Republican legislators respond to Westchester lawsuit over bus routes

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The Republicans on the Westchester County Board of Legislators put out the statement below after a lawsuit was filed yesterday by the Board of Legislators that has been approved by the Democratic majority:

Republican Legislators Urge Democrats to Stop Irresponsible Lawsuits, Follow the Law

The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) were frustrated, but not surprised, to learn that Chairman Ken Jenkins and his staff lawyer have once again sued County Executive Rob Astorino. The commencement of this latest litigation is wrong as policy, procedurally flawed and continues a troubling pattern by the Democrats of practicing “government by litigation.”

The Democrats are now suing to overturn the administration’s decision to cancel a service contract with a bus company for a significantly underutilized and outrageously expensive route that served a small number of people in Rye. The cost of the contract was more than $240,000 a year and served just 30 riders per day. That is an annual cost of $8,000 per rider or a monthly cost of $665. The County Executive was right to cancel that contract. Proper and timely notice was made to the vendor in accordance with state law. To continue to drain money away from an already cash-strapped bus system to subsidize one lightly used route would have been fiscally irresponsible. By working with another bus service provider, much of the cancelled route has now been combined with the existing Route 13. The County Executive made a difficult but fiscally prudent decision on behalf of the entire Bee-Line Bus System and the taxpayers of Westchester County.

The Democrat Legislators’ failure to understand their proper role under our system of government, their continued violation of the separation of power doctrine and their habit of running to the Courthouse every time they have a disagreement with the County Executive is a drain on the taxpayers’ resources, a disservice to County residents and an abdication of the responsibilities of their elected offices. Minority Leader James Maisano, (R-New Rochelle) said, “In the 40 years the BOL has been in existence, there have been just a few litigations between the BOL and the County Executive. The current Democrat leaders have now brought about three times as many lawsuits as compared to the prior four decades. Democrat and Republican legislators worked in a bipartisan way with County Executives from both parties for decades until the Jenkins’ team took control. The voters did not elect judges to make policy decisions – they elected legislators. The Democrats need to stop running to court and start governing, compromising and working in a responsible manner.” Maisano went on to say, “We were elected to discuss and debate the issues, work in a collegial and professional manner with our legislative colleagues and the County Executive, and then make important decisions. The Democrats are destroying the decade long tradition of bipartisan governance on the BOL.”

The Democrats penchant for political litigation has been taken up by their staff lawyer, Matthew Gallagher. Mr. Gallagher is listed on the petition as the attorney representing Chairman Ken Jenkins on behalf of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. In this proceeding and in their previous litigation filed on July 26, 2012, Mr. Gallagher is self-identified as “Legislative Counsel, Westchester County Board of Legislators,” However, Matthew Gallagher is not authorized to represent the Board of Legislators in any legal proceedings because it is a clear and illegal violation of the statutory functions of the Westchester County Attorney. Attached is an opinion from County Attorney Robert P. Meehan addressing this charter violation caused by Mr. Gallagher’s role as the BOL’s litigation attorney. The Republican Legislators demand that their colleagues on the other side of the aisle start following the law cited by County Attorney Meehan.

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9 Comments

  1. Smartporpoise on

    Give you some idea of these studmbling charlatans: Some years ago, the BOL mandated special apparati on county buses to accommodate the “handicapped.” Ended up, they spent so much money and had so few handicapped takers, they could have sent a medi cab to every handicapped house when called to transport them back and forth and saved millions to boot.

  2. HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller on

    Propoganda? Oh! Stop it! ….
    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller

  3. not even an ambulance chaser on

    I heard that the county attorney didn’t practice law for 20 years before getting the job and even then only did low level stuff like moving violations and misdemeanors. What kind of political hack is that? More of the same. My hard earned tax dollars getting paid to some clown to pretend that he is a lawyer.

  4. HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller on

    Not Even An Ambulance Chased! I like your analysis! …. One “such person” has no “Bar Licence” in ROCKLAND County! He met a Guy ( as they show in Cowboys Movies) and The Town.Talks and People Say ” You see that Guy in that Cowboy Hat? Don’t Mess With him ( its like when in the Old West it was said and I think in a Client Eastwood Movie there is also a dialogue ” Have you ever heard that there is a Guy with whom you don’t Mess With!….

    And! that’s what exactly happened! TRUE STORY of 2011.

  5. Good Government on

    This bus route was an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars – it is remarkable that Democrat legislators actually bring lawsuits – which if they win – only result in wasting more tax dollars. No one can objectively claim on the merits that this bus route should be restored. I agree with Maisano on this one – sounds like he should represent county exec.

  6. Bobby knows beds on

    We should just abolish the board and let King Napoleon rule. Little Bobby, like title Bloomberg, knows what’s best. No more than a 16 oz soda fatty

  7. Bobby knows best on

    I meant “Bobby knows best.” Not “bobby knows beds.” Unless anyone can make a joke out of it. Habibhasan perhaps? Dazzle us!

  8. HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller on

    Well! Gentlemen… What I read ( in the Bobby and Best ) Comments; the only problem seems in My Humble Opinion is The Bed part of it!

    It’s ok! ( as long as Bobby ” knows Beds! ) until elected to a Public Office! But, if After takings of Oath of A Public Office of Trust; this mighty be a Problem!

    Why? The Tax Payers are not paying for or should be whatsoever Under the Bill of Rights care How Bobby does on the Bed! Bobby is a Freeman in a Free Country!

    Either Bobby Does Bed or Best! LOL!

    How is this one Gentlemen? I think looks like a Passage from Charles Dickens! Right?

    Enjoy a nice evening! And Bobby please feel free with bed or Best! Just do it! Nike Commercial!

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller

  9. The BOL needs to stop wasting the tax payers money. Shame on them. But that’s what the democrats do. They think the county is their personal piggy bank and that needs to STOP. We are in this mess because politicians pass laws to accomodate certain groups of people because they want thier votes. News flash, probably half of the county employees at the higher end salaries don’t live in Westchester County; they don’t spend their money here and don’t vote in our local or county elections, because they live elsewhere.