May 12, 2022

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivers 2022 state of the county address

GEORGE LATIMER, WESTCHESTER COUNTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE:

“THE STATE OF OUR COUNTY IS UNITED”

“We are made for this moment, but we cannot go there alone. We have to go – together.

Read the 2022 County State Address.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

WHITE PLAINS, NY – April 21, 2022 – Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered his fifth county state address in the legislative chambers of the Council of Legislators. Latimer assured everyone in Westchester County that as a war of aggression rages across the ocean, here in Westchester County, we stand united.

Latimer said, “While others are divided, while others swim in opposing tides battling currents and waves of destruction – we – our county state – are united.”

Latimer touted Westchester County’s growing population, with over a million people collectively calling Westchester County home. The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors reported a “record year in 2021”, with house prices rising and inventory falling as demand for real estate in Westchester soared.

Latimer said: “We know families are coming in, we know homes are going off the market. We know this because we see it on our block. The county’s population grew 5.8 percent between 2010 and 2020, ahead of the Census Bureau’s own estimates.

Latimer stressed the importance of cutting county property taxes again for Westchester homeowners — a seven million dollar cut in the 2022 budget and a promise to fight for another cut in the future. Latimer ended 2021 with an operating surplus of $64 million, while maintaining essential Westchester County services.

Latimer said, “We’re launching new and innovative programs, but despite the rhetoric, we’re not raising taxes to do it. After four full years of smart and prudent fiscal management by my administration, Westchester County bond ratings are now “stable” by all three major rating agencies.

Latimer applauded the brave men and women of the County Public Safety and Probation Departments, for helping to reduce crime and keep our residents in Westchester safe. In Westchester County, we’re tough on crime, and the numbers prove it.

Latimer said, “Let’s look at the numbers, let’s look at the facts. Here in Westchester, crime is down. When the Westchester County Department of Public Safety compared January to September 2017 versus 2021, we see a general decline. The total number of violent crimes decreased by 27.6%.

Latimer placed particular emphasis on the development of affordable housing, supported by a combined total of $50 million allocated in the 2022 capital budget, which represents the largest single-year commitment to affordable housing in county history. With affordable housing developments opening in Port Chester, Yonkers, Rye Brook, Greenburgh and many other neighborhoods, and more than 4,400 in the pipeline since 2018, Latimer has proven that affordable housing is a top priority.

Latimer said, “Our responsibility as county government is to make sure the opportunity for affordable housing is always there. Westchester County is everyone’s home, and all are welcome here.

The state of the county address included a series of videos detailing Westchester County’s path forward, including a focus on reducing crime with the help of the county’s public safety and probation departments, an overview behind the scenes of long-running construction and infrastructure projects like Memorial Field and the completion of the Westchester County 9/11 First Responders Memorial.

The speech also highlighted several initiatives that the Latimer administration has accomplished, including:

  • A 2021 budget that ended with no layoffs, furloughs, service cuts or borrowing for retirement costs
  • Recognition from the county health department for its continued efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including hosting more than 200 pop-up vaccination clinics and conducting more than 400,000 case investigations COVID-19
  • The continued success of the Office of Economic Development, including new and innovative programs to support job growth in Westchester
  • A combined total of $50 million for affordable housing, the largest one-year commitment to affordable housing in county history
  • The creation of Project Alliance in partnership with the Departments of Community Mental Health, Public Safety, Emergency Services and Human Services to meet the needs of residents with behavioral health issues
  • Revamping a Community Public Engagement Program to Support the Westchester County Airport Master Plan
  • The grand opening of the new County Veterans Services Agency office in White Plains
  • The electrification of Westchester County’s Bee-Line bus fleet
  • An ongoing celebration of all the cultures and heritages of Westchester County

Latimer concluded by reflecting on the many challenges the county has faced in recent years and commending the people of Westchester for their commitment to helping each other during a time of need.

Latimer concluded: “We have learned during the pandemic that no one can treat all the sick, no one can test all the worried or vaccinate all the volunteers. No one can teach young people, and no one can restore our faith – no one can do anything alone. But don’t worry, because we know each other. A Westchester. And we are building our future – together.

County State Video Series:

County State 2022 Intro Video

United and growing: the population is on the rise

Crime is down in Westchester County

Heritage and Culture: Celebrating Our Rich Diversity

9/11 First Responders: Westchester County Memorial Dedication

Infrastructure now and for years to come

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Caroline Fortino | Deputy Communications Director | Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer