Westchester executive says budget cuts generate no complaints

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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino seems to be a glass-half-full kind of guy.

He said Thursday morning at a breakfast forum that his budget cuts have gone over so well that he has heard no complaints from the public. His careful examination of the county budget has allowed his administration to eliminate things that were not really necessary or not needed any more.

“We’ve had no complaints from the public in two years,” he said at the forum with the region’s three county executives organized by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress.

“I’m glad Rob doesn’t have any complaints,” said Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef when it was next his turn to speak. “I’m going to send some of mine your way.”

Donna Greene, a spokeswoman for Astorino, said Astorino didn’t mean to suggest that he had never had complaints about program cuts.

“If he said it he certainly never meant it to sound that way,” she said.

Here’s a short list of complaints over the past few years: Last fall two teenagers from North Salem delivered a petition to Astorino’s staff opposing cuts to Cornell Cooperative Extension advocated by the county executive.

In 2010, he was sued by two women from Mount Vernon upset over cuts to day care programs.

Hundreds of people came out earlier that year to complain about cuts to the BxM4C Manhattan express bus that runs down Central Avenue in Yonkers.

What Westchester budget cuts have affected you?

Photo: From left, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, and Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef chat during a breakfast of the Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown April 26, 2012. ( Seth Harrison / The Journal News )

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25 Comments

  1. A lot of people from Westchester?s Neighborhood Health Centers complained vocally at last year?s budget hearings when the County Executive proposed completely eliminating their funding. Good new for us, the Legislators restored that funding which addresses the spread of communicable disease including TB, STDs among others.

  2. Hundreds of people from Westchester?s Neighborhood Health Centers complained vocally at last year?s budget hearings when the County Executive proposed completely eliminating their funding. Fortunately, the Legislators restored that funding which addresses the spread of communicable disease including TB, STDs among others.

  3. Bobbie Jackson on

    Hundreds of people from Westchester’s Neighborhood Health Centers complained vocally at last year’s budget hearings when the County Executive proposed completely eliminating their funding. Fortunately, the Legislators restored that funding which addresses the spread of communicable disease including TB, STDs among others.

  4. Jessica Saltos on

    Hundreds of people from Westchester’s Neighborhood Health Centers complained vocally at last year’s budget hearings when the County Executive proposed completely eliminating their funding. Fortunately, the Legislators restored that funding which addresses the spread of communicable disease including TB, STDs among others.

  5. Dimwit Spotter on

    Frour “comments” from four “different” people wit the very same wording. Humorous if not so pathetic.

  6. Dimwit Spotter on

    Four “comments” from four “different” people wit the very same wording. Humorous if not so pathetic.

  7. Dimwit Spotter on

    Four different comments? from four different people wif da same wording. Humorous if not so pathetic.

  8. Dimwit Spotter on

    Fore diferent coments from fore difrent peeples wit the same werding. Humerus is not so pathetik.

  9. Citizens were turned away in droves due to lack of space at budget hearings last year. There were so many people who wished to have their voices heard only a small fraction were able to speak. The hearings went on for hours. Providers from, and users of community health centers expressed their concern about going back to a system in which fragmented care led to rampant spread of illness and cost the county much more in the long run.
    We were lucky that the legislature realized their lack of foresight after concerned citizens voiced their opinions, but if Astorino believes the cuts generated no complaints , maybe we need to voice them even louder the next time.

  10. One of the Thousands on

    For those who are having trouble reading between the lines, what Ms. Ganga is dancing around, and what Donna Greene was quick to (pitifully) try to cover up with double-speak, is the grim fact that Rob Astorino is a big fat liar.

    “No complaints from the public”? This is an insult to the intelligence of this readership, and an insult to the thousands of civic minded protesters who waited hours in most cases to complain about Astorino’s insane cuts at County Budget Public Hearings for the last two years. Why are his cuts insane? Because he doesn’t want to trim funding to vital (and cost effective/cost saving) programs, he wants to gut it entirely and leave it to die in an unmaintained ditch off the Hutchinson Parkway.

    On second thought, maybe he’s not lying. Maybe he really can’t hear anything, complaints or otherwise, with his head that far up his half-full glass.

