County Executive Delivers 6th State of the County Address
Touting his Administration’s successes and plans for the future, Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered his highly anticipated 6th State of the County Address on Thursday, June 29 to a full Board of Legislators Chamber. The address, which is mandated by the County Charter to be delivered by the County Executive to the Board of Legislators and its Chairman Vedat Gashi, served as a platform for Latimer to outline his administration’s remarkable accomplishments, with a focus on efforts to support asylum seekers within the County, tax reduction and dropping crime rates.
During the address, Latimer said: “So here we are, still sharing this small patch of land for a moment in time, all of us here together in our Westchester County. So, you ask – what is the State of our County? Is it fierce? Is it united? Or is it thriving? It is all of this – because the State of our County is one of unyielding strength, unwavering resolve, and, most crucially, boundless potential.”
Latimer’s State of the County Address featured seven short videos, showing, through a different medium, the countless accomplishments of the past year.
Under the leadership of Latimer, Westchester County has experienced significant advancements in various areas, fostering a thriving community that prioritizes the well-being and prosperity of its residents. Through smart fiscal management, Latimer has successfully implemented four consecutive tax cuts that have provided relief to homeowners – allowing them to invest in their future while strengthening the local economy.
Latimer said: “I am proud that we have accomplished another significant milestone in our journey toward a better future. Our County has successfully cut County property taxes for the fourth consecutive year. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to fiscal responsibility and our dedication to improving the lives of our citizens.
Cutting County property taxes is not mere political rhetoric – it is a tangible action that directly impacts the lives of our residents. It allows hardworking County residents to keep more of their earnings, invest in their dreams, take the kids to do something fun – and most of all – worry less.”
One of the key highlights of the State of the County Address was the decline in crime rates throughout Westchester County. Working with the County’s Department of Public Safety, local police departments, and community organizations, Latimer’s Administration has made significant strides in creating safer neighborhoods. Latimer highlighted the importance of these efforts, emphasizing the continued commitment to enhancing public safety and ensuring the well-being of all residents.
Latimer said: “In Westchester County, our commitment to combating crime is unwavering. Recognizing the importance of this mission, I have significantly increased the funding for the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, providing them the highest level of financial support in their entire history. While some areas in the country may be experiencing an unfortunate increase in crime rates, tonight I am announcing that Westchester County continues to witness a consistent drop in criminal activities. I attribute this positive trend to the dedication and bravery displayed by our men and women in uniform.”
Also in his address, Latimer recognized the tireless work in supporting asylum seekers who have found their way to Westchester County. Recognizing the challenges faced by individuals seeking refuge, Latimer has prioritized providing essential services, resources, and a welcoming environment to those in need. By fostering a compassionate and inclusive community, Westchester County has become a model for humanitarian efforts, offering support [and] seeking ways to offer opportunities for a brighter future.
Latimer said: “So, let’s talk openly, and inclusively, about the most pressing issue of our time – the plight of asylum seekers. We must approach this matter with compassion, empathy, and a commitment to upholding our values as a nation. Asylum seekers are individuals, just like you and me. They are individuals who have fled their home countries due to persecution, violence, and unimaginable hardships. Unimaginable. They come seeking refuge, hoping for a chance at a better life for themselves and their families. I know that we all, deep down, believe in treating them with dignity and respect, while also ensuring a fair and efficient immigration process and protecting the interests, and addressing the legitimate concerns of those who already live here.”
Latimer also used the address to highlight millions of dollars of capital funding allocated toward:
· the rebuilding of the historic Playland Amusement Park,
· various County parks projects,
· restoring Muscoot Farm’s Main House,
· smart QR codes in parks for patrons who need emergency services,
· Pickleball Courts at Tibbetts Brook Park,
· the first full Cricket Pitch at Croton Point Park,
· an upgraded South County Trailway,
· restoring Kingsland Point Lighthouse,
· reopening the Westchester County Center,
· and the long-awaited reopening of Memorial Field.
Latimer said: “The Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department has been working tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for our residents and provide them with exceptional recreational opportunities.
We reopened the Westchester County Center. After serving as an overflow hospital, testing center, and vaccination site during the pandemic, the County Center returned to its regular operations – including Section One Basketball.
And through our tireless efforts and persistent determination, we bore witness to the extraordinary transformation of Memorial Field, as it emerged, triumphantly, like a phoenix from the ashes soaring to new heights.
From my earliest days to the present, I have embraced the spirit of Mount Vernon, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. Once a Mount Vernon Knight, always a Mount Vernon Knight. Although, let me give a shout-out to my Rye Garnets too.”
The State of the County Address served as a reminder and reinforcement of Latimer’s dedication and vision for Westchester County. In addition to his record on taxes and crime reduction, Latimer touted the County’s efforts on innumerable fronts including the environment, mental health services, economic development, parks improvements, Westchester values, and veterans’ services.