Democratic Westchester legislators introduce resolution to declare Astorino MIA, call for special election

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With County Executive Rob Astorino traveling the state as he runs for governor, the Democratic caucus of the Westchester Board of Legislators has introduced a resolution declaring a vacancy in the office of county executive and calling for a special election.

Setting aside the legal complications of the move, with only eight members signed on, the resolution is unlikely to pass.robastorino

Democrats have been criticizing Astorino for spending many days away from the office as he campaigns for governor. The party’s designated tool for criticizing Astorino, the Astorino Truth Squad, has set up a tracker at WhereIsRob.com (though it hasn’t been recently updated).

The county charter requires the executive to “devote his whole time to the duties of the office,” says a statement from the Democrats.

“County Executive Astorino is not fulfilling the lawful requirements of his office,” said BOL Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining. “He is abdicating his sworn responsibilities if he’s hundreds of miles away from Westchester during working hours and talking to voters about why he wants to be governor. Enough is enough.”

The statement goes on to say:

The Democratic caucus members said they are particularly troubled by Astorino’s absences from Westchester because:

* While the County Executive was meeting with New Jersey Governor Christie in Arizona, Moody’s downgraded Westchester’s credit rating, which the County Executive had “guaranteed” would never happen (a remark made at Town Hall meeting in Armonk, June 2013)

* The ongoing dispute with the federal government over compliance with the 2009 Housing Settlement has jeopardized needed funding for Westchester residents, including CDBG, Lead Abatement and other federal monies

* The County Executive has failed to reach a contract agreement with 3000 county employees

* The County Executive has failed to properly manage the County’s pension system, borrowing $43 million in 2013, and $28 million in 2014 to meet annual ongoing pension obligations

* The County Executive’s chosen vendor for the reinvention of Playland halted the redevelopment review process on April 1, 2014, citing a lack of vision and by the County. The County Executive has stated the reinvention of Playland has been a priority of his since taking office (County Executive press release, August 2012) yet he was out of the county at a gun rally at this critical juncture in the process.

* The County Executive failed to comply with the Safe Water Drinking Act, resulting in a Department of Justice lawsuit that could potentially result in millions of dollars of fines to county taxpayers.

“The people of Westchester didn’t vote for a part-time County Executive and the County Charter doesn’t allow for one,” said Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers).

Added Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), “Since Rob Astorino is more interested in Buffalo than he is in Westchester, the people of the county should have an opportunity to hire someone to run this county full-time, as required by the law.”

Photo: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino

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18 Comments

  1. Astorino should never have run for re-election for County Exec knowing that he was really planning to put Westchester on hold and run for Governor immediately after being elected. Now the Astorino Administration has been asked by LOHUD under the Freedom of Information Act, to release a list of all County employees and their start dates and salaries of the highest paid employees last year. Astorino has also been asked for attendance records for employees at the Westchester County Board of Elections which includes employees of both political parties and which is suspected to allow “no show jobs”. In addition, Astorino has been asked for an accounting of legal expenses and the cost to Westchester Taxpayers for his fight with the Feds and HUD? If he wants to run for Governor, Astorino needs to show that he is willing to offer transparency in his dealings and so if he has nothing to hide, why doesn’t his administration just release the information to the public?

  2. Gary L Perry on

    I understand this point of view and do not necessarily disagree with the premise.
    That being said, why do the Democrats only have a problem with this when a Republican is running for office or higher office ?

    Example; Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2012.
    Elliot Spitzer & Andrew Cuomo in 2010.

    This happen all the time. Why the complaining now ?

  3. Taxpayer Annoyed on

    Astorino is a shill for big business and those who contribute to his shenanigans in pretending to be a caring and concerned individual. He is a poser.

  4. Westchester Voter on

    This latest announcement, when added to the barrage of prior negative posturing makes many of us wonder why if Cuomo is so far ahead in the polls he needs to bring in Sharpton and beef up the anti-Astorino rhetoric.

  5. This crazy talk by the democrats shows a weakness or fear. Cuomo putting his puppets up to these tactics is embarrassing. Let’s look at the entire picture and I will only use Democrats for this example because they are the one’s making the noise. I also am not including anyone who ran for reelection because that really does not count.

    Look at most of the past U.S. President’s, Barrack Obama was a U.S. Senator when he ran for President, did anyone say he was MIA.

    Below is a list of Democrat’s who ran for different office while holding an elected office. I did not hear anyone saying they were MIA. You are being silly, this is politics, in order to advance to a higher office it often means running a campaign while you are in a lower office.

    Andrew Cuomo ran for Governor while serving as the NYS Attorney General
    Ken Jenkins ran for County Executive while serving as Chairman of the BOL.
    Noam Bramson ran for County Executive while serving as Mayor of New Rochelle.
    Mike Kaplowitz ran for NYS Senate one year and then ran for NYS Senate another year, all while being a sitting County Legislator.
    Paul Feiner ran for U.S. Congress while serving as Supervisor of Greenburgh.
    Andrea Cousins ran for Senate twice while serving as County Legislator.
    Andy Spano ran for County Executive while serving as County Clerk.

