Thousands listen to ‘Ask Astorino’ telephone town hall


More than 23,500 people listened to County Executive Rob Astorino’s telephone town hall Tuesday night, according to numbers released by the administration today.

In this radio-like forum that ran a bit over an hour, Astorino fielded questions on pension costs, changes at the nature centers, the housing settlement with the federal government and other issues affecting people’s property taxes, which are among the highest in the country.

One caller asked for a cap on property taxes for senior citizens while another begged Astorino to keep the nature centers running as they are.

Astorino said those parks would be open and maintained, but not staffed; they would operate like passive parks.

After the session, callers — many who stayed on the line an average of 14 minutes — were prompted to take a poll and answer three questions relating to unions, AAA ratings and property taxes.

While Astorino acknowledged it wasn’t scientific, it’s a good way of getting feedback from the public.

Check out the results below:

  • Do you think the county’s unions should contribute toward their healthcare, just like their state counterparts? 87 percent said yes, 9 percent said no and the remainder were unsure.
  • Do you think it’s important that the county protect its triple A credit rating by not using money from the reserves to balance the budget? 64 percent said yes, 25 percent said no, the remainder were unsure.
  • What is the most important issue to you and your family concerning the budget? 78 percent said no increase in property taxes, 12 percent said safety net programs for the needy and 10 percent said quality of life services like art and environmental programs.

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  1. Why does this man insist on interrupting people’s evening by sending his automated phone call to our homes? I hung up on his nonsense as soon as I heard his voice touting his bluster

    and I bet 100,000 did also!

    And how much did this automated call system cost Westchester taxpayers?

    What a showman with no real substance!
    Cant trust a Republican!

  2. Tell the Truth - Always! on

    You obviously don’t remember Andy Spano calling you incessantly over the years during dinner about his revolutionary mobile shredding machine and doing his Roger Ebert impersonation, telling you what movie was playing at the dam.

  3. The system is supposed to be used for “EMERGENCIES” only per Plunkett to Feiner.

    I guess it depends who asks to use it when Rob is not using it for political purposes as he did on election eve and for this “non-town hall” bluster.

    Showman Rob

  4. The politicians created many benefits for fireman, police and correction officers…i.e. 207c pay, allowed overtime to pad pensions, collective bargaining, high longevity pay . Astorino needs to take a look at the other union benefit packages before going after the most vulnerable CSEA worker with the lowest pay checks. The average CSEA working retires with about $14,000 pension. Many CSEA members paid into their retirement for 10 years. Both political parties have raided the general fund to give contracts to friends; hire friends and family, give out political patronage jobs i.e. Eugene Fox. It’s time that the politicians clean their own house before devastating the lives of others.