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County Executive George Latimer Speaks at MLK Breakfast in Bronxville; Has Positive Outlook for Westchester's Future PDF Print Email


By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Jan. 17, 2018: “I’ve been exposed to a lot of different perspectives on Westchester,” said George Latimer, newly inaugurated Westchester County executive who spoke at the Martin Luther King, Jr., breakfast in Bronxville on January 15. “It’s a more complicated landscape when you look at it as a whole rather than focusing on its parts.” All of its parts, he added, must be working toward the right end.

Latimer outlined two broad themes he believes will play out in the county during 2018.

First, he noted, he believes that county government is ready to enter an era of cooperation and pragmatism with local government that will endeavor to find common ground dealing with problems and solving them to the best of its ability. “Let's calm down the rhetoric,” he said, “and find a way through the issues at hand.”

To facilitate understanding and cooperation, Latimer has tapped a diverse group of people from several demographic categories and geographic areas around Westchester County to serve in his administration. “We have already shown that we’re not going to hire everyone on politics,” he said.

Latimer emphasized that the county has a very strong population base of intelligent, educated people willing to lend their professional expertise and become involved in public policy. The team running the county, he said, will look like the county in its entirety.

The second theme, Latimer said, and not necessarily a positive one, encompasses the current economic situation. “The federal government has made some decisions that are going to make it very difficult for Westchester to remain competitive on a desirable level,” he stated.

Although he inherited a balanced budget for 2018, he characterized the budget situation as difficult. While he recognizes a countywide expectation that taxes will never be raised, he stated that commitments arising in the future could create a deficit for the next budget that must be closed. “I’m not anxious to raise taxes,” he said, “but we can’t continue to not invest in our infrastructure and let things deteriorate or die in front of us because of rhetoric and an ideological approach to taxation.”

Latimer feels the county must strike a balance between fiscal needs and the fact that residents are very tax sensitive. It’s not a “win,” he said, to burden local governments with costs they will have to raise taxes to cover. “We need to work as an entity,” he stated, “and we need to be intelligent.”


Westchester County needs a clear picture of fiscal realities, Latimer emphasized, in order to make strong plans to stabilize its finances. Without stable finances, he added, policy cannot be effective.

Overall, Latimer sees a positive outlook for Westchester County due to its strategic location near New York City, its strong transportation system of commuter railroad lines, interstate highways, parkways, and an airport, all complemented by an abundance of human capital.

Having served in local government on the Rye City Council, at the county level as a county legislator, and in both the New York State Assembly and Senate, Latimer brings a depth and breadth of experience to his position as Westchester County executive. “Experience helps,” he said, “but you still have to make intelligent and good decisions.”

Pictured here (from top down):  (L to R) Don Brown, director of ECAP, Lovely Billups, ECAP Advisory Council chair, and County Executive George Latimer; George Latimer in Congregational Hall at The Reformed Church of Bronxville for the MLK breakfast.

Photos by N. Bower


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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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