Letter: Astorino and Gelfarb have been great

To the Editor,
Politicians make a lot of promises. Most of the time, those promises are a dime a dozen. It is rare when an elected official actually delivers on the promises they make during a campaign. Here in Westchester County, we are fortunate to have two outstanding elected officials–County Executive Rob Astorino, and County Legislator David Gelfarb–who delivered on the promises they made to voters. Both Astorino and Gelfarb deserve to be re-elected on Nov 5.

As a resident and business owner in Port Chester, a large village in Westchester County, I particularly applaud Astorino and Gelfarb’s resolve to combat efforts by the federal government to strip local governments of their decision-making power over zoning laws. Home rule is where these decisions need to be made, and are best made. We must continue to resist arbitrary decision-making by the federal government. For example, right here in Westchester County, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has been pressuring Astorino to acquiesce to their extraneous requirements to remake our communities. Residents of our county owe Astorino and Gelfarb a hearty thank you for fighting on our behalf to protect local zoning.

And lest we forget, until Astorino became county executive four years ago, Westchester County had the dubious distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation. From 2005 to 2010, Westchester County taxes climbed by a whopping 17 percent. But, since 2011, the year after Astorino took office, our county tax levy has been reduced by 2 percent. Astorino, with help from Gelfarb, also put a halt to runaway county government spending and actually helped to reduce the total county budget from $1.8 billion to the $1.7 billion figure it is today. Sound fiscal management is desperately needed at every level of government and we have that now in Westchester County, thanks in large part to Astorino and Gelfarb.

The bottom line is this. Both Astorino and Gelfarb kept their promises to defend our communities and they brought much-needed relief to our hard-working taxpayers. They are not dime-a-dozen politicians; they are committed public servants who are continually looking out for the best interests of their constituents.

That is why we need the continued services of Astorino and Gelfarb, and that is why I urge you to join me in voting to re-elect them on Nov. 5.

Neil Pagano,
Mayor of Port Chester