WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Longtime Yonkers County Legislator Ken Jenkins has officially announced his intention to challenge Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino next year for his seat in office.
Citing “deterioration in financial management and service quality throughout Westchester,” the former Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman will make a run at the County Executive’s seat for the second time next year.
According to Jenkins, who served as Chairman of the Board of Legislators between 2010 and 2014, he was responsible for a 2 percent county tax cut in 2011 that was initially vetoed by Astorino. County budgets passed during Jenkins’ tenure “did not borrow excessively or trigger any downgrades in Westchester’s bond ratings.”
“During my tenure as Chairman of the Board, we managed to cut taxes and provide high quality services without borrowing money and drastically diminishing our reserve funds,” Jenkins stated in his announcement. “The county has not cut taxes since that point and the quality of Westchester County’s work on behalf of the taxpayers has gone down significantly.”
In 2013, Jenkins planned to run against Astorino, but the Democrat stepped down when the party nominated New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who ultimately conceded to his Republican opponent.
Astorino could not be immediately reached for comment.
“My family, and every other family I know make decisions in their lives based on realistic and practical budgets with everything else flowing from our finances,” Jenkins added when announcing his candidacy. “We know we can’t spend more money than we have and if we do, there are real consequences for doing so.
“Westchester County government is no different. Because the budget has been mismanaged, we have to have a staring contest to fight for funding our public safety efforts properly, hoping that nobody is hurt before someone blinks.”