WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE GEORGE LATIMER:
“THE STATE OF OUR COUNTY IS FIERCE”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered his third State of the County Address in the Legislative Chambers of the Board of Legislators. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic Latimer delivered his speech virtually, acknowledging that 2020 has been a difficult year for Westchester, but vowing to restore our County back stronger than what it was before.
Latimer said: “My friends, we all know the storm clouds still hang over us, we know this squall is far from over – but I am here to tell you tonight that the State of our County is fierce. We are our County, every single one of us, and we are imaginative, and resourceful and we will not let any storm, no matter how heavy the rain or how vicious the winds, claim victory over us. Ever.”
The address included a series of short videos that detailed the path the County was on prior to the onset of Coronavirus, the County’s unified response to the pandemic, a tribute to the Board of Legislators for their work during the pandemic, and a plan to move Westchester County forward. The speech also highlighted several initiatives the Latimer Administration accomplished over the past year, including:
- Passing a 2020 Budget that included a one million dollar cut to the Westchester County Property Tax Levy
- Reestablishing the Urban County Consortium, and the Community Development Block Grant Program
- Breaking Ground on the Memorial Field Reconstruction Project in Mount Vernon
- Furthering Fair and Affordable Housing in Westchester
- Creating a robust Census outreach and awareness campaign
- Funding for various environmental initiatives, and a Food Scrap Recycling Program
Latimer commended Dr. Sherlita Amler and the Westchester County Department of Health, who rose to the task from the onset of COVID-19, acknowledging that Westchester was one of the first known hot-spots in the Country.
Latimer said: “In the beginning of March our public health nurses, especially the first three out in the field: Chevon Jones, Caitlin Doyle-Goldsmith, and Cathy Gomez, were busy diagnosing the first cases in New Rochelle. They weren’t scared, they didn’t hesitate, in fact their words to 60 Minutes were: ‘This is what public health is, and so this is what we do. This is our job.’ It might be their job – but they are also heroes in every sense of the word, and for that we thank them.”
Latimer also touched on a series of initiatives focused on economic recovery that have been rolled out over the past few months, to help the County’s economy build back stronger.
Latimer continued: “We set aside ten million dollars in funding to create an initiative to support small businesses and nonprofits facing challenges due to COVID-19. Westchester County Business FIRST: Financial Investments for Recovery and a Sustainable Tomorrow is a new grant program designed to offer immediate financial relief to organizations in Westchester that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.”
Latimer closed by reflecting on the many challenges Westchester County has faced this year, and promising to meet every one of those challenges head-on.
Latimer concluded: “We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward. Together. United.”
State of the County video series: