Caught on the Kiss Cam. On Victory Boulevard…

and on the many other streets of New Rochelle, and Eastchester and terrific little Tuckahoe, there are so many friends and neighbors that I want to thank for a big win – 57% to 43%. I’m inspired to work even harder for you these next two years to find the most efficient ways to invest the tax dollars you entrust to us elected officials, to rebuild and maintain County roads, bridges and sewage facilities, to help for-profit companies and non-profit organizations create more livable housing at all levels of affordability, and to give more support to working families with daycare expenses and post-secondary programs for our young adults.
Thank you to all of you who helped my campaign in both big ways and small. You all made a difference and I am grateful and humbled for your support and dedication. While I didn’t quite knock on 8,876 doors this campaign, as I did last time, with all of you, we must have set some sort of record this campaign by knocking on 24,509 doors! For those of you with lawn signs, you can leave them up a day or two – victory lap! – then put the sign itself in recycling and keep the metal stand as a trellis for your tomato plants or beans in your gardens next summer.

As for the promised kiss cam, here’s my victory kiss caught 30 seconds into the news12 report at our victory party. Congratulations to Mayor Noam Bramson and to my fellow Democrats in New Rochelle City Council and the County Legislature for their big wins!



On Saturday, December 14th Deb and I had a wonderful time at the Clearwater Walkabout Coffeehouse enjoying a performance by Grammy Award winner and local environmental activist Tom Chapin, followed by more environmental teachings from Eastchester’s own Anusha Vaishi, budding entomologist and youngest recipient of Eastchester’s Green Medallion winner. She has been talking quite a bit lately about the synergy between insects and flowers, as well as other vegetation.


After reviewing your responses to my eblasts of 11/22/19 and 12/6/19, as well as comments by speakers at our public hearings and correspondence from various citizens’ good government groups, I joined with 5 of my colleagues to vote “No” on the proposal to raise the salary of County Legislators by 52% in 2020.  The consensus of public opinion fell where I thought it would, to the effect that we deserved a raise from the level last set in 2005, but also that we slow down and have an independent commission look at the issue and‎ give us a well-informed recommendation. Up until the actual vote, I thought there was a chance that this proposal would be defeated.  As you know by now, the increase was narrowly passed with bipartisan support.  I was disappointed we could not reach a compromise on a much smaller raise OR an agreement to set this over for proper consideration by an independent commission next year. Which leads me to why I voted No on the 2020 budget.

The overall County budget for 2020 has some wonderful things:

  • The County portion of real estate taxes is virtually flat.
  • There is a commitment of $21.5 million to leverage private developers’ new construction and rehab of housing at all levels of affordability.
  • There is greater investment in licensed, privately-owned daycare centers needed by financially strapped working families.   

We could, however, do so much more to meet human needs and build a better future. We could do this AND save money by taking a much harder look at certain departments and reallocate resources to save money.   In balancing the pluses and minuses of the budget, thinking again how strongly I opposed salary increases, the scales tipped toward a symbolic “No” vote that I took against the budget.  To be very clear, the vote directly relating to Legislators salaries was NOT symbolic. It was pretty close, as our votes go.  It is my hope that in the new year, we on the Board of Legislators will continue to work toward further strengthening the social safety net for children, seniors and our hard working families while being fiscally responsible.