Here’s a look at opinion content published today, Tuesday, Dec. 14:
Westchester’s budget: Editorial
We comment on the Westchester County Board of Legislators’ 16-1 vote to adopt a $1.79 billion spending plan for 2011. Their budget restores cuts to social and mental health services proposed by County Executive Rob Astorino and trims the number of county jobs to be slashed from 226 to 90. We write:
… In a time where bipartisanship seems more fantasy than possibility, the budget was approved in a 16-1 vote, with all five Republicans voting in the affirmative, notwithstanding their objections to specific items or the truncated schedule for reviewing the final spending plan; the board vote Friday had originally been scheduled for Monday. Credit Chairman Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, for putting together a budget alternative that answered the taxpayers’ demand for spending restraint; reflected some, but certainly not all, of the county executive’s imperatives; and was at once responsive to the real-life challenges confronting the neediest county residents as we emerge from recession.
Vetoes are certain, but the county executive should use that tool sparingly. Astorino’s rhetoric notwithstanding, the budget speaks well of his efforts and the board’s to break from the status quo.
Westchester’s budget: Commentary
County Executive Rob Astorino responds to the Board of Legislature’s adoption of a 2011 budget in a Community View published today. Astorino pledges to veto large portions of the Legislature’s spending plan and takes legislators to task for conducting what he calls a “reckless” budget process.
Mike Sullivan: Appreciation
We welcome the return of U.S. Army Maj. Mike Sullivan, a Bardonia native who wrote about his combat experience in Iraq this year for The Journal News and LoHud.com.
Adam Bradley: Reisman
Phil Reisman assesses White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley, convicted Friday and five charges related to a domestic abuse case, and his chances for political survival. Reisman writes:
… If Bradley won’t step down for the sake of the people of White Plains, District Attorney Janet DiFiore could use leverage to compel him to step down. Citing the seriousness of the contempt conviction, she could recommend that the judge send him to jail when he’s sentenced in March.
The implicit message to Bradley would be clear: Resign or risk spending the rest of your mayoral term behind bars.
That should be an easy choice to make, easier than most New Year’s resolutions.