It is both ironic and grotesque that Rob Astorino would attempt to run on his record for state Senate against Pete Harckham. In fact, his campaign is entirely based on the hope that voters will have forgotten the scope of his reckless mismanagement of Westchester County.
In terms of fiscal irresponsibility, voters need to remember that Astorino left Westchester with an $81 million deficit the last five years he was county executive, and that the county’s debt had grown to $1.6 billion.
And those zero percent tax increases Astorino boasts about? They were paid for with increased debt, over $200 million in withdrawals from the county’s emergency savings fund and sales of county properties. In fact, Astorino’s relentless borrowing for operating expenses in the annual budgets – what he calls “kicking the can down the road” – caused the county’s credit ratings to drop four times.
Astorino’s fiscal fiascos also extended to failed sweetheart deals with bigshot hedge fund investors to privatize Playland and Westchester County Airport, and rightfully so: the taxpayer-funded investments should not be brokered away to simply pay bills. Meanwhile, Astorino’s fight with the federal government over affordable housing cost county taxpayers another $25 million at least.
With that record, I’m dumbfounded that Rob Astorino would even consider running for office again. Voters would be smart to factor in Astorino’s strong support for President Trump’s corrosive politics and failed leadership as well when considering his worthiness as decision-maker and advocate in these challenging times.