Westchester exec race: Bramson criticizes Astorino over drinking water treatment delay

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At a press conference in front of the federal courthouse in White Plains Thursday, Noam Bramson, the Democratic challenger to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, criticized Astorino for blowing a deadline to bring ultraviolet water treatment to a handful of Westchester communities.

Bramson said Astorino knew from the day he took office of the April 2012 deadline to provide UV treatment in Westchester Water District 1 in White Plains, Scarsdale, Mount Vernon and Yonkers. Under the previous Democratic administration, Bramson said, the county worked intently to find a solution.

“Under this administration, that progress came to a halt,” said Bramson, the mayor of New Rochelle.

The county has been in violation for 500 days, he said, with potential fines of $37,500 a day. The Environmental Protection Agency filed a lawsuit against the county last week after county officials refused to enter into a consent decree to resolve the violations.

“As a result of Mr. Astorino’s failure to lead, Westchester taxpayers face the prospect of crushing fines,” Bramson said.

Now many families are worried about drinking water from the tap, he said.

But Astorino said the water is tested weekly and is safe.

“The standards have changed, the water has not,” he said. “The water is safe.”

The county is working diligently to come up with a solution taxpayers can afford, Astorino said.

After the EPA notified the county that it would take enforcement action, the county began working on a short-term fix to treat the water in the northern part of District 1 that does not now get UV treatment. Now the county is hoping that much cheaper option can be made permanent, avoiding the $100 million solution that has been in the works for years.

“This is a massive project so it takes a long time,” Astorino said, questioning why the EPA wouldn’t work with the county to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

In his remarks, Bramson argued the water issue is part of a pattern of exposing the county to fines, lawsuits and legal fees on issues including affordable housing and the county bus system. Charts behind him had the headline, “Westchester can’t afford Rob Astorino,” which turns around the tagline on Astorino’s latest commercial, “Westchester just can’t afford Noam Bramson.”

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5 Comments

  1. Bramson will go to all lengths to make it MORE expensive to live in Westchester. I agree w/Astorino, the water’s fine and the county shouldn’t spend money when it doesn’t have to.

    I wonder what happened to the New Rochelle utility tax that Bramson has Latimer, Paulin, Stewart-Cousins & Otis trying to push through the state legislature? Bramson’s working to get red-light cameras too for New Rochelle.

    Rather than cut any expense, he goes right for the taxes and New Rochelle’s had to override the tax cap twice, once illegally be increasing an exempt garbage tax & once with the support of his democratic super-majority city council. Simply shameless.

    Watch out Westchester, before you jump on the Bramson bandwagon, do a little research & read up, he’s BAD news. 1 cue to look out for, the 2014 New Rochelle city budget Bramson won’t be man enough to release it before the election because he already knows the bad news and doesn’t want to share.

  2. HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller on

    Wow!. . . .but any grievances for the Color of Parties? LOL! You are not kidding!

    Where’s the Agenda!

  3. What about the Hutch on

    Bramson Makes Perfect Sense in his Valid Criticism:
    Makes Sense: Shows that Astorino is Incompetent, Is Surrounded by Hacks and Self Serving Losers who Live by Political Patronage Jobs, and that Astorino has No Credentials or Qualifications to be County Executive in Westchester.
    Astorino is a Laughing Stock and an Embarrassment to Westchester Voters.

  4. Jackson Davies on

    Thank you Noam Bramson for being the candidate of logic, intelligence, and the one who will follow the law. Westchester needs you as County Executive.

  5. How does Bramson get away from being the man who raises and raises taxes while Astorino keeps his promise not to raise taxes. This is the real issue of this race, taxes and who will keep your money in your pocket.