  11. Victoria Giles on

    Last year dozens of people from Westchesters Neighborhood Health Centers vocally complained at the budget hearing once the County’s Executive propsed completely eliminating their funds. Fortunately, the Legislators restored that funding which addresses the spread of communicable diseases such as STDs, TB and so many others.

  12. SOMEONE WHO CARES on

    Hundreds of people from Westchester’s Neighborhood Health Centers complained vocally at last year’s budget hearings when the County Executive proposed completely eliminating their funding. Fortunately, the Legislators restored that funding which addresses the spread of communicable disease including TB, STDs among others.

  13. Safety Net Provider on

    In the last two budget years, the community health centers were cut by the County Executive. These custs eliminated funding for prevention of communicable diseases such as TB, STD’s. Fortunately, the Legislators restored that funding. The county department of health does not provide the necessary access for those that may need these services. These cuts will hurt our community residents, and again, I would expect that community representatives, including physicians, social workers, patients, and health advocates will be out to speak against eliminating this funding.

  14. Dr. Olga Rivera on

    During last year’s budget hearings, when the County Executive proposed to eliminate funding to neighborhood health centers, hundreds of Westchester constituents united and vocalized their concerns about the proposed cuts and the implications to the communities. Thanks to the Legislators who restored the funding, health care concerns such as the spread of communicable disease; TB, STDs, and others, were addressed.

    Dr. Olga Rivera

  15. westchester resident on

    Lots of residents in Westchester County attended one or more budget hearing last year to voice their complaints against the cuts. As the result, the funding was restored to address the spread of communicable disease such as TB.

  16. Give It a Rest on

    Exactly how many times is the same person going to post the same harangue under a different name each time? C’mon, it’s blatantly apparent and palpably childish.

  17. Reality Check: Astorino hates poor people !!!

    He panders to the rich and the ones who will be contributiong to his campaign and does not care a whit for poor people such as those who use the bus. He insults them and all of us by equating the cost of the bus he canceled to leases on luxury cars.

    Memo to Board of Legislators: change the County Charter to REQUIRE attendance by the County Executive at ALL Board of Legisalator meetings. This is the populist practice used at most town board meetings in Westchester ( the elected Mayor or Supervisor is there with the town council at meetings) and should be the norm for County government.
    That way the County Executive gets an ear full from more than just rich people and contributors as the people speak at BOL meetings !

  18. Lauren Davis on

    That’s odd, because I was present with packed auditoriums, full of people desperate to keep vital funding from being cut. I did hear a few wealthy tax payers who also complained about their taxes going up. This seems a small price to pay to protect the entire area from the funding that was thankfully restored to clinics addressing the the spread of things like STD’s TB and other communicable diseases.

  19. Marcia Clark on

    I would be interested to hear the County Executive’s definition of “complaint”. Having attended several budget hearings, and read many editorials, I’ve been aware of thousands of complaints over the last 2 years. Maybe they don’t reach as high as the 9th floor.

  20. Really? Have you ever seen the movie “Gaslight?” This quote by CE Astorino made me think of that movie where the husband tries to make his wife thinks she’s going crazy by continually telling her that the real things she sees and hears aren’t there. Over the past two years, literally thousands of Westchester residents have sent messages to County government, attended public budget hearings and held rallies to protest drastic cuts to public spending proposed by Astorino. These cuts have largely been at the expense of children and poor families.
    I don’t understand how Mr. Astorino can so badly misstate reallity: willful ignorance? callous indifference? or wishful thinking?

  21. No, haven’t seen “Gaslight,” but enjoy reading letters from Gasbags.

  22. Dennis McDermott on

    No complaints? Probably not directly because the “Wizard” doesn’t actually talk to the people. His staff has heard plenty of creative suggestions and ideas (a.k.a. ‘complaints’). I witnessed several. Perhaps the “Wizard” ought to consider asking his staff periodically, “What are the people thinking? What are the people saying?” Or maybe not. Having no complaints is a pretty good thing. I met a guy the other day who has no cavities. He didn’t bother to mention he has no teeth, either.

  23. Exactly how many pseudonyms do you employ? At least garner the intelligence to try to pull off this nonsense more adroitly.