Wednesday, January 17, 2007



Yes, I know I just sent out a blog, but this is IMPORTANT!!!!!! I can't control the flow of news I think you should know. I don't know how many of you realize you have a school board vote on Wednesday January 24 from 7AM. - 9p.PM. They are asking for you to approve a bond for 7.8 million dollars. The voting is ONLY at the high school on Elm Street.

Some history before you vote. either two or three years ago you voted for a bond of 60 million doallrs to build the new middle school on Ringold Street. 48 million was to go to construction, with 12 million for the other schools. here are some question to ask yourself before you vote.

1) before I authorize another 7 million, what happened to the 12 million?

2) why is the voting only at the high school?

3) why are the polls opening an hour later than usual?

You have a week to get some answers. If not I would consider that response before you vote.
************************************************************************************ THIS IS A LETTER TO THE EDITOR AT THE NORTH COUNTY NEWS

Last week, during a discussion with the NCN editorial staff, I was asked how I address the negative perception some people have about Peekskill regarding crime. I answered that the perception is not fair and does not represent the reality. I also pointed out that we have made tremendous strides changing that perception. What I didn’t realize at the time was the hidden prejudice and resentment against Peekskill by those asking the question.
As a lifelong resident of Peekskill, I have always been angered by those who look down on or disparage us because we are a hard-working community with a diverse population. Now, as Mayor of this great City, you have chastised and insulted me for defending my community and correcting your misconceptions.
Why would our City, its staff, and I be attacked in such a way? Why do some people simply hate to see Peekskill becoming a success? It is not based on fact so perhaps there are underlying reasons: lingering resentment of our success over sewage diversion? Our diverse population? Jealousy about the positive coverage we have received for our revitalization efforts? The fact that Target chose Peekskill over others in the region? Whatever prompted the attack, the facts do not support the editors’ claim that I view our City through “rose-colored glasses.”
The conventional wisdom was that no world-class developers would ever come to Peekskill. I felt differently and knew I could help promote what our City had to offer. It was one of the reasons I ran for office in the first place.
As a result of this positive vision, Peekskill is in a true renaissance. Our tax base is expanding significantly, with new, high-end residential developments completed or underway, many retail and commercial businesses opening, a magnificent waterfront project moving forward, and a proposed major downtown revitalization program. Our historic preservation movement has gained momentum, while our reputation as a thriving cultural center has flourished.
The result of all this: two years in a row of 0% tax increase and, yes, low crime. In fact, over the last 5 years, crime in Peekskill has dramatically decreased, more than most towns Westchester! We have a first class police force at its strongest in history, an outstanding Community Policing Program, drug and code enforcement task forces and a top-notch fire department.
Telling lies about Peekskill is wrong. We have been as successful in reducing crime as we have been in achieving other elements of our revitalization plan. During 2003-2005, the period your editorial cites, violent crime in Westchester County rose by 2.4%, while violent crime in Peekskill dropped by more than 30%. Tens of thousands of visitors safely attend events at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Not to mention the thousands who patronize our restaurants, galleries and businesses.
I’m not the only one who realizes what is happening in Peekskill. We’ve garnered multiple rave notices from Westchester Magazine, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Westchester County Times and even The New York Times. These publications have all told the truth about how well we’ve been doing.
Peekskill is a safe place. It’s a beautiful place. And the only people using tinted glasses are the ones who are writing the editorials in your paper and are unwilling to see the truth about one of America’s most diverse, energetic, vital and successful cities.
I will never apologize for being a cheerleader for my community and promoting the many things we offer. Is there still much to do? Yes, but I will always challenge those who purposely denigrate and misrepresent Peekskill for their own business, personal or political ends.

George Oros
Legislator, 1st District


January 12, 2007 Contact: George Oros
Tel: (914) 995-2828

Peekskill Sewer District taxes to drop 44%

Westchester County Legislator George Oros (R/C/I—Cortlandt) revealed great news for taxpayers in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District—a 44% tax reduction for 2007, a savings that will benefit all Peekskill residents, about 1,500 in Yorktown and 1,000 in Cortlandt.

“It’s always been very satisfying to work with people in the district and this forward thinking is a tribute to them,” Oros said. “I’m delighted that we’re able to make a difference and help ease the tax burden.”

Oros, who nine years ago led the charge to secure tax relief for approximately 4,700 residents in the Peekskill Sewer District who were paying for sewers they weren’t hooked up to, explained the sewer tax decrease this year was achieved by the consolidation of the operations and maintenance costs of the county’s 13 sewer districts into one administrative account.

