White Plains Democrats Overwhelmingly Support
Bill Ryan for County Executive
The White Plains Democratic Committee has voted overwhelmingly for Legislator Bill Ryan in the race for the Democratic nomination for Westchester County Executive. At the Committee’s recent meeting, Legislator Ryan received 85 percent of the weighted votes cast by district leaders on the first ballot:
Bill Ryan 4,801 85 %
Noam Bramson 718 13 %
Ken Jenkins 116 2 %
The White Plains vote came after Jenkins, Bramson and Ryan each made their case for the job and answered questions about major issues in the campaign.
Legislator Ryan told district leaders “This will be a tough election. As Westchester Democrats we need to decide who gives us the best chance to beat Astorino in November. There’s a lot at stake.
Westchester is a great place to live, work and raise a family. But that greatness is in jeopardy due to the bad decisions of County Executive Astorino. In Westchester we value our quality of life, a quality of life that’s under assault by Mr. Astorino with his extreme ‘tea party’ view of the role and responsibilities of government.”
More than 1,000 Westchester Democratic district leaders will meet in a County Democratic convention on April 24 to select the candidate who will face incumbent Rob Astorino in the general election.
Excerpts from Legislator Ryan’s remarks:
"Mr. Astorino and the Republicans raced to put a 2013 County budget in place that continues the assault on our people with the elimination of millions of dollars for social safety net programs. Astorino eliminated funding for the neighborhood health centers that provide primary and preventative health care to 200,000 county residents. He eliminated funding for community-based non-profits that provide vital services to women, children and the elderly. He cut low-income day care making it harder for the poor to stay on the job and work themselves into the middle class. He targeted kids by cutting Early Intervention and Children with Special Needs. He cut nutrition and hunger prevention programs and eviction and foreclosure prevention programs."
"There are thousands and thousands of people in this county who need the help of government and the simple truth is this County Executive doesn’t give a damn."
"Westchester has unparalleled opportunities for economic growth, job creation and a cost-effective social safety net. But the Astorino agenda is all about austerity, job loss and the gutting of vital programs and services."
"Westchester is one of the best regional governments in America. But, that too is at risk as Mr. Astorino weakens essential functions like public safety, social services, health, human rights and parks. Public Works is being dismantled --qualified professionals fired -- as Astorino continues his irresponsible neglect of our roads, bridges, buildings and facilities. This is very serious. I know the importance of maintaining our infrastructure. As County Executive I’ll move these projects forward giving a needed boost to the construction industry, creating new jobs and ensuring safer infrastructure for all of us."
"The case for Astorino’s re-election: he hasn’t raised property taxes to balance the budget. True. But after his damaging cuts, consider how he’s closed the gap: raided our reserves and borrowed money long-term to pay for current year expenses. Over his three budgets that’s $93 million dollars, plus $12 million in interest charges on the debt; the equivalent of a 19% property tax hike!"
"It’s clear we need to make a change. We need a new County Executive who will do what’s right for Westchester and I offer tremendous experience and qualifications for the job."
"I was a leader of this county as Chairman of the Board of Legislators for 6 years; the longest serving chair in the history of the Board. I negotiated the county budget with the executive, directed the Board’s oversight of all county departments, and led the legislature in taking on the toughest challenges to ever confront our people, such as saving the Westchester Medical Center from financial collapse and settling the federal housing lawsuit, shielding taxpayers from one-half billion dollars in penalties.
As a former State Assemblyman, I’ve worked on the “Albany side” of the important state/county partnership for service delivery. I understand the state-local intergovernmental financial relationship.
As President of the New York State Association of Counties, I led our 62 counties in the strongest state-wide effort to date for mandate relief and a state takeover of the local share of Medicaid. For Westchester, that would be worth $225 million this year; 41% of our property tax levy. That’s the tax relief I will work for.
I’m currently a director of the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C. where I work with officials from 3,000 counties across America on federal funding for counties. I’m a member of the national Large Urban County Caucus: thirty-five officials from the 100 largest counties in America, who work with federal officials on the laws, rules, regulations and policies that impact the nation’s largest counties like Westchester."
"I’m running for County Executive to bring strong, capable leadership to this key position. I promise you, as County Executive, I will not turn my back on the poor and needy of this county and we will repair the damage that’s been done to our social safety net. I will direct county government operations properly and restore Westchester as one of the best regional governments in America. I will handle the budget and and county finances responsibly. I will tell you the truth about our financial condition. I will work with our federal and state partners in government for the benefit of residents and taxpayers. And every day, I will lead with the knowledge and understanding of what is right for Westchester.
I hope you’ll support me in this effort. Together, we will work to ensure that Westchester remains a great place to live, work and raise a family."