  6. Ha Ha, these Democrats are just bitter because their guy, Noam Bramson, got trounced and then a couple of their members formed a coalition w/a the Republicans to form a majority.

    So these 8 now sit in the minority and really have no say, whatsoever, in Westchester County politics. And good riddance, they were taxing us to death and then had the nerve to complain about it. I can remember clearly the Just 1 More Penny campaign. Total horse crap.

  7. The difference seems to be that the election for County Exec came immediately before the campaign began for Governor. Astorino had a choice of whether or not to run for Governor or County Exec. If he knew that he was going to run for Governor he should have focused on that alone and yet he no sooner took office for County Executive than he announced his campaign for Governor. Even though he has just been re-elected Westchester County Executive, Astorino will now immediately have to put those responsibilities on hold for a year or more to run for Governor while the overall County issue of being the highest taxed municipality in the U.S. and contributing issues are just left to flounder while we wait for our county Executive and his staff to run for higher office.

  8. Joe, don’t overstate the importance of county government. It could fade away and not many would notice so I don’t think anything’s going to flounder as you state.

    And if Astorino had lost, he probably wouldn’t be running for gov. Its the fact that he trounced Mayor Noam Bramson from New Rochelle that’s emboldened him.

  9. NYRAD-R supports Rob Astoriono for Governor
    Yes we believe in womans rights
    yes we believe in gun ownership and abolishing the safe act
    yes we believe all NYkers should have a voice and not just a few selected Democrats
    And yes we are Christians who like Muslims, Jews, and all religions should be able to follow our beliefs

  10. Guilderland mom on

    MIA -? LOL~! Perhaps you folks in Westchester would like to swap? You haven’t been leaving Westchester since Mr. Astorino became governor. In fact, YOU PROVE the POINT! You wouldn’t want Prince Andy for County Executive, but you WANT ROB ASTORINO. MAYBE, just maybe, the whole state could benefit from Mr. Astorino’s fine abilities.
    So keep your SQUAWCKING to yourselves. As for working for big business, all of you folks are ENJOYING the benefits of big business moving into & staying in your county. How about the rest of the state have a turn. #ApoorManNeverGaveMeAjob

  11. This is a VERY Smart Move by the DEMs!

    Why? Because it’s shaping up to be a DISASTER for Cuomo as well as the Democrats this year. Not just here in New York State, but Nationwide as well.

    Between a faltering economy, Cuomo’s self promoting NY’s Open for Business ads, Obamacare, Cuomo’s Common Core, the unSAFE Act and now the Feds widening their crackdown on New York’s political corruption that has Cuomo’s fingerprints all over it. CUOMO is DONE! He is in HIDING… Hiding from protesters, not announcing his schedule, refusing to debate a softball debater like Rick Perry. He’s a mentally beaten man.

    By the way, Cuomo will debate NO ONE for a very good reason… He’s NOT a bright guy. @CuomoWatch on Twitter has reported it took Cuomo FIVE (5) TIMES to pass his BAR Exam. FIVE TIMES? Are you kidding me? Five times.

    Lately, Cuomo is actually looking physically ill over all the pressure he is under as the New Your State residents realize they have a fraud for a governor. How many governors have people STAMPING MONEY saying they want their governor GONE!?! Check it out: Cuomo’s Public Humiliation Continues… ABC News: abcn.ws/1fb7cEi

    Remember your ABC’s this November. Anyone But Cuomo. Astorino Beats Cuomo.

  12. Lame. Really lame of Andrew Cuomo to use surrogates to attack other people. If he is man enough, he should man up and debate Astorino. Of course Cuomo won’t do it, he stands for nothing. He is the poster child of “pay to play”, corruption, bullying and college degrees for rapists and pedophiles paid by their victims. He hides behind these kind of articles.

    Andrew Cuomo…If you are a man. Don’t hide like a little girl. Come out and debate Astorino.

  13. OllieOllie on

    Both sides run for one office when they hold another. Both sides criticize the other side while ignoring their own.,Both are guilty.

    They are fighting over power, pure and simple: who gets to control and make the rules.

  14. Rob Astorino offers no solution to the ongoing problem of rampant corruption in New York. He is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. He has loaded Westchester county Government with his own political cronies to work on his campaigns. The local newspaper, on behalf of the taxpayers has requested: -a list of all County employees and their start dates
    -salaries of the highest paid employees last year including overtime
    -employee attendance records at the Westchester County Board of Elections
    -an accounting of legal expenses and the cost to Westchester Taxpayers for his fight with the Feds and HUD.

  15. just the facts on

    AL DEL BELLO RAN FOR LT GOVERNOR WHILE WESTCHESTER COUNTY
    EXECUTIVE….WAS THAT WRONG?

  16. Heard about this last year, and it has resurfaced again. Can Anyone out there corroborate this. Heard that Rob Astorino’s mother In-law’s Boyfriend was given a job in County Public Safety (county police) at $96,000 a year and all he does is drive county police cars from location to another. Meanwhile longtime employee’s get laid-off.

  17. i ninety-five on

    disgusted, I think someone’s pulling your chain. How could you actually believe that?