Senator George Latimer, Democratic candidate for Westchester County Executive, has announced a bold new initiative to improve the working relationship between County government and local city, town and village governments: a proposed “Good Neighbor Policy,” to be enacted by Executive Order.
The county government would be required to make a formal presentation of any significant proposed action on county land at a regularly scheduled, televised meeting of the local governing body (City Council, Town Board or Village Board). The locality would have 60 days before the action would be implemented, to allow for a local public forum to gather public input from residents. Then the locality would submit a memo of support, neutrality or opposition to the action before the county acts. “This gives a real opportunity for the locality and the residents to influence a policy before it becomes fact,” Latimer noted.
Chris Burdick, Bedford Town Supervisor, registered support for the plan, “I think Senator Latimer has offered a roadmap for cooperation with local governments that is welcomed and very much appreciated”.
“Our village government works very hard to involve residents in every decision we make. It is refreshing to think the County government would also make community input an important part of their decision process,” added Lorraine Walsh, Mayor of Larchmont Village.
Latimer noted that after the executive order is signed he would welcome County legislation from the Board of Legislators that would codify his program into law.
“We have to remember that as elected officials we work for the public, not against them,” said Latimer.
Latimer is running for County Executive on the Democratic line and four other party lines.