County Executive Astorino has cut or frozen the property tax levy for seven straight years, resulting in the highest reduction of property taxes in New York State. His chief priority has been to find the healthy balance between what we want to spend and what taxpayers can afford. He reduced the size of government – starting with his own staff – while significantly improving the social safety net for Westchester’s less fortunate residents. Rob has been a leading voice in the fight against Albany’s unfunded mandates (forced spending for state programs), the driving cost of local property taxes. In Westchester County, about 80 cents of each dollar of the tax levy goes to just nine of Albany’s mandates. County Executive Astorino has proven that through leadership and tough choices you can cut taxes and spending and still create a smarter, more efficient government.
Rob understands the key to our long-term future is through the creation of a robust, competitive economy. Under his leadership, more than 44,000 private sector jobs have been created in Westchester County. Before taking office in 2010, several of the county’s businesses were thinking about leaving due to high taxes and a government that was unresponsive to the business community. County Executive Astorino has worked with Westchester’s businesses – both large and small – to create an environment where they can not only stay, but grow. He successfully created a Local Development Corporation that is assisting non-profit and civic organizations like hospitals across the county. Not only is Rob focused on jobs for today, he’s focused on Westchester’s future. He’s fostering growth in emerging industries like biotech and healthcare. Westchester has one of the smartest workforces in the nation and Rob is continuing to find cutting-edge ways to partner our immense talent with our local businesses..
Investing in our infrastructure is critical to ensuring our economic success. As County Executive, Rob has hundreds of millions of dollars in road, sewer and water projects across the county. He was an early and outspoken advocate for rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge, and successfully fought for the inclusion of a mass transit component.
Quality of Life
Quality of life in Westchester is second to none and County Executive Astorino is continuously finding ways to improve our parks and open space. His plan to reinvigorate Playland amusement park with a public-private partnership will protect taxpayers, while ensuring we will be able to enjoy the historical park for generations to come. From increasing bike and hiking trails to bringing the Knicks D-league team and concerts to the County Center, Rob wants to make Westchester a place where we can live, work and have fun with family and friends.
Keeping Westchester residents safe is our number one concern. Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, County Executive Astorino created an initiative called Safer Communities, a comprehensive and long-term approach to making our schools and neighborhoods safer and combating the often-overlooked aspect of youth mental health. This breakthrough program is the first of its kind in the nation. Rob has also focused on addressing the growing heroin epidemic plaguing New York State. Under his direction, more than 1,000 police officers and 1,000 civilians have been trained to administer the lifesaving drug Narcan, saving countless lives. And through the creation of a multi-agency police task force more than 100 heroin dealers have been taken off the streets.
Prior to Rob taking office in 2010, Westchester County entered into an agreement with the federal government that required the county to build 750 new units of affordable housing. Under Rob’s leadership, the county has completed building the units. However, the federal government is admittedly trying to go beyond the terms of the settlement by attempting to force the county to sue municipalities to dismantle their local zoning laws. Rob has stood firm against this overreach of power. New York is a “home rule” state and Rob will continue fighting to protect the rights of local communities, while working collaboratively with them to build affordable housing for all.
Westchester is home to some of the state’s most beautiful natural resources. From the Long Island Sound to the Hudson River and our thousands of acres of parkland, we have a responsibility to protect and enhance these treasures. Rob Astorino has been an environmental leader with a seal of approval by the New York State League of Conservation Voters. He has championed numerous environmental initiatives, including switching the county’s vehicle fleet to hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles, flood mitigation projects that clean debris and garbage from our rivers, expanded recycling to include plastics #3-7 and providing tax credits to homeowners who retrofit their homes with solar panels, among others.
New York government is ranked as the most corrupt in America, a disgraceful distinction. Rob has been one of the leading voices for reform in New York, advocating for term limits – just like he passed for himself as County Executive – and stripping the pensions of all state elected officials convicted of felony crimes. He has fought against the special interest deals that add to the burden of taxpayers and prevent New York from growing and creating jobs.