The Westchester District Attorney's office is investigating the New Rochelle Department of Works over falsified billing records running into the tens of thousands of dollars and possibly much more, Talk of the Sound has learned. The investigation, which began in New Rochelle, has now expanded to Long Island.
The investigation began with a suspicious $12,000 invoice for maintenance and repair services on a City garbage truck submitted by an approved City vendor, a Long Island company that services industrial vehicles. Two independent evaluations of the vehicle concluded that no work had been done.
The Westchester DA's office issued a no-comment statement. "We don't discuss - by either confirming or denying - the existence of an investigation", said DA Spokesman Lucien Chalfen.. It is worth noting that for several weeks the DA's office did not respond to repeated request for information regarding this matter.Read more
Cohen Says Hearings Look More Like a Pre-Election Whitewash Than an Investigation
WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today called on Senator Oppenheimer to quit protecting the special interests bankrolling her political campaigns and use her full authority as Senate Education Chair to launch a comprehensive investigation into the unexplainable decline in education performance standards in recent years. Cohen called the Senator’s currently planned hearings ‘window dressing’ and an ‘attempt to cover up a scandal that occurred on her watch as Education chair.’
“Parents who thought their children were doing well in school are now shocked to learn that they are actually behind the curve,” said Cohen. “As a parent and a taxpayer, I am appalled. Senator Oppenheimer owes us a thorough investigation, but it looks to me like the Senator has already determined the outcome of her committee’s hearings.”Read more
Join the family of friends and neighbors as we pay tribute to those lost, and the sacrifices made, in the aftermath of the tragic attack on our Nation.
This Saturday, September 11th, a Memorial Service will be held on the front lawn of the New Rochelle Armory. The event will begin at 7:30.
Joining in the service will be the Color Guard and members of the United States Armed Forces, Police and Fire units from both New Rochelle and New York City, and many more. A true testament to just how many lives were affected.
The event is sponsored by the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester.
Driving directions, a schedule of events, and more information can be found HERE
Take pause to remember those who have lost so much, and show your support for the men and women who continue to serve this Nation 9 years after.Read more
Maisano for Justice Press Release
The Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association (WHLEA) announced its endorsement of Jim Maisano for Supreme Court Justice, 9th Judicial District and Patricia O’Callaghan for Westchester Family Court Judge. The WHLEA cited both candidates’ longstanding record of leadership on law enforcement issues, commitment to equal treatment under the law, and understanding of the issues that all Westchester residents face, particularly in the Hispanic and Latino communities. (Please note that a photo of the endorsement is attached to this email).
Eminent domain reform law would protect property owners
The Journal News
September, 6, 2010
By Jim Maisano & Tom Abinanti
The doorbell rang at the county legislator's home one morning. On the doorstep was an elderly gentleman, tears in his eyes and clutching a handful of papers. "Please help me," he said. "They want to take my home."
In his hand was a proposed contract from the developer of a big-box store in New Rochelle for the elderly man to sign, to sell his house to the developer. The man was told, "This is a great offer and better than what you will get when the city takes it through eminent domain."
Eminent domain — ask the average person what it means, and he is likely to think of the government taking property for a high public purpose — a school, park, highway or library. Taking the property of a private citizen is a serious matter and crosses into one of the founding principles of this country, that an individual's private property is sacrosanct. Given the devastating power of eminent domain, there must be a true public purpose before even considering taking someone's private property.Read more
Public Hearing on Legislation by Maisano & Abinanti to Protect Private Property Owners - law bans use of County funds for projects misusing eminent domain
Public hearing slated for September 7, 2010
Legislation co-sponsored by Westchester County Legislators Tom Abinanti (D- Greenburgh) and James Maisano (R- New Rochelle), giving increased protections for Westchester County private property owners against wrongful use of the power of eminent domain, will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
“The original beneficial public purpose of eminent domain has been corrupted,” said Abinanti. “We are witnessing distressing instances where eminent domain is used by or for powerful developers and the rights of private citizens are undercut.”
This legislation would limit Westchester County’s power to condemn private property for private use. “Government should not take private property unless it is necessary to meet a real public need, not just because it prefers one use over another or one developer over another,” said Abinanti.Read more
Final State Budget Plan Includes Billions in Tax Increases and School Aid Cuts – Still No Cap on Local Property Taxes
WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today expressed deep disappointment in Senator Oppenheimer and her Democratic colleagues in the Legislature for adopting a late budget that includes $4 billion in new taxes while cutting $1.4 billion in state aid to schools.
“Somehow Senator Oppenheimer and her allies in the Legislature have contrived a spending scheme that includes increases in taxes and overall spending, but reduces state aid to schools,” said Cohen. “Even in the midst of a financial crisis they cannot get their priorities straight.”
The final budget eliminates tax credits for business, suspends the sales tax exemption on clothing, and allows state and local governments to borrow from the state pension fund to make required contributions to the same fund – resulting in a hidden $1,300 tax on homeowners outside New York City. Missing in the final plan is the reinstatement of $1.4 billion in state school aid previously cut and a cap on out-of-control local school property taxes.Read more
Taxpayers Paid an Extra $230 for Senator to Drive to Albany and ‘Work’ for 12 Minutes
WHITE PLAINS – State Senate candidate Bob Cohen (R,I,C – 37th District) today blamed Senator Oppenheimer and her colleagues in the Senate leadership for the lack of a single accomplishment in the special session called by the Governor this week. Because of a parliamentary procedure that allows the Democratic majority to gavel into session and immediately gavel out without taking up a single bill, Senator Oppenheimer took a futile, all expenses paid trip to Albany courtesy of taxpayers.
“There is a lot of unfinished business that could have been taken care of – not the least of which being a property tax cap,” said Cohen. “But Senator Oppenheimer and her allies in the Democratic leadership chose to block the Governor’s agenda, take no actions of their own, and enjoy a free trip to Albany at taxpayer expense.”
Cohen noted that in addition to the property tax cap, there were several other important bills on the Governor’s agenda, including an extension of the Power for Jobs program and a proposed budget contingency plan should the state not receive $1 billion in federal Medicaid (FMAP) assistance.Read more