Pete Harckham on the Issues Facing Westchester's Families
Taxes, Spending, Government Reform
As a homeowner and a small business owner, As a homeowner and a small business owner, Pete understands that the current property tax levels are crushing our families’ ability to stay in Westchester and hampering business’s ability to remain competitive. As a fiscal conservative, Pete has a proven record of cutting taxes, reducing spending and shrinking the size of government through consolidation, departmental merger and streamlining, while at the same time maintaining vital services.
Delivered 2011 budget that reduced County taxes -2.2%, cut spending by $30 million vs. 2010, and protected vital services in public safety, health and the environment from reckless budget cuts;
Fitch’s rating agency reaffirmed the County’s AAA rating based on the final 2011 budget.
Successfully passed two voluntary separation plans for County employees that reduced the size of the County workforce by 10%, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually going forward;
Successfully passed groundbreaking County employee benefits reform package that will save taxpayers millions of dollars;
Opposed county executive’s plan to give $18,000 raises to two political appointees;
Slashed $20 million in spending from the 2010 budget but voted against the 2.9% tax increase because he felt, through more cost savings, the budget could be brought down to a 0% increase;
2010 budget ultimately produced $67 Million Surplus;
Successfully reduced Board of Legislators (BOL) budget by 11% in ’09 and ’10;
Successfully passed term limits legislation limiting the number of terms for legislators and the county executive;
Supported legislation restricting County’s use of Eminent Domain to seize private property for private development;
Successfully cosponsored legislation granting property tax breaks to volunteer emergency first-responders and veterans;
Successfully opposed stipend increases for legislative leadership;
Successfully opposed pay increases for top County management;
Coauthored report tightening BOL spending, procurement and personnel policies;
Voted against increases in filing fees for the county clerk’s office;
Served on BOL Stimulus Task Force, steering over $50 million in funds to Westchester County.