Westchester County Executive Says State of County is ‘Fierce’
John Jordan | October 23, 2020
WHITE PLAINS—In his State of the County address last evening, which was delayed due to a County Legislator testing positive for COVID-19, earlier this month, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that while the pandemic is far from over, he is confident the county will recover from the virus’ ill effects.
Noting that the virus first emerged seven months ago, Latimer described the coronavirus’ impact on Westchester by saying: “the county was shaken to its core by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has permeated every aspect of our life here in Westchester County.”
In his speech at the chambers of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the County Executive said, “My friends, we all know the storm clouds still hang over us, we know this squall is far from over—but I am here to tell you tonight that the State of our County is fierce. We are our County, every single one of us, and we are imaginative, and resourceful and we will not let any storm, no matter how heavy the rain or how vicious the winds, claim victory over us—ever.”
The address included a series of short videos that detailed the path the county was on prior to the onset of Coronavirus, the county’s unified response to the pandemic, a plan to move Westchester County forward and a tribute to the Board of Legislators for their work during the pandemic.
Among the initiatives highlighted by the County Executive included: passing a 2020 budget that included a $1-million cut to the Westchester County property tax levy, the establishment of the Urban County Consortium and the Community Development Block Grant Program, breaking ground on the Memorial Field Reconstruction Project in Mount Vernon, furthering Fair and Affordable Housing in Westchester, creating a robust Census outreach and awareness campaign and funding for various environmental initiatives.
Latimer praised Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler and the Westchester County Department of Health, who he said rose to the task from the onset of COVID-19, particularly in light of the fact that Westchester was one of the first known hot-spots in the Country.
“In the beginning of March our public health nurses, especially the first three out in the field: Chevon Jones, Caitlin Doyle-Goldsmith, and Cathy Gomez, were busy diagnosing the first cases in New Rochelle,” Latimer said. “They weren’t scared, they didn’t hesitate, in fact their words to 60 Minutes were: ‘This is what public health is, and so this is what we do. This is our job.’ It might be their job – but they are also heroes in every sense of the word, and for that we thank them.”
Latimer also mentioned a number of economic recovery initiatives that have been introduced over the past few months, including setting aside $10 million in funding to create an initiative to support small businesses and nonprofits facing challenges due to COVID-19.
He closed the State of the County address by telling county residents as the coronavirus continues to affect their daily lives: “We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward—together, united.”
Latimer concluded: “We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward. Together. United.”