I am running for County Legislator to continue giving back to my community. I believe in supporting policies that protect and respect the people who work hard every day to make ends meet. I believe in fiscal responsibility and transparency. Most of all, I believe there is no substitute for engaging one another in a meaningful dialogue and listening to our neighbors’ concerns. We may not always agree, but we can respect each other’s opinions and work towards common solutions.
I am 100% against privatization of the Westchester County Airport.
Privatizing the airport means expanding the airport, period. The Master Plan (aka the “Expansion Plan”) predicts a 68% increase in flights by 2032. Those of us who live in Rye Brook, Purchase, Harrison and Port Chester can expect increased noise, traffic, pollution, and potential threats to our water supply. We do not want “LaGuardia North” in our backyard.
Despite what County Executive Rob Astorino says, this proposal isn’t designed to save the taxpayers money. Mr. Astorino had a $15 million hole in the county budget and needed to sell something fast to make ends meet. In fact, the whole idea of privatization of the airport began as a backroom deal, completely lacking in transparency and accountability. Now he’s trying to spin it as a benefit for the rest of us. Don’t believe it.
The airport sits by the Kensico Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to 9 million people in Westchester and New York City. If chemical contamination of our drinking water occurs, cleaning it up could cost billions. Guess what that could do to our taxes, home values, schools, etc. Whom do you want in charge of environmental oversight? A company with a profit motive––or elected officials who answer to you?
As to how my position on the airport differs from my opponent’s, the contrast is clear. Although David Gelfarb says he’s against privatization, for eight months he deflected the issue. Only after eight months of mounting community opposition, and only after I announced my candidacy, did David Gelfarb finally take a position. The airport is in his district. Mr. Gelfarb should have been the first person to say no! Instead, we got eight months of waffling. That’s not the kind of leadership we need on this crucial issue.
The airport is a valuable asset, but also a huge responsibility for anyone representing our district. We need a representative who can be trusted to make the right decisions all the time, not just when it’s politically convenient.
Our immigrant populations are an integral part of our communities. They are our friends, our neighbors, our merchants, our students and members of our families. Rob Astorino vetoed the Immigrant Protection Act, a shameful endorsement of nationwide xenophobia brought to the fore by President Trump.
The Act limits the information the county shares with federal immigration authorities and specifies what county law enforcement can ask an individual about citizenship or immigration status. Experts agree that if people are afraid to report crime due to their citizenship status, it affects everyone’s safety.
Most of all, passing the Immigrant Protection Act sends a message that we value all of our residents. I will fight the veto and strive to protect all members of our community.
In order to create the illusion that our county finances are sound, the County Executive and members of the Board of Legislators (including David Gelfarb) have approved budgets that are based on smoke and mirrors. They approved borrowing millions of dollars to pay for basic expenses. They also raided the “rainy day fund” and sold off county property worth millions of dollars for one-shot, short term solutions.
These budgets are structurally imbalanced and will mean big trouble for Westchester citizens when it’s time to repay the loans’ balance and interest. Mr. Astorino and Mr. Gelfarb have been brazenly reckless with your hard earned tax dollars, and they’ve been hoping you wouldn’t notice.
Because of this history of poor financial management, Moody’s downgraded the county’s bond rating, and just recently the NY State Comptroller designated Westchester as a “fiscally stressed” municipality.
I will not allow this mismanagement of our county finances to continue. I am proud of my record of fiscal responsibility from my six years on the Blind Brook Board of Education. I understand that homeowners trust us to use their money wisely. I will balance county budgets by finding solutions and put an end to this dangerous financial mismanagement.
Gun Shows at the County Center
Gun ownership and gun safety are important concerns—and controversial ones. But here’s one fact that should be pretty simple: there’s no compelling reason to host a gun show on county property.
For many years the shows had been banned. This year, Democrats on the Legislature voted to continue the ban; Republicans (including David Gelfarb) did not. The ban was then vetoed by Rob Astorino, and the gun show returned to the County Center this past January—complete with Nazi and Confederate memorabilia.
As your County Legislator, I will always vote to ban gun shows on county property.
I believe that the road to a sustainable and prosperous future rests in protecting our environment, safeguarding our vulnerable drinking water supplies and creating good jobs in Westchester by supporting alternative energy industries.
That’s why I’m an outspoken opponent of airport privatization, which could be incredibly detrimental to our environment. From groundwater monitoring to the impact of de-icing fluid, there are many potential concerns. We need more environmental oversight at the airport, not less.