Josh RultenbergNov 14, 2017, 1:57 pmNov 15, 2017, 1:42 pm

Westchester exec’s last $1.8B budget calls for preservation of social services, day care

Robert Astorino submits spending plan for county before transfer of power to George Latimer

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WHITE PLAINS — Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino is staying true to his word with the budget proposal he released Monday, despite suffering defeat on Election Day last week. The spending plan calls for no tax hikes and minimal spending. However, one thing Astorino is banking on is not sitting well with the county board of legislators.

Less than two months separate the official transfer of power in Westchester County from Astorino to George Latimer as county executive. In the meantime, Astorino submitted the $1.8 billion proposal for next year's budget.

The county executive is calling for the preservation of essential services like social services, day care, and transportation. He wants to maintain county workers’ salaries at an average of $80,000 per year. Perhaps the most polarizing item that the budget calls for is relying on $30 million for the privatization of the Westchester County Airport.

In a statement, County Executive Astorino thinks:

"This is a budget that protects taxpayers, preserves essential services and promotes economic growth. It maintains the focus of all of our other budgets, which is to run county government smartly and efficiently while keeping Westchester affordable."

Meanwhile, some county legislators and members of the public are not in favor of Astorino's proposal. They feel he should be implementing Sen. Latimer's ideas into the budget and not his own.

The approval of the airport lease requires 12 votes from the county board. The budget was sent to them for their review and approval Monday night. One way or another, a budget must be passed before State Sen. Latimer even takes office in January.

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