White Plains, NY – When the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) passed a raft of new bills at its last regular meeting on June 6, the legislation was sent up to the County Executive’s office on the ninth floor of the Michealian Office Building here for either his approval or veto. By law, he has ten days to sign the bills, or they automatically become law.
Yesterday afternoon, the eight bills were all passed into law unanimously because the entire package of legislation was not returned to the BOL on a timely basis—thirteen days after the BOL meeting and even after a courtesy call regarding the fate of the bills was made to the County Executive on Monday morning.
“This is definitely not the way the County Executive, a public servant, should be doing the business of the people,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “The residents of Westchester deserve a thumb’s up or down on legislation that has been proposed and debated by the County legislators, then approved in Committee and brought to the entire Board for a vote. If the County Executive simply wants to ignore this entire package of legislation, again, he should explain why.”
Among the bills now made law by the County Executive’s inaction:
· A policy that will require the County to purchase only alternative fuel, hybrid fuel or electric vehicles (with some exceptions);
· A five-month extension of an Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) with the Village of Pleasantville for the study of possible sidewalk and street improvements at the Pleasantville Railroad Station;
· An IMA through the Westchester County Department of Public Safety to provide firearms analysis for Nassau County;
· An amendment to the 2011 County Capital Budget Appropriations for a $5 million terminal upgrade at Westchester Airport;
· Two bills regarding the purchase of a property in Katonah for affordable housing; and
· Two bills regarding the approval and authorization of spending nearly $1.2 million for an affordable housing project in New Rochelle.