PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- County Legislator John Testa is hoping that his stint as minority leader will lead to greater bipartisanship in Westchester.
Testa, who was elected to his third term in November, was elected minority leader by the GOP caucus last week. Testa, who will serve as the spokesperson for the GOP, represents Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown.
"I will be looking out for the well being of my caucus members and staff," Testa said. "I am proud to be selected and will be hitting the ground running. There's a lot going on."
Testa said the board is trying to move forward and be more results oriented. Recently, a coalition came together to elect Michael Kaplowitz as chair with the goal of giving every legislator a voice in government by giving them a leadership role or committee chairmanship.
"No matter if you're a Republican or Democrat, every legislator has a role to play," Testa said. "No one has been left out."
Testa said it is important Northern Westchester gets represented in county government since he feels it often gets ignored.
"The south has larger cities and larger population," Testa said. "If you're above I-287, you can get a little lost."
Testa pointed out that Chairman Michael Kaplowitz and Minority Leader Catherine Borgia all represent Northern Westchester.
"I think it bodes well for all the communities up there," Testa said. "I am looking forward to it. I am very optimistic that we will have a productive term."
During County Executive Robert Astorino's first term, the relationship between the 8th floor and 9th floor was often frosty, with lawsuits going back and forth. Testa believes that has ended.
"None of the lawsuits were successful," Testa said. "There was no reason to have it. The daily sniping that took place was too much. The voters had enough, they see it in Washington everyday. Everyone is tired of it."
Testa said while he expects disagreement to occur, he hopes it happens in a more professional way.
"I am looking forward to working very hard for my constituents," Testa said. "I hope all of my colleagues really have a productive two years."
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