KATONAH, N.Y. On the morning after Westchester County Executive Rob Astorinos 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 Astorinos 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, youll see, if you look at the contract, that theyre getting a 12 percent raise. So its not a win-win for the taxpayers.
Harckham referred to the unfunded state mandates cited by Astorino and said, Weve been fighting this all along. If you look at Medicaid alone, its 40 percent of the county tax budget. The county executive said he would slash that. Im glad hes joined the chorus, but thats nothing new.
With reference to capital projects, Harckham said, Astorinos got $51 million in capital projects that we, the board, have already passed, but he hasnt taken any action.
As for an additional $29 million mentioned by Astorino, Harckham said, Were totally committed to investing in our facilities, but we still need to review them.
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