The minority leader of the Board of Legislators said he initially fought the consolidation until he was guaranteed it would not adversely affect residents in his district, which includes Cortlandt, Peekskill and the northern end of Yorktown.

“For years I have been a champion of the residents in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District,” said Oros, who first proposed eliminating the unfair sewer tax for residents in the district in the early 1990s as a councilman on the Cortlandt Town Board and successfully brought it to fruition in 1998 as a legislator.

The average taxpayer in the Peekskill Sewer District pays about $275 a year for sewers. With the 44% savings, property owners will now pay only about $165.

In addition to being in the forefront of sewer tax relief, Oros also played a key role in thwarting attempts to divert sewage from Yorktown to the Peekskill plant.


BAZZO 01/16/07


PEEKofmySKILL said...

Unlike you, I am unwilling to pick up my pom poms to cheer for Peekskill's failed Mayor. I call your action cheerleading because if your intention was to be fair you would have also included the editorial in question. It's no surprise that Mayor Testa missed the point of the NCN editorial. He is by no means the sharpest pencil in the box. As I read it, the editorial did not denigrate Peekskill. It did point out that a disproportionate of the crimes in Peekskill is committed against the least among us. A segment of the population that, "The Testa Team" has historically ignored in their quest to turn Peekskill into just another condo laden bedroom community. Mayor Testa has no desire to lift up the less fortunate of our community. To him they are a means to an end; every two years he uses them to frighten people into voting for the republicans.

andyland said...

Dear Peekofmyskill:

I am just a poor taxi driver therefore I can only afford dial-up. To include the attachment you wished would have taken 10 min. each e-mail. I personally send this to over 480 people, usually in 25 adress lots. I usually do this after working a 12 hour shift, so the time involved in this is too much for an old man. Remember I do this as a service, not for pay, and I do the best I can. here is the editorial in question from the NORTH COUNTY NEWS:


Peekskill’s city leaders need to shed rose-colored glasses

It’s not clear whether Peekskill Mayor John Testa is wearing his public relations hat when talking about crime in his city. We doubt he is unaware of how his community is perceived.

The Mayor questions whether there is even a widespread perception that Peekskill’s streets are more dangerous than neighboring northern Westchester communities.

Similarly, Peekskill city manager Dan Fitzpatrick can seem unnervingly non-chalant when fielding questions about violent crime. One can infer from his responses that this administration is mainly concerned when the safety of middle class residents is at risk.

After some fraught remarks made by the Mayor and City Manager during a meeting with North County News, we walked away with the sense that the well-publicized violent crime in downtown Peekskill, in their view, is hardly worth worrying about. Can they really believe that?

In the “diverse” City of Peekskill, said Fitzpatrick, the perpetrators and victims of the crimes are usually repeat offenders themselves.

He spoke of frequently reading local Police Department crime reports from which he concludes that criminal elements – or “they,” as he phrased it -- might travel north from Yonkers and commit crimes in Peekskill.

But, he noted, it’s not as if folks residing beyond the city’s troubled downtown are the victims of home invasions.

All victims are important
We’re still trying to decide how or why that is relevant. All genuine, innocent victims merit concern in equal measure, regardless of where they live or who they are.

In fact, from 2003 to 2005, 170 violent crimes were reported in Peekskill, including five rapes and 72 robberies, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

It should not matter that those robberies were committed on what is apparently viewed in City Hall as the wrong side of the tracks.
Just as we wondered if Fitzpatrick used the word Yonkers as a euphemism, we wonder who, among those familiar with this region, doesn’t think of Peekskill as a place where danger lurks.

We agree that Peekskill might get a bad rap.
The first four days of the year included two bar stabbings in Yorktown.
But Mayor John Testa, City Manager Dan Fitzpatrick and other city leaders are encouraged to combat their public relations problem.

With the Police Department doing a commendable job in fighting crime, the city’s political and administrative leaders should try and determine why folks in the northern part of the county use the word Peekskill in the same context as Fitzpatrick invokes Yonkers.

“People who live in Peekskill know how comfortable and secure a place we are,” Testa said in a 2005 press release about decreased crime rates. “The wonderful numbers generated by the extraordinary people who work for our Police Department demonstrate the truth behind that impression.”
Maybe there is an impression inside Peekskill that represents a reality we do not see.

If so, city leaders need to do a better job in communicating the reality beyond Peekskill’s borders.

What I find amazing is your toal ignoring of the porpose of this latest post, which is the upcomming school board vote.

BAZZO 01/17/07