MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Republican County Executive Robert Astorino made a stop at Mamaroneck's Nautilus Diner Tuesday morning to speak at the monthly gathering of the non-partisan citizens' group Local Summit.
Astorino addressed some of the challenges facing Westchester during his tenure as county executive, including the $1.698 billion budget that passed Dec. 9. Astorino has stated he intends to veto certain budget items before the Dec. 27 finalized budget deadline. Those vetoes, he said, can now be sustained since Republicans picked up two seats in the Nov. 8 elections.
"In this past election the public said we need a little more balance, so everyone would come to the table," said Astorino, who had 247 of his vetoes overturned by the Democratic super-majority on the County Board of Legislators.
Astorino said he has been able to both reduce spending and preserve the social safety net over the last two years, but several Mamaroneck activists questioned the long-term efficacy of his actions, like cutting two homeless shelters.
Astorino argued the county's remaining 10 shelters still have a vacancy rate of 20 percent and people are being moved into permanent housing more efficiently as a result. However Guisela Marroquin, director of the CAP Center, wanted to know if it will be a success long-term. She wasn't able to ask a question due to time constraints.
"He pointed out they were inefficient so we had to close it down," Marroquin said. "There's a domino effect that we're not looking into yet."
Jeremy Ingpen, executive director of the Washingtonville Housing Alliance, was one of several non-profit workers to say there are limited resources to help those they serve this holiday season.
The Larchmont/Mamaroneck Local Summit is a citizen's action group founded in 1995, which holds monthly meetings on issues affecting the community.
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