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Letter: Bramson Will Bring Back Westchester Spirit

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The New Rochelle Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send letters to newrochelle@dailyvoice.com.

To The Editor:

Needed: A Return to the Westchester Spirit.

Westchester County has an optimistic, concerned spirit. Former County Executives, Democratic and Republican, have fashioned it: Ed Michaelian, Al DelBello, Andy O’Rourke, Andy Spano. Its moderate progressivism combines economic drive with protection for all our citizens.

It is not a mean spirit, cutting established programs, inflicting economic and emotional pain. Rob Astorino’s record contradicts the Westchester spirit: • hobbling Cornell Cooperative Extension, a long-time county partner; • cutting Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, an extraordinary, cost-efficient program; • neglecting to repair Sprain Brook pool leaks; • delaying repairs to county roads and bridges, and Playland’s ice rink; • resinstating the County Center gun show; • raising low-income parent payments for child care from 20% to 27%; • severely cutting county department staffs, including technicians; • closing the county’s four community mental health clinics; • misrepresenting the number of units required under the HUD affordable housing program, and that HUD can impose zoning changes, and causing costly compliance delays; • delaying Safe Water Act compliance. These measures are counter productive and mean-spirited.

We need new leadership committed to “can do” instead of “can’t do.” As Mayor of New Rochelle, Noam Bramson has implemented forward-looking measures: community and regional planning; a Sustainability Plan;land-use strategies to preserve open space and curb over-development; enhancing playing fields and waterfront access; and sound investment in transportation and infrastructure. He has forged public-private business partnerships and obtained over a billion dollars in new private investment. Noam Bramson will return the Westchester spirit.

William S. Greenawalt Hartsdale, N.Y.

The writer is a lawyer who has served as Northeast Regional Legal Services Director for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, where he established 75 civil legal services programs for the poor in New England, New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. He also served as Chair of the Taconic State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission in Gov. Mario Cuomo’s administration, and as Chair of Westchester’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board under County Executive Andrew Spano. He is also the Democratic State Committeeman for the 92nd Assembly District.

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