Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will on Friday, November 13, 2015, at 11am EST reveal the plight of county government, especially with respect to County Executive Astorino’s Proposed FY2016 Budget that will, despite assertions of doom and gloom, not unsettle credit agency ratings from their present AAA status to one less so. Astorino’s budget proposal has stood up wth great resolve against an ever-ending assembly line assault of mandates to which Westchester County must accommodate and manage with an ever growing diminution of funding from New York State and the Federal government. Even so, Mr. Astorino has doubled down to hold the line. Fiscal reality has given way to an official who will uphold his word. A standard rare in today’s political arena indeed; credible, and laudatory. Perhaps it is time for residents to be shown the fiscal constraints the county has nd must overcome. Will C.E. Astorino have the resolve to tell it like it is?
Exacerbating the plight is the reduction in the cost of gasoline. The county has historically received a specific allocation based on a percentage of the final sale for each gallon sold. With lower costs earning the same percentage of the sale, the dollar remuneration has plummeted and will be revealed as the basis for paltry Sales Tax Revenue. While budgetary demands continue their unrelenting assault on the county budget, federal and state funds and grants have dwindled. Leadership that did or could have conceivably recognized the pending doom retreated their resolve. The Office of Westchester County Executive Astorino and his allies and adversaries who presided over the Westchester County Board of Legislators buckled under the fiscal crisis. Resolve gave way to disarray and deflection of purpose. Even so, the need to suggest remedy to this revenue stream crises must be met head on. Some municipalities in Long Island, challenged by the same concerns have legislated relief by imposing a flat tax rate to meet the shortfall based on a formula that has proven to no longer sustains Westchester County. While not the only solution, it should be seriously considered.
While admirable of Westchester County Executive Astorino to maintain his promise to Westchesterites, government must own up to the burden of mandates, transparently reveal their cost vis-a-vis the yearly decreases and loss of grants. The voter must be told so as to maintain a pristine perception of governance. instead it seems the two parties, Democrats and Republicans alike will deflect from fiscal concerns demanding immediate attention for “drama” when substance will remain of greater import.