RYE, N.Y. -- If elected Westchester County executive in November Noam Bramson said he would make sure Rye Playland remains a place that is enjoyable for all county residents.
“As someone who has gone to Playland since he was very little, I know it is very important that Playland remains a major public asset that can be used and enjoyed by all residents of Westchester," Bramson told The Daily Voice's editorial team Tuesday. "Having said that, I am entirely open-minded about different models (including Astorino's). I want to make it more cost effective, enhance services and facilities to ensure the park can be vibrant and successful over the next century.”
The New Rochelle mayor said ,if elected, his first priority will be to make sure the county has a “thriving, green economy.”
“Economic development is often thought of as tax breaks for companies. The county has a large capital budget. We need to use it to unlock hidden potential in our areas," said the 43-year-old Westchester native and father of two. "I am for focused county leadership that is not demonstrated today.”
Astorino’s battle with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has some residents concerned about changes to zoning laws, the future of housing in the county and rising tax costs. Bramson said he feels Astorino’s “combative” approach to the housing settlement is impeding what “ought to be an effort to achieve sensible housing policy.”
His plan to tackle the housing issue, he said, is to cater to the county’s needs before federal interests. His “home loyal,” approach aims to tackle current taxes, which Bramson described as unmanageable for old and young alike.
Westchester’s tax situation, he said, can be fixed with increased county leadership, stating that the solution lies in establishing a framework for shared services, including roadwork, flood mitigation, technology and data systems, and guidance on sustainability, arts and culture.
“We’ve all been through fiscal meat grinder. We need to reduce our tax bills, free up resources, or some combination of the two," he said.
According to Bramson, Astorino has run "the most ideological administration" of his lifetime. The two candidates disagree on several social issues, including the gun lobby, women’s right to choose,and marriage equality.
“Many people assumed that Rob Astorino would govern in moderate mainstream tradition like everyone else before him," Bramson said. "Instead, he campaigns like Nelson Rockefeller, and governs like Newt Gingerich."
Part of the mayor’s platform involves championing social services and childcare.
“I believe that lives are interlinked. We’re going up and down together. The purpose of a well-designed service is to assist people to become independent and more self-reliant, to support families and communities," he said.
Bramson said he considers his mayoral experience excellent preparation for the role of county executive.
“New Rochelle is microcosm of Westchester as a whole in terms of socioeconomic demographics, race demographics," he said. "I have balanced a budget of $110 million, collaborated with hundreds of government employees and I have interacted with community members."
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