County Executive Latimer Speaks
at Town Council Meeting
By Stephen E. Lipken
Westchester County Executive George Latimer appeared at the Mamaroneck Town Council meeting on Wednesday, April 6th, observing that this was his 30th year rending updates to the Town Board.
“We completed our County Budget December of last year,” Latimer began. “The tax impact for Mamaroneck Town residents is a drop in County Property Taxes this year of 1½ percent, the third straight year that County taxes have decreased; as a general number, 5½ percent dropped over the last three years.
“We had a sales tax increase that we shared with the Town, 20 percent and shared 10 percent of that revenue stream with the School District.
“The second thing to mention is COVID. We have seen a major drop at the beginning of the year. The statistic we take the most comfort in is the reduction of the number of people hospitalized, in the 30-40 range.”
Latimer noted that Westchester County has the highest vaccination rate of any of the counties around it, with only Manhattan higher. “Crime in Westchester County in all categories is down 25 percent, including murder, rape, property, larceny aggravated assault and car theft.
“We have been engaged in assessing Police Services, with 52 recommendations for change. The second most important recommendation is the implementation of mental health crisis response teams. Mental Health professionals respond alongside Police. Incident Commanders make the decision whether the situation can be de-escalated.”
Councilman Jeffery King raised the question of staffing a diverse Police Force, including Spanish-Speaking Officers. Latimer replied that Civil Service Law is restrictive; Officers must be hired from top scores on the list, regardless of ethnic origin.
In two memos, Police Chief Paul Creazzo announced the promotion of Police Officer Matthew Rice to Sergeant and Sergeant Rui Sandiaes to the position of Lieutenant.
In other business, Partners Thomas E. Smith and Douglas E. Zimmerman, EFPR Group Certified Public Accountants, gave the Town an Unmodified Clean Opinion with no material deficiencies.
Federal Aid and American Rescue Plan Act (COVID) funds were audited; of $8.1 million dollars in Federal Funds, $7.7 million was earmarked for Section 8 Affordable Housing.