Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bazzomanifesto Update 04/29/15: 4 Topics In Today's blog


1) Westchester Legislators to Eliminate County Agency, save taxpayers $1.8 million immediately

2) Westchester County Offers Free Meningitis Vaccines

3) [MEDIA ADVISORY] *Thu, 4/30, 7p* Statewide heroin task force in Westchester


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For Immediate Release: April 27, 2015

Contact: Matt Richter, BOL Communications Director



Board of Legislators to Eliminate County Agency, Establish New Energy Director Position


Vote expected tonight, Move would save taxpayers $1.8 million immediately


The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) in partnership with County Executive Rob Astorino are poised to pass legislation at tonight’s BOL meeting which will save tax payers millions of dollars.  The two part initiative dissolves a 33 year old county energy agency which had outlived its function and creates an “executive level” position within county government that will ensure county operations follow best practices in regards to energy consumption and sustainability.


The move would repeal a local law passed in 1982 which established the County of Westchester Public Utility Service Agency (COWPUSA).  The dissolution of COWPUSA will immediately return more than $1.8 million dollars to the county.  COWPUSA’s mission was to acquire low-cost hydroelectric or other economical forms of electricity from New York State and state agencies for resale to utility customers in the Con-Ed service area within Westchester County.  The customer base for COWPUSA dwindled over the years to a level that the agency’s existence was no longer necessary. In 2012 COWPUSA’s few remaining customers were enrolled in the State’s “ReCharge New York Program”.


The second part of the initiative establishes the Office of Energy Conservation and the position of Energy Director.  The Energy Director’s mission will be to save taxpayers money by coordinating the County’s energy policy across all departments, facilities and operations with a focus on reduction of fossil fuels and water consumption through conservation, energy efficiency measures and alternative energy sources.  Additionally, the Energy Director will establish policies on green purchasing, solid waste recycling, green building, and greenhouse gas reduction. The Office of Energy Conservation will also pursue government funding through grants.  Outside of County operations, the Energy Director would provide assistance, leadership, and coordination to community agencies, local governments, and businesses in the area of environmental sustainability.


Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz first proposed the Office of Energy Conservation and the position of Energy Director back in 2005 and has continued to advocate for this position for the past decade. “I am thrilled that after ten years of pushing for this policy, it has finally come to fruition.  While no law is perfect, this dual legislation is an excellent solution to two problems and as close to perfect as I could have hoped for.”  Kaplowitz said, “As with every success in government, this required collaboration and compromise.  I thank County Executive Rob Astorino and my colleagues on the Board, especially Environment and Energy Committee Chair Catherine Parker for their hard work, determination and leadership in passing this very important legislation.  The immediate return of $1.8 million to Westchester County is a tremendous savings but it will be dwarfed by the savings that will be achieved through a comprehensive and proactive energy policy applied throughout county operations.”


The Office of Energy Conservation will be a part of the administration and the Energy Director will be appointed by the County Executive.  "This simple reform was a no brainer.  In one broad stroke we have eliminated an outdated bureaucracy and set Westchester on a committed path of environmental sustainability and cost savings for taxpayers, and I want to thank Chairman Kaplowitz for his partnership in helping to get this done," said Astorino.


County Executive Astorino is expected to appoint Tim Carey who was the Executive Director of COWPUSA to the Energy Director position.  Mr. Carey also served as the Chief Operating Officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) a statewide public power utility, which provides up to one-quarter of New York State’s electricity.  Mr. Carey also served five terms as a Westchester County Legislator from 1984-1993.


The two pieces of legislation will be on the agenda for the regular BOL meeting tonight, Monday, April 27th.


Live streaming video of the meeting on the BOL website can be viewed at,


Dear Friends and Neighbors, If your summer plans include sending a child to sleep-away camp or preparing your college-bound student for dorm living, the county health department has a vaccine that cou


CONTACT: T.J. McCormack, 914-962-2624
APRIL 30th

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY -The first of a series of statewide forums being held by the bipartisan Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction is scheduled to begin this Thursday at an event in Yorktown. The Task Force is also meeting in Rochester, Lewiston, Albany and additional communities to examine the issues created by increased heroin abuse that is causing hundreds of deaths in communities across the state.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Senator Terrence Murphy, Senator Robert Ortt, chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health; and Senator George A. Amedore, Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Senator Terrence Murphy: Fighting to Win the War on Heroin
Heroin Task Force:
Fighting to Win the War on Heroin

The forums will provide an opportunity for Senators to solicit input from stakeholders and experts and use the information collected to develop recommendations for legislative action. Lawmakers say that recent opiate statistics show a pressing and urgent need to find a solution to this statewide epidemic. 

The details for THURSDAY's event are as follows:

WHO: Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction

WHAT: Legislative hearing on heroin and opioid abuse

WHEN: *This Thursday*, April 30th
7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Mildred E. Strang Middle School Cafeteria
2701 Crompond Rd, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

CONTACT: 914-962-2624



On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 4:54 PM, Assemblyman Steve Katz wrote:

Contact: Tara Keegan, 845-628-3781,
            Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,C-Yorktown) is a sponsor of Assembly Bill 5127, which requires that a statement of fiscal impact be attached with each piece of legislation.  The measure appeared before the Assembly today and was voted down by members of the Majority.
            "Every bill we vote on should have a fiscal impact statement laying out just how the project will be paid for in layman's terms," Katz said. "The people of New York deserve to know just how the Majority plans to pay for all of these projects. This isn't Monopoly money. This is money Albany takes from hardworking men and women across the state. This measure would have made it easier to see just how Albany works, and how they try to pass the buck to local governments. This legislation could have helped slow the exodus of people from our state. This is just another common-sense measure killed by the Majority."

Bazzo 04/29/15

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bazzo Says: Against the will of the people

Bazzo Says:

Do you want to know one of the reasons I fight Democrats? Because, to them, unless their candidate wins, elections do not matter. This is especially true with liberal Democrats in New York and Washington.

Over in Yorktown, there have been two recent elections in which voters overwhelmingly said they wanted Yorktown to attract more business and ease the ability of investors to navigate the process of opening a business in town.

Three reasons drive this desire of the voters. The first is jobs. We’re talking entry level, management and part-time for teens and seniors.

Secondly, commercial properties pay more in taxes than residential homes and do not populate the school system. So in theory, they ease the tax burden on residents. I say in theory because taxes never really go down. Some part of your bill, be it school, or the various taxing districts created by politicians to shield them from blame, always sees some sort of increase. So in reality, the ease on residents is only in the rate of increase.

Lastly, people in Yorktown are tired of going to Cortlandt to make purchases because in Westchester, the towns receive a portion of the sales tax generated by those businesses.

This brings us to two current proposals in Yorktown. One is Costco, which would also include a gas station. The other is BJ’s, already in operation but which wishes to now include a gas station. The idea is that members would be able to buy gas at a reduced price in addition to buying merchandise. As a consumer of both, I like these proposals. However, and this is where I get to my opening point, a group called Yorktown No Growth—sorry, Yorktown Smart Growth—is suing to stop these proposals. The group filed the suit along with three Route 202 gas stations—Mobil, Gulf and Hess.

By suing the Town of Yorktown, BJ’s, and the developer for Costco among other parties, Yorktown Smart Growth (Democrats) and the three station owners are trying to achieve in court what they could not achieve at the ballot box. The first thing you must understand is in any lawsuit of this kind, the taxpayer and the consumer get stuck with the bill. The taxpayer, by way of the Town having been named and having to defend itself. The consumer, in a higher than normal cost increase, will pay for this litigation once these businesses, if successful, open.

The reasons for the lawsuit, among others stated, are traffic concerns and harm to other established businesses. Let’s start with traffic. By the defendant’s own admission, these proposals will greatly increase traffic on the Route 202 corridor. So because of poor planning years and years ago, these property owners, through no fault of their own, must be prevented from gaining maximum value of their property all because this increase traffic will inconvenience those traveling along the corridor on their way to shop in Cortlandt?

I live off Route 6 and if you want to talk about traffic, do not get me started. However, in spite of the inconvenience, I supported the growth along this corridor. Like many, I use alternative routes when I can to get from Point A to Point B. Those along Route 202 will have to do the same, and there are alternatives. Those living along the alternative routes will not be pleased, but they will either live with it or move. I have lived all my life either in Jefferson Valley or now in Shrub Oak, along the East Main Street corridor. In my youth, East Main Street, both in Jefferson Valley and Shrub Oak, was Route 6, with one lane in each direction. You adjust.

The other thing about traffic studies is the unstated fact that these projected increases are due to people driving to these new businesses. By including these studies in the lawsuit, they are admitting that people—in large numbers—want these businesses. The lawsuit also says there was public outcry against the Costco. You cannot have it both ways. Either the people want it and will travel to get there, or they do not want it, and the traffic studies are a lie.

As for harm to established businesses, that makes me laugh. I work in an industry (taxi), licensed by the City of Peekskill, and it seems every time I turn around, Peekskill, trying to solve the unemployment problem single handedly, licenses another taxi company to operate. Who sues on my behalf? No one, for as far as the user is concerned, with more taxis operating, it drives down the cost where not regulated. Besides, where is it guaranteed that I or any other business will succeed? Am I happy about it? Hell no! Yet, I have survived for 18 years by adjusting.

One of the local gas stations has changed hands a couple of times over the years long before talk of gas stations at a Costco or BJ’s. From what I gather, these previous owners did not meet the needs of the consumers for various reasons. However, from what I hear from my customers, these new owners do. So I would suggest they keep up with their present business model and not worry about competition, for both Costco and BJ’s require the purchase of membership, and you do not. I believe the loyalty they have been building will continue.

The other defeat these Democrats will not abide by is the federal approval of the Spectra pipeline. They have gathered to demand a do-over. You see, they feel if they yell loud enough, even though they are not adding anything new to their argument, that this decision will be reversed. They are totally convinced that their arguments must win the day and cannot conceive of a world where they did not.

They will not accept that the real danger of a 61-year-old pipeline, one that is insufficient to the present and future needs of the consumer, is more important and a greater concern than their fear of what might be. 

The biggest joke of all is most of those opposed to the pipeline believe in the myth of man-made climate change. They fear our carbon footprint. Yet, natural gas leaves no carbon footprint. So they do not want oil or coal-based energy, yet they do not want the natural gas or nuclear alternatives that are proven cleaner. These are people who think you can get to heaven without dying first.

Their answer is a costlier and—not anywhere now or in the near future—renewable energy sources. Not only is their solution more costly in terms of product, but will require higher taxes as government must subsidize them. Not only that, but even their alternatives for the most part require the use of fossil fuels in the process. One more thing, even with government subsidies and mandates, they will not be sufficient suppliers for our needs. Think regular brown outs and black outs.

So you see, we must fight these people. They, through the courts and other types of gatherings, are trying to nullify consequences of elections. If you do not agree with them, they will make you because they know best. They wish to validate their empty lives at your expense. So locally, even though you may like the person personally, you must not put these people who show no respect for your opinion, who actively govern against your will, in power.

This is what I say. What say you?
Bazzo 04/21/15

State Senator Dr. Terrence Murphy discusses the issues at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays,  May 6 & 13, on channel 74

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