The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) had a quick meeting on Monday, August 12, 2013, but I was pleased to support the passage of four important items of legislation:
1) We voted to exempt commercial solar energy systems from county sales tax. The BOL approved similar legislation in 2011 exempting installation of residential solar equipment from county sales taxes. We should all support alternative and renewable forms of energy and hope that someday they will be economically competitive with fossil fuels, so these polluting forms of energy can be eliminated. This vote helps make it more affordable to install solar energy systems in Westchester.
2) The Westchester Community College (WCC) budget was passed for the new academic year. The $122.3 million spending plan includes no tuition hike, which remains at $4,280 per year. It is a fiscally sound budget for this excellent academic institution in our county that is always improving and finding new ways to better serve students. WCC is one of the best community colleges in the country.
3) We approved a new collective bargaining agreement for our county police officers. We have a terrific police department in our county government, and I am glad they compromised in the new contract to begin contributions to medical benefits. The leadership of the PBA union did an excellent job representing its members.
4) We added more parcels of property into the Westchester County Agricultural District. This district has been very successful in helping to save our county’s farmland, while helping the farms be more economically viable. By saving these farms, we are also protecting the county’s environment.
It is very important for the BOL to continue doing the people’s business while most of our members are involved in re-election campaigns in the coming months.