Westchester legislators to add capital projects page to web site; ongoing dispute with administration over project approval

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The Westchester Board of Legislators plans to put up a list of capital projects on its web site Feb. 1 to allow the public to track the status of the work.

A board press release said there will be more than 300 projects on the Capital Projects Dashboard worth over a billion dollars.

The board has been involved in a long-running dispute with the administration of County Executive Rob Astorino over capital projects and is looking to make a point about the administration’s handling of the projects and the impact on economic development of stalling the work. The site will track the status of the projects, everything from ‘in progress’ to ‘on hold’ to ‘stopped by the administration.’

Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, pointed to the Sprain Ridge Pool in Yonkers as a project that was in design when Astorino decided to stop the work. The pool needs an overhaul and was closed last summer.

“It is not the county executive’s prerogative to say, ‘i just don’t feel like doing that,'” said Jenkins, who is one of three Democrats seeking to run against Astorino in November.

George Oros, Astorino’s chief of staff, said there are many legitimate reasons for projects to be delayed, including requests from localities to coordinate work, problems with state or federal funding, the need to negotiate easements or other reasons. Without seeing the list, he said, it’s not possible to know if it’s accurate.

The administration has also had issue with the board’s handling of capital projects, complaining that the board’s penchant for breaking projects into separate design and build bonds is inefficient.

“By doing that they’re helping create their list of things that aren’t getting done,” Oros said.

And the two sides are fighting in court over the process for placing projects on the capital plan, a required step before bonding. The case was filed in July in state Supreme Court.

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4 Comments

  1. Funny how Astorino just spent about $475,000 of taxpayer funds to send out a color printed double size 11 x 17 mailing to get his name across to every home in Westchester. Campaigning on the taxpayer dime again.
    Bad enough that the taxpayer funded and maintained westchestergov web site has become the personal outlet for everything Astorino over and over again.
    The exploitation of county funds for political patronage jobs by Astorino, use of taxpayer funds for political mailings by Astorino, and use of county robot call facilities for political purposes by a sitting county executive has never been as blatant as it is under the Astorino administration

  2. GREAT IDEA! I am definitely in support of that!! As a resident and taxpayer – I want to know that tax dollars are going towards projects for the residents and citizens of Westchester, and not as a political tactic as an attempt to come out a “hero’ for reelection.

    Transparent government only can bring more people together and prevent the type of management that brings us all down.

  3. Thanks to the Board of Legislators for this web page info!
    Re Astorino:
    I remember that the Board of Legislators under smart Democrats such as Ken Jenkins, Judy Myers, Bill Ryan, with smart Republicans (at the time) were the ones who not only kept important services as part of the 2011 county budget but also cut the total county tax amount by 2.2%. I also remember that Astorino had instead proposed a small 1% tax cut as well as hundreds of cuts to services and middle class taxpaying jobs from the ones who provide the services.
    He never has been able to understand arithmetic and budgets and that revenues = expenses.

    To this day his budget office has been proven to be bogus, a tool of his corrupt political agenda against working poor people, and against any type of social program, while Astorino comes forth publicly as a phony concerned person.
    Astorino’s hiring of unqualified, inexperienced managers in his corrupt budget office is testament to his evil intent.
    Unfortunately his public phony image makes a mockery of his true evil hatred image that is driven solely by politics and his embracement of right wing conservative marching points.

  4. George Oros is the Chief Liar for Astorino. Hang it up George your nonsense is not cutting it anymore.