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Astorino Pledges Westchester County Will Grow 'Smarter, Safer, Stronger'

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino during Wednesday's "state of the county" address in White Plains. Photo Credit: Provided
Westchester Knicks General Manager Allan Houston was singled out by Astorino for his successful "fatherhood initiative" that the county is adopting. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
While praising the county's $25 million deal with a potential manager for Rye Playland, Astorino joked that he's asked the Board of Legislators to lower the height requirement on rides. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- During a "state of the county" address sprinkled with humor, optimism and new programs, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino also promised a sixth straight budget with no tax increase.

"We're all getting squeezed, but I would rather see the county squeeze expenses, then to squeeze taxpayers,'' Astorino said on Wednesday evening to 300 in attendance at the county courthouse.

The county will open a new economic development office next month at 125 Park Ave. in Manhattan, across from Grand Central Terminal, to attract companies thinking of relocating. "To those companies in New York City looking to Fairfield County or Jersey City, or perhaps the Carolinas, Florida or Texas, before you decide to leave New York State, you need to take a look at Westchester,” Astorino said.

Also next month, the county’s “A Job’s Waiting for You Training” begins, matching long-term unemployed workers with hard-to-fill jobs in health care such as MRI technicians through a program that guarantees the trainee a job. The goal is to place 500 people in four years.

Astorino singled out Nicholas Singer, co-founder of Standard Amusements, for signing a tentative deal last week to manage the county-owned Playland Amusement Park during the next 15 years. "The very best days of the park are still to come. . . Take good care of our baby,'' Astorino said.

The county executive also said he recently partnered with Allan Houston, Westchester Knicks general manager and former pro all-star, about a "fatherhood initiative. We have the makings for a great team. . . If the county can be a catalyst for strengthening families, then this may be the most important role the county ever plays and have the longest impact."

The audience gave a standing ovation to police officers who, with specialized county training, used the antidote Narcan to save 12 people suffering heroin overdoses in recent months. The officers are from the Croton-on-Hudson, Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, Peekskill, Yonkers and Westchester County Police departments.

Finally, Astorino praised Yorktown siblings Mark and Lindsay Aldrich and their mom, Cindy, for developing an app that would coordinate duties of those caring for Alzheimer's patients.

"Our past is a source of pride, our future is bright and together we will continue to make Westchester smarter, safer and stronger,'' Astorino said.

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