Friday, April 21, 2017

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Astorino speaks of balance, perseverance, bipartisanship in state of county message

Astorino: "I was elected to stop the tax madness ..."

WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino’s annual State of the County address Thursday evening said the county is strong and growing stronger with safer streets, more employment, is more environmentally sound and has active economic development, all while keeping property taxes flat.

He pointed to the redevelopment of Playland Amusement Park, a $1.2 billion science and Technology hub in Mount Pleasant and $140 million in revenues through a public-private partnership at Westchester County Airport.

“I was elected to stop the tax madness, and we did just that by stopping the out-of-control spending,” Astorino told those attending at the County Court House in White Plains. “The county budget today is less than the budget was when we took office in 2010, which is unheard of.” He said while taxes “are still too high,” residents and businesses “know they can count on me to manage their tax dollars smartly and responsibly.”

The county continues to face vulnerabilities including the growing opioid epidemic. He announced a new plan to attack the issue. Called “Project WORTHY” – Westchester Opioid Response Teams Helping Youth – the program will build response teams involving experts in health, law enforcement and mental health, and parents, students, clergy and coaches to work together to spot the warning signs of heroin and opioid abuse; understand the mental health causes of addiction, such as depression, anxiety or pain management; and develop response strategies to pre-empt addiction.

Democratic Majority Leader, Catherine Borgia, called the speech “… plenty of pomp and circumstance”, saying “This administration spends resources in the wrong places because of personal political ambition.”

Borgia said “We need policies that will put Westchester back on sound fiscal footing. Passing Democratic initiatives and putting wasteful lawsuits and pet projects behind us is the right place to start.”


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