Branda Proposes Big Ideas for Westchester’s Future

9 days ago • 1 minute read

Proposals Include Free Municipal Loop Buses, Significant Reduction in College Tuition, Regional Economic Development that Promotes Community-Oriented Affordable Housing;
“It’s Time to Keep the County’s Promise on Westchester County Airport”

Dan Branda, the Republican candidate for Westchester County Legislator in District 4, today announced an expansive agenda that he will pursue if elected county legislator.  

“Under the current leadership operating as middle management for the Governor’s office, we have lost our aspiration to improve the quality of life of Westchester’s residents,” Branda said. “We have $500 million in new taxes and not a damn thing