Mercy College hosts Westchester County budget forum

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS – The first of two budget forums took place on Tuesday at Mercy College, were the people of Westchester County had a chance to voice their concerns, on what they would like to see included in next year’s budget.

“We think this is a way to add increased public input into our decision making process and we think it adds the transparency that we have tried to advocate,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.

During the meeting, there was about 50 people present. Each person had three minutes to speak in front of County Executive George Latimer.

Many who came forward, voiced their concerns for funds going towards nonprofit organizations, non-profits including those for mental health, human trafficking, shelter, and for children.

Chief Program Officer of Legal Services of Hudson Valley Rachel Halperin was one who took a stand, voicing her concerns with the homeless.

“So we hope that county will continue its investment and increase its investment in eviction prevention. The county is on a precipitous of a homeless crisis,” Halperin said. “Latimer is confident the budget will produce results for all of Westchester. County leaders hope to have the budget finalized by the end of the year.”

Director of the nonprofit Westchester Jewish Community Services Rebeca Siman, spoke about mental illness involving children.

“WJCS serves 20,000 people throughout the county and 7,000 thousand which are children and there are so many other non-profits who have such an impact on the county as well,” Siman said.
“I really appreciate the opportunity for the county to listen to non-profits and to understand the impact they have throughout the county.”