UPDATE: The following response has been submitted Bary Caro, spokesman for Democratic County Executive Candidate Noam Bramsom. The video referred to in the response has been embedded in this post.
At a press conference this morning in Sleepy Hollow, former Gov. George Pataki praised Westchester County for efforts to clean up Long Island undertaken in recent years, citing the project as one of Rob Astorino’s key environmental accomplishments.
However, Astorino has been consistently critical of that very program in the past, pointing out repeatedly that it was his predecessor Andy Spano who undertook the project and criticizing New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson for supporting it.
“Rob can’t have it both ways,” said Bramson campaign spokesman Barry Caro. “He can’t accept credit for a project he didn't support and actively criticized. Trying to do so only highlights just how thin his environmental record actually is. Westchester does need real environmental leadership on safe drinking water, on climate change, and on transit planning, and Rob Astorino hasn't provided that leadership.”
Editor's Note: The following release was submitted by Friends of County Executive Rob Astorino.
Three-term New York Governor George E. Pataki, one of the greatest environmentalist governors in history, today endorsed Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino for re-election in a Westchester park overlooking the Hudson River and Tappan Zee Bridge.
Governor Pataki highlighted Mr. Astorino's own environmental record and key leadership in demanding mass transit capability on the new Tappan Zee Bridge among his reasons for the endorsement.
"From preserving open space to protecting the watershed and our rivers, Rob Astorino has amassed an environmental record of accomplishment and distinction during his four years in office. When you combine his record with his vision for Westchester County as a regional center for mass-transit and sustainable economic growth, I am confident that Rob Astorino is the right leader with the right ideas, and I'm proud to endorse him for reelection," said Pataki, a native of Westchester County.
Rob Astorino's environmental prerogatives are centered around policies to encourage sustainable development, invest in open space and conservation, protect our watershed, strengthen the county's infrastructure, prepare for the potential impacts of climate change, and preserve the county's natural environment through partnership and volunteerism.
$25 million dollars in capital improvements for Parks Department in last two budget years to fund trail and park infrastructure projects, and site and historic building restoration.
Playland Park transformation into a sustainable, open public space.
New public / private partnership with Jay Heritage Center (Rye).
RIVERS & WATERWAYS
Launched "River Rescue" - public-private partnership to clean-up and maintain the Bronx River.
$1 million restoration of the Bronx River Wetlands to revitalize the oldest section of wetlands in lower Westchester.
Hudson River-Walk - $8.5 million for City of Yonkers, and partnership with New York State to ensure the new Tappan Zee Bridge shared-use path connects with the River-Walk along Hudson.
New program for marinas to recycle plastic, including shrink wrapping used for boat weatherization.
$15 million in new capital spending for flood and storm water management.
$9 million to address chronic flooding along the Bronx River and Sound Shore.
New Storm Water Management Program and Storm Water Advisory Board to work on long-term solutions to flooding.
Teatown Reservation (Yorktown) - preserve 59 acres of pristine woodlands known as "The Croft" to unite 2,000 acres of open space within Croton Watershed.
Signed bi-partisan legislation to prohibit hyrdofracking waste water from entering Westchester County.
Affordable Energy-Efficient Homes - programs for low-income seniors to make their homes energy efficient
Solar energy tax exemptions for homeowners who retrofit homes with solar panels.
Initiative to determine viable locations to implement geothermal and solar power at county facilities.
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB) that provide private sector access to $7 million in tax-free financing for environmental retrofitting of buildings.
SMART BUSINESS GROWTH
The Westchester Green Business Challenge encourages Westchester businesses to improve the "greenness" of their operations by employing cost-effective, sustainable practices that will allow them to flourish. County environmental expertise is made available to businesses taking the challenge.
Series of vulnerability studies aimed at identifying risks posed by climate change, especially rising sea levels here along the Hudson and on the Long Island Sound.
MASS TRANSIT & AIR QUALITY
Astorino's most significant environmental accomplishment is the inclusion of significant mass transit in the new Tappan-Zee Bridge.
Plans were rapidly moving forward for a new bridge without a mass transit component until Rob Astorino stepped-in to demand a Bus Rapid Transit System be included in anyplans for a new bridge.
Westchester's first Food Rescue Program that takes unused, surplus food from restaurants and food stores and gives it to the homeless and hungry.
For a broader list of Westchester's environmental programs and priorities, please click here.