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Harckham Derides Astorino's State of County Speech

KATONAH, N.Y. – On the morning after Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s State of the County address, Legislator Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) said, “Rob always gives a nice speech. But three years in, he needs to be talking about more substantial issues than prom dresses.”

In response to Astorino’s announcement of a new seven-year contract with the Teamsters union, which he described as “a breakthrough agreement” and “fair to our taxpayers,” Harckham said that even though the union agreed county employees will pay 10 percent of their health insurance costs, “you’ll see, if you look at the contract, that they’re getting a 12 percent raise. So it’s not a win-win for the taxpayers.”

Harckham referred to the unfunded state mandates cited by Astorino and said, “We’ve been fighting this all along. If you look at Medicaid alone, it’s 40 percent of the county tax budget. The county executive said he would slash that. I’m glad he’s joined the chorus, but that’s nothing new.”

With reference to capital projects, Harckham said, “Astorino’s got $51 million in capital projects that we, the board, have already passed, but he hasn’t taken any action.”

As for an additional $29 million mentioned by Astorino, Harckham said, “We’re totally committed to investing in our facilities, but we still need to review them.”

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