Westchester County is no longer a member of ICLEI.
County Executive Rob Astorino made the decision shortly after taking office to terminate Westchester's membership in ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability which came to an end effective December 31, 2011. Membership dues for Westchester County amounted to $20,000 annually.
“When we came into office we reviewed all of the associations to which the County belonged," said Ned McCormack, chief spokesman for Astorino. "We determined that ICLEI was not an essential service and we dropped the membership".
This is a striking turnaround for a county that just four years ago released an ICLEI-inspired Climate Action Plan calling on all municipalities to join ICLEI.
The difference has been Astorino, a no-nonsense fiscal conservative whose stunning upset victory in 2009 over long-time incumbent, Democrat Andy Spano. Under Spano, Westchester County became the highest-taxed county in the nation. Astorino was elected with a 16-point margin largely on his promise to reign in spending and get control of property taxes.