Westchester County Executive George Latimer said he made it a point to visit all 19 towns and six cities in the county during the month of March.
Whether it was taking questions from residents at a “Coffee and Conversation” gathering in Mt. Kisco, attending a Rye City Chamber of Commerce meeting, asking local officials how the County can help while visiting the Emergency Operations Center in the Town of Somers, or meeting with Garth Road seniors in Eastchester – Latimer said he made traveling across the county a hallmark of his first three months in office.
In a press statement, Latimer said: “Westchester is a large and diverse County with many different municipalities - and while we all share common goals - each local area can have a unique set of challenges that I can best understand by actually meeting with residents. The underlying goal of everything my administration does is to bring Westchester County government back to the people, and I take that goal literally.”
Since first taking office, Latimer has been presenting, to each Town and Village Board and City Council, what is called the “Good Neighbor Policy.” Under this policy, which has been implemented through Executive Order, the County would be required to make a formal presentation of any significant proposed action on County land at a regularly scheduled, televised meeting of the local governing body (City Council, Town Board or Village Board).
The locality would have 60 days before the action would be implemented, to allow for a local public forum to gather public input from residents.
Then the locality would submit a memo of support, neutrality, or opposition to the action before the County acts. Latimer has addressed, in person, 25 of the 45 local governments to date; all of the visits are chronicled on his Facebook page.
As Latimer has said in his posts about the policy: “We must re-set the relationship between County and local government if we are to have a serious, robust effort on shared services. There must be trust between the two…years of mistrust cannot be wiped away in one visit.”
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