The White Plains Examiner

Astorino Looks for Ways to Close $114M Shortfall in 2012 Budget

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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino discusses the 2012 budget Wednesday.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino called on unions to agree to some concessions and asked county legislators to work openly and cooperatively on constructing the 2012 county budget Wednesday afternoon at a preliminary budget review at the Michaelian County Office Building in White Plains.

The county may be facing a $114 million dollar shortfall, Astorino said, as expenses are projected to rise 5 percent to $1.802 billion while revenues are expected to rise just 1 percent to $1.688 billion.

“To get to 0 from 114 million dollars is going to be very painful. We’re going to have to make some very difficult choices,” Astorino said. “There are less options on the table for all of us, because it simply comes down to math.”

The county executive said tax increases were “off the table” in closing the gap and instead proposed asking department heads to cut their budgets and asking unions to agree to one-week furloughs and contributions to their healthcare costs. If the unions refuse these concessions, the county will have to lay off approximately 250 workers, Astorino said.

Astorino must present a budget proposal to the Board of Legislators by Nov. 15.


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