• How They Saved Westchester: Mike Kaplowitz and Virginia Perez to Speak at WCA Forum

  • JANUARY 25, 2013 | COUNTY GOV'T, TAX REFORM

  • Legislators Mike Kaplowitz and Virginia Perez Make First Public Appearance Together Since December's Heroic Budget Coup

  • Westchester County Legislators Mike Kaplowitz (D-Somers) and Virginia Perez (D-Yonkers) will join members of the Call to Action Committee--WCA's government watchdog group--to share how the dramatic events of...


    Legislators Virginia Perez, D-Yonkers, (seated far left) and Mike Kaplowitz, D-Somers,(seated second from left) look on with others as County Executive Rob Astorino signs the compromise budget. (Westchester County Photo.)
    the December 7 Westchester County budget coup d'etat unfolded. 

    Kaplowitz and Perez were widely lauded for placing people ahead of politics when they refused to pass a partisan budget deemed fiscally-irresponsible. Rather, both Democratic Legislators rolled up their sleeves with Republican colleagues, negotiated, and passed a compromise budget (the other Democrats had left the room in protest). The budget, which preserved essential services and neither raised taxes nor dipped into reserves, was immediately signed by County Executive Rob Astorino. 

    Had Legislators Kaplowitz and Perez not acted responsibly, Westchester County would likely lose its Triple-A bond rating, resulting in higher interest penalties for borrowing.  Based on current county debt, it would have cost taxpayers $20-30 million in additional rate hikes.

    In January's State of the County Address, County Executive Rob Astorino credited Westchester County Association's advocacy efforts and as being directly responsible for the coup, which ultimately led to a bi-partisan compromise budget, and a county reserve fund and Triple-A bond rating being left intact. 

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