Astorino Discusses TZ Bridge, Christie, Cuomo, Possible Run For Governor

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County Executive Rob Astorino addresses the Westchester Business Council. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino delivered the first major address of his second term on Friday, outlining his plans to improve the county’s economic viability while creating jobs locally while also touching on other timely topics.

Astorino was the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Westchester Business Council’s KeyBank Breakfast at Abigail Kirsch in Tarrytown. There, he announced that he and Michael Kaplowitz, the new chairman of the Board of Legislators, agreed on nearly $300 million in infrastructure investments and improvements.

“There is no bigger project than the Tappan Zee Bridge. We don’t view this as a bridge between Nyack and Tarrytown, it’s a gateway to Westchester County,” Astorino said. “The success of the bridge can be seen as a catalyst to bring jobs to the county.”

With three rail lines, multiple major highways leading to and from Manhattan, and the Westchester County Airport, Astorino believes that the county is “primed for growth,” as businesses and residents alike are beginning to find New York City too pricey, and are instead looking to settle in the suburbs surrounding the metropolis.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a bedroom community to New York City. Businesses want to start out where employees can start families and grow,” he continued. “The more expensive New York City becomes, the better for us. I never thought the mayor of New York would be a major part of our economic development team.”

The $274 million of infrastructure investments marks an increase of $86 million from last year. The largest projects include the rehabilitation of the Ashford Avenue Bridge in Ardsley and the Fulton Avenue Bridge in Mount Vernon. Astorino and Kaplowitz predict that the projects will create hundreds, if not thousands of jobs for Westchester County residents.

“The Board of Legislators is committed to working with the administration to move these capital projects through the approval process quickly,” Kaplowitz said. “We’ve established a new committee structure that will allow us to perform our oversight functions in a more effective and timely way.”

Astorino added that with the ascension of Kaplowitz in the legislature, it could serve as a fresh start between the two branches of government, which have occasionally shared a contentious relationship in the past.

“The key point of this announcement is that it offers a fresh start between the executive and legislative branches of government,” he said.

The county executive kept the tone of his speech light, making jokes at the expense of “his friend” Chris Christie’s latest scandal and poking fun at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's medical marijuana proposal with an image of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong. He ended his speech with a smile, after being asked the question everyone was wondering: what’s the latest on his potential gubernatorial campaign.

“We were just involved in a really tough campaign, which has led to some calls from around the state from people wondering if I’ll test the waters. It also helps that Westchester County is one of the few (counties) people recognize around the country,” he said. “It’s something I’m thinking about, whether or not to run. But no matter what, this will always be the place I call home, and the place I love more than anything.”

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Comments (10)

Robmaur:

It seems to me that it should be required by law that when an incumbent elected official decides to run for another office that he or she MUST resign from their current office since politicking, money raising and running for election will now be their FULL TIME endeavor and their current office usually becomes completely neglected even though they still get paid but do no work for the people. Either another appointee or a special election should be held to fill the now virtually VACANT office. This should apply to County Supervisors, Congressmen, Senators, Governors (take note Mr. Christie), etc. If they get elected to the new post they are going to resign anyway. If they do not get elected to the new post they can run for their old office in the next election.

Truth:

Its apparent Astorino is running for Gov by todays paper which he favors a new power plant be built in Massena...light years away from Westchester...
Rob is in...bought the GOP only you can do it line....Rob remember Andy O'Rourke"s campaign to oblivion...at least they rewarded him with a Judgeship after he was steamrolled in that election....

JS84:

Truth, Andy O'Rourke ran for re-election twice after is lost to Mario Cuomo for Governor.

CivilServant:

Cuomo is done! I voted for him but he has lost my vote. 2A

Robmaur:

It seems to me that it should be required by law that when an incumbent elected official decides to run for another office that he or she MUST resign from their current office since politicking, money raising and running for election will now be their FULL TIME endeavor and their current office usually becomes completely neglected even though they still get paid but do no work for the people. Either another appointee or a special election should be held to fill the now virtually VACANT office. This should apply to County Supervisors, Congressmen, Senators, Governors (take note Mr. Christie), etc. If they get elected to the new post they are going to resign anyway. If they do not get elected to the new post they can run for their old office in the next election.

JS84:

Robmaur, how can you say that. If your system was to become law we might not have the best President since WW2, Barack Obama or for that matter Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Both of these fine American patriots were sitting US Senators when they ran for President.

Lets not forget about former US Senator from Texas Lloyd Bentsen who ran for re-election at the same time he ran for Vice-President in 1988. More recent is Vice-President Joe Biden who ran for re-election for his US Senate seat in Delaware at the same time he ran for Vice-President in 2008.

Great candidates can do this as they are superior to the rest of us . Don't deprive the people of such great Americans.

LisaLove:

JS84, you really consider Obama to be the best President since WW2? And you really consider Hillary Clinton to be the best Secretary of State? They are anything but "fine American patriots".

Robmaur:

And when they won their races they all resigned their incumbent positions.
While the were running they did little or no work other than running for election while being paid to do nothing. Someone else had to be paid to do their jobs.

kaceboy:

Mr. Astorino, please don't get suckered in by Democrats dangling this carrot in front of you. You are a successful Republican in New York State which makes you a rare bird. They really would like to get you out of the picture. No Republican can beat Andrew Cuomo at this time. Remember Rick Lazio? Stay where you are and run Westchester County. We need you.

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