During the past few years there has been too much pettiness, bickering, feuding, fighting and gridlock in Westchester county government. Members of the Board of Legislators have taken the County Executive to court over some differences. The money spent on attorneys could have been better spent on programs. Democratic and Republican Legislators aren't talking to each other or working with each other. And, the County Executive has cut some important programs like public health programs, child care, public transportation, and parks. I believe that the feuding between the executive and legislative branches is bad for our county. I also think that personality based gotcha politics is government at its worst.
The decision of Democratic County Legislators Virginia Perez (D-Yonkers) and Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers) to reach out to the County Executive and to compromise on policy differences could have positive long term benefits. It sets the right tone --putting governing ahead of partisan politics.
Westchester doesn't need the fighting. We don't need legislative gridlock like we have in Washington. The name of the game should not be to embarrass the other side or to try to make the other party look bad. Westchester taxpayers want results. We want government officials to cooperate with each other -- to do what is right for the county.
I believe that the non partisan approach Legislators Kaplowitz and Perez are taking, if followed by other Legislators and the County Executive, will lead to a much better county government. The goal: get things done. Governing is not entertainment. The goal should not be to make the other party look bad but to have a great county. A great county requires dialogue, respect and cooperation among officials.
Legislators Kaplowitz and Perez have taken the first steps. I hope we're seeing the beginning of the end to the feuding and gridlock in our county government.
_ PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor