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Borgia: Future Agenda Lacking in State of County

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – District 9 Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) said County Executive Rob Astorino’s State of the County did not include the vision for the future she had hoped and his track record for cutting services has hurt some of the county’s neediest residents.

“I was surprised at what he chose to talk about in his speech because there was a lot of talk about the inadequacies of Albany and he has disagreements with” the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Borgia.

"I thought that the speech was a little bit light on vision, I didn’t know a lot about his agenda," she said, “which I think is typically what a State of the County looks at. For example, we saw the governor and his agenda was so ambitious.”

Astorino said $80 million in capital projects were waiting for approval by county legislators. Borgia, as head of the government operation committee, said she felt the number misrepresented the amount of time and willingness to pass infrastructure projects she felt the committee was focused on.

“I just feel like maybe we need to have a little bit less finger pointing and a little bit more working together,” Borgia said.

Also in the State of the County, Astorino said there would be no tax levy increase in the coming year. Similar to responses by Democratic Chairperson Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Borgia said that not increasing the tax levy is admirable, but dooms day speeches about uncontrollable costs coming down from Albany diminish will to invest in programs used by some of Westchester’s neediest residents.

“For government, you always want to be looking at the longer term implications, and we want to keep a happy prosperous Westchester for all of our Westchester residents, these are tough times for all of us,” said Borgia.

She specifically cited Astorino’s cuts to subsidized child care and bus service to Route 76 in the Town of Rye. Borgia said the route “serves both the seniors who can no longer drive and a population of home health aides, housekeepers, people who work with that population.”

She said some of Astorino’s cuts to these programs seemed “penny-wise and pound foolish” to her, since some of the same residents her were benefitting from subsidized child care, may not have to enroll in more expensive governmental support programs, like food stamps.

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