OPINION: Westchester County GOP Blasts Dems

County Republicans, led by Minority Leader Jim Maisano, say Chairman Jenkins has attempted to punish Maisano's caucus because they did not support Jenkins as Board Chairman.

Westchester County Republicans have blasted Board Chairman Jenkins, as well as Jenkins' fellow Democrats on the board, in their latest blog entry:

In a continuation of the practice of unprecedented partisan-politics that began when Board of Legislators Chairman, Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) denied his Republican colleagues on the Board of Legislators any committee chairmanships, and even took away the committee chairmanship that one Republican Legislator had held for fifteen years, nine members of the Democratic caucus have voted down the appointments of seven appointees to various citizen-advisory boards and commissions. The votes took place at the Board of Legislators regular meeting on Monday February 13th. The citizen appointments were made by County Executive Rob Astorino. The citizen committee members are volunteers who would have served on the Housing Opportunity Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Planning Board among others. The citizen committee members receive no material compensation for their service. The lone Democrat to vote with the Republicans for the appointments was Legislator Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somets).

Even the most senior Legislators on the Board could not recall ever seeing this type of wholesale rejection of citizen committee appointees. The normal process for the approval of appointments to citizen committees involves interviews, discussion and vetting of the candidates in the Boards’s Appointments Committee. For the first time, that review process was circumvented by the Board’s Democrats, who then voted down the appointees without having ever considered their experience and qualifications.

During the floor debate, Minority Leader, Legislator Jim Maisano (R-New Rochelle) challenged the Democrats to present just one reason why they were voting down the appointees. The Democrats could not offer a single reason for their partisan rejection of the citizen volunteers that have offered their experience and expertise in the service of our county government. The Democrats’ inability to state a single reason for voting against the citizen appointees is clear and indisputable proof that their objections to the appointments were without merit and based solely on the Democrats desire to obstruct the County Executive’s efforts to provide these committees with the talent and expertise they need to function.

Following the vote, Minority Leader, Legislator Jim Maisano said, “I have never seen such partisan and destructive antics from a group of Legislators as we are now witnessing from the Democrats on this Board. It is deplorable that they would use these volunteer committee members as pawns in their unrelenting partisan attacks against the County Executive.” Maisano went on to say, “Already in the early days of his new term, Chairman Jenkins has attempted to punish our caucus because we did not support him as Board Chairman. In retribution for challenging his chairmanship, Republicans were shut out of any committee chair positions. While we found that exclusion to be an abuse of his power and wholly punitive, we can accept that as elected officials we will sometimes have to deal with this type of nonsense. It is not acceptable however, that tonight, the Democrats have gone so far to the extreme of partisanship that they have unjustly and publicly disapproved PRIVATE CITIZENS who have offered to serve this county on their own time, without pay. The fact that this was done without even giving the appointees the respect of meeting with them or considering their credentials is an affront to the integrity of this legislative body.” Legislator Maisano concluded, “These citizens who have selflessly agreed to serve on these boards and committees do not deserve to be thrust into the politics of personal destruction because of the mean and vindictive actions taken by the Democrats tonight. If the Democrats are going to deem these fine citizens to be inadequate to serve in the positions for which they’ve been appointed, then they should be able to explain why they are rejecting them.”

Minority Whip, Legislator Gordon Burrows (R-Yonkers) said he was stunned by the Democrats rejection of the proposed committee members, “I have served as a member of this body for seven years and was a Yonkers City Councilman for a decade before that. I have NEVER witnessed a level of disregard and disdain for our collective constituency like was demonstrated by the Democrats in this chamber tonight.” Legislator Burrows continued, “I applaud Legislator Kaplowitz for standing up to his party leadership and imploring them to give these committee appointees a fair hearing. Conversely, I am appalled that veteran lawmakers and even a former Board Chair would acquiesce to such a mean-spirited and childish ploy as to reject these civic-minded citizens who have offered their hard work and perspective to us as leaders to better serve the residents of Westchester County.”



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Joe Doakes February 16, 2012 at 08:26 PM
What is the purpose of government?
Ross Revira February 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Lincoln Spoke of "Government of the People, By the People, and For the People" surely not a Ken Jenkins Democrat.
Joe Doakes February 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM
"You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding--we are going to begin to act, beginning today. The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom. In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." - President Ronald Reagan
Scott Davidson February 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM
This is lazy journalism. You couldn't call Tom Staudter before you reposted this propaganda verbatim? Also, Mike Kaplowitz is not from "Somets"
Francis T McVetty February 20, 2012 at 01:58 PM
It seems that Mr Jenkins has the same problem as the king, that no one wanted to tell him he had no cloths. It happened in Yorktown, advisory boards were disbanded by the supervisor for basically the same reason. Narcissist's do this. They don't want to be told anything, they know it all. Well Westchester County much like our country is in trouble financially. More spending is NOT the answer. This is the only solution that the democratic party knows. This is how they get elected, by giving away things, mostly ours. When you get a country executive that wants to trim the fat, he is ostracized. That was why he was elected, to fix this mess that has been created by democrats giving away the house and its contents. We are heading for the rocks and there seems to be no one at the helm to steer us away. One man can not do it alone, even though he is trying to avert this disaster.


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