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Letter: Changes Are Step in Right Direction

The following letter was submitted and written in its entirety by South Salem resident Andrea Rendo.

To the Editor:

Northern Westchester voters owe themselves some self-congratulations. Last year they sent a tough reformer in Assemblyman Bob Castelli to Albany, having already elected County Executive Rob Astorino the previous year. This could not have been accomplished without cross-over votes from numerous Democrats who realized that we, in northern Westchester, have more in common with each other than with those of lower Westchester and Albany politics who are highly influenced and motivated by union-based interests.

It seems the message sent was heard. While far from perfect, the governor’s 2 percent tax cap and the tax reform stimulus bill passed last week are steps in the right direction for reforming Albany. The new legislation partially repeals the job-killing MTA tax and reforms the Wicks Law and its arcane rules for public projects.  Assemblyman Castelli is a leading proponent of repealing these measures and among the first to call for an audit of the MTA.

At the county level, where voters have ended the Democrats' super-majority on the Board of Legislators beginning next year, change has already begun. The new budget is a compromise that ends the Democrats’ customary practice of robbing from reserve funds to make the budget work.

Westchester still remains the highest taxed county in United States and without mandate reform in Albany and more serious steps taken to reform county government, this will not change. These developments are a step in the right direction, but it is not clear whether they are truly a change or a smokescreen to divert voter attention elsewhere. Time will tell.

Andrea Rendo

South Salem, N.Y.

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