and refuses to let social engineers run roughshod over our local zoning, he shows he’s principled in his determination to preserve home rule. Westchester County is very fortunate to have Rob as its county executive.”

Astorino took pride in his standing up to what he called “…an aggressive and overreaching federal government” when he challenged yet again the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s claims of racial discrimination and exclusionary practices in Westchester.

The County Executive also announced the opening of  the Westchester Economic Development office in Manhattan across from Grand Central Terminal.

StateoftheCounty_4Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R-Eastchester) said, “Its one thing to just say you’re going to attract business to the county, it’s another thing entirely to be proactive and go get the businesses. Opening up an office in New York City is a brilliant idea, and I’m proud of our County Executive for showing some initiative.”

Legislator Gordon Burrows of Yonkers said, “Of course its great to keep taxes down; that’s a must. But Rob knows that in order to actually grow the economy and create jobs, you have to create an environment which does so. That’s a positive role for government to play.”

Yonkers Legislator Bernice Spreckman said, “Westchester taxpayers -especially seniors- are suffocating under the weight of massive unfunded mandates from Albany. It is an affront when a senior citizen who owns their home outright has to move out because they can’t pay their property taxes. By keeping taxes stable County Executive Astorino has once again kept his promise to give taxpayers a fighting chance. His Fatherhood Initiative is a breath of fresh air, and will no doubt have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of men and their families. Speaking of children, I hope the new deal for Playland provides summer memories for generations to come.”

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About Legislator John G. Testa

John G. Testa, a life-long resident of Peekskill, began his first term on the Westchester County Legislature in January 2010. Prior to his successful run for the District 1 Legislative seat, he served 3 terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming mayor he also served a four-year term as a Councilman. From his first days in office Testa worked tirelessly to set the City on the path of economic stability. Peekskill flourished under this plan, increasing the city fund balance to its highest in history. During John’s tenure in office, the NY State Comptroller’s Office named Peekskill one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in the State; independent auditors proclaimed Peekskill as being in its best fiscal condition in over 30 years; and Moody’s Investor Service agreed to upgrade its bond rating, resulting in further savings. The plan he put in place was so successful that it enabled the City of Peekskill to pass three budgets in a row with a 0% tax increase. These fiscal skills will prove valuable to Testa as he works to put the brakes on what has been wildly escalating county spending and unchecked government growth. He has pledged his efforts to work to consolidate services, eliminate wasteful spending and improve efficiency. In addition to the fiscal conservatism that served Peekskill so well, Testa worked to promote the city, attracting investment, jobs and an increased tax base. Over $100 million of private investment came to Peekskill in the forms of new residential construction, retail space, and the redevelopment of historic structures. As Mayor, Testa led a successful battle to stop the unfair and unsafe plan to send sewage to the Peekskill plant from outside the sewage/water district. John’s roots are deep within the soil of Northern Westchester. His father’s family has lived here for more than a century and his mother’s family is nearing that mark. He is proud that he was born in Peekskill and has lived and worked here all his life and, with his wife Nancy raised their two children here.
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