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Astorino Delivers Charged Address To Tarrytown Audience

County executive Rob Astorino gives an address to the Westchester County Association.
County executive Rob Astorino gives an address to the Westchester County Association. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Though it is unclear if he is still savoring his victory lap or gearing up for a campaign for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was in top form on Thursday as keynote speaker of the Westchester County Association's 17th annual "Breakfast with the County Executive."

The address was concise and teeming with the motivational underpinnings characteristic of his campaign speeches.

"It's almost as if he's running for office," insinuated Bill Harrington, chairman of the association, immediately following his remarks.

Astorino focused on the collaborative effort required in Westchester County in order to achieve progress, citing the county legislature's recently formed bipartisan coalition as a step in the right direction.

"(Chairman) Michael Kaplowitz and I may not always agree on everything, but I look forward to working closely with him," he said. 

Astorino called this push for countywide across-the-aisle collaboration "focusing on the 'We' in Westchester." 

"Whether you are Democrat, Republican, liberal, moderate or conservative, there is always a place for you in Westchester," he said, rebuffing comments allegedly made by current governor Andrew Cuomo against New York's conservative population.

Astorino cited some of his accomplishments made possible through collaboration, including a $500 million social safety net, winning the majority of the quasi-unattainable Hispanic and African-American vote in 2013 and a lowered county unemployment rate of 5.5-percent, which he made sure to point out rivals state and national figures.

Astorino and Kaplowitz anticipate working together on $270 million in capital improvement projects over the next year, dwarfing last year's $87 million.

Part of that plan is continuing work on the Tappan Zee Bridge and the I-287 corridor, trying to find an affordable means of establishing a bus rapid transit system along with adding retail and offices. 

Additionally, he touched on a $500,000 project to install monitors at the White Plains Transit Center to give riders realtime updates on arrivals and departures.

In closing, he looked to the future, saying he hopes Westchester will continue to be more than just a bedroom community, but a "boardroom and playroom community," as well - promoting businesses and recreation alongside residential services.

Several local officials were present from across the county, including November challenger Noam Bramson, mayor of New Rochelle.

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