Democrats on the Westchester County Board of Legislators today knocked County Executive Robert Astorino for referring to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pension-smoothing plan as “crack cocaine.”
In an interview with Gannett’s Albany Bureau last week, Astorino compared Cuomo’s pension plan to the drug, saying it would provide a short-term fix but would lead to troubles for local governments
“It’s like crack cocaine. You’re going to get a quick high today, but you’re going to end up in the gutter,” Astorino said in an interview yesterday with Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
The legislature’s chairman Ken Jenkins, a Democratic candidate against Astorino this year for county executive, and Legislator Judy Myers said the Republican executive’s comments were inappropriate and hypocritical. They said Astorino is borrowing to pay for some expenses that should be paid with operating funds.
“Residents and business owners here in New York and across our great nation deserve a political discourse that is respectful, intelligent and beneficial to understanding the issues,” Jenkins said in a statement. “The wildly inflammatory comment made by the County Executive was totally inappropriate in the context of what should be a measured discussion of a proposal’s merits. In this case, I question the motivation and need for such a scurrilous remark, especially from an elected official.”
Astorino said he would oppose Cuomo’s pension plan, which would let local governments avoid spikes in the cost by realizing future savings now. It has drawn concerns from other local leaders, but some said they plan to enroll in it.
“I think it’s a bad scheme, and it just makes it worse in the future,” Astorino said last week. “If the leaders of 10 and 20 years ago had decided to confront the issue of pensions then, instead of kicking the can down the road, we wouldn’t be in this situation today. And we shouldn’t do the same to the next generation.”