WESTCHESTER, NY — Westchester County has sent a letter to the monitor overseeing Westchester’s affordable housing settlement with the federal government to correct inaccuracies and misimpressions in his most recent assessment of the county’s progress.
In addition to objections with the content of the “Monitor’s Second Biennial Assessment of the Westchester County’s Compliance,” the letter points out that the monitor, who works for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, failed to follow the settlement’s requirements for submitting reports to the court. Paragraph 40 of the settlement explicitly requires the monitor to meet with the county “prior to the submission of such reports to the Court.” No such consultation occurred prior to the June 26th submission.
In the county’s letter, written by Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett, the county refutes the monitor’s charge that the County Executive “misstated the terms of the Settlement and signaled ongoing defiance of its terms.” With clear documentation, the letter demonstrates the comments made by the county executive to be factual and in response to statements actually made by HUD and the monitor.
“The monitor seems to be suggesting that no one is allowed to question him or the federal government,” Astorino said. “But what good is a settlement if the federal government gets to make and change all the rules. That’s not a contract, it’s a dictate with no checks or balances, and that’s not what the county agreed to or how government in the United States is supposed to operate.”