Astorino’s “Government by crisis and brinkmanship” costing us tens of millions of dollars, hurting County residents

At a press conference held on the steps of the federal courthouse in White Plains this morning, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson blasted Republican Rob Astorino for putting Westchester County in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, wasting tens of millions of dollars in fines and penalties, and putting at risk the water supply for nearly 340,000 County residents.

Despite knowing about the problem for years, the Astorino Adminstration missed an April 2012 deadline for providing UV treatment to a significant portion of Westchester’s water supply. Astorino’s failure is now costing taxpayers $37,500 per day, a total of $18.5 million to date, plus another million for each additional month that passes.

Bramson, the Democratic, Independence and Working Families nominee for County Executive, linked Astorino’s failure on safe drinking water to a recurring pattern of obstructionism and political extremism, citing also Astorino’s conflicts with the federal government on transportation and housing. “Time and again,” said Bramson, “the Astorino administration has delayed important decisions, incurred unnecessary fines and penalties, prolonged divisive disputes, and then pointed the finger of blame at others instead of taking responsibility for cleaning up its own mess.”

To illustrate the importance of a safe water supply – and the cost of continued neglect — Bramson noted that providing bottled drinking water to affected County residents would require 255,000,000 bottles a year – enough to circle the Earth twice.

“Enough is enough,” Bramson concluded. “Only new leadership can put these disputes behind us, rebuild a constructive relationship with other levels of government, and ensure that our hard-earned dollars are no longer wasted on fines, penalties, and legal fees, but instead directed to the needs of Westchester’s residents and taxpayers.”