In 2017, Kitley Covill swept into office along with County Executive George Latimer, helping the Democrats gain a supermajority on the Board of Legislators.
For District 2 voters, which includes Mount Kisco, Bedford and several other northeastern Westchester towns, there really is a clear-cut choice in this year’s election – Covill should be emphatically returned to office against her Republican opponent Gina Arena.
A lawyer from Katonah, Covill has been a reliable and consistent voice of reason in her nearly two years in White Plains. She preaches responsibility with the taxpayers’ money, has been a fighter for the county’s parks, particularly Merestead and Muscoot Farm in Somers, and water quality improvements. (Covill is hopeful that a state Supreme Court justice will soon allow the county to ease some of the limitations placed on the site when the land is bequeathed to the county.)
Those aren’t the most titillating issues on a day-in, day-out basis, but fiscal prudence, recreational opportunities and preservation and water quality should never be compromised in Westchester or anywhere else.
Covill has also been a champion of common-sense environmental regulations, in addition to water quality improvement, with her support of the county’s ban on Styrofoam that is scheduled to go into effect at the end of the year.
She also has shown to have her ear to the ground. Although she was the primary author of the county’s Earned Sick Leave Law, she ultimately voted against the measure because she had heard from too many of her district’s small business owners that it would place a hardship on their operations.
It also hasn’t been beneath Covill to perform some daily grunt work. When she heard that a traffic sign on Route 117 in Bedford was missing and causing a potential hazard, she picked up the phone to alert the state DOT. The sign was replaced shortly afterward.
If re-elected, Covill wants to focus more on addressing the opioid crisis with the county’s Department of Community Mental Health and Westchester police.
Arena, a Somers resident, deserves kudos for providing competition in an ever-increasing inhospitable environment for Westchester Republicans. The mother of eight children who works in the county’s medical examiner’s office, Arena has been an advocate for people with autism and those suffering from opioid abuse, situations she found herself in with two of her children.
Unfortunately, it appears that Arena did not have time to do much brushing up on county issues in preparation for her run. While she identified the high cost of living and decried the sales tax increase this summer as impediments to families, she also criticized the lack of mental health services available.
She also didn’t have much knowledge on the issues surrounding Westchester County Airport, which is a major issue, not just around the airport.
In the end, Covill is head and shoulders above the competition and her constituents should look forward to what she can achieve in a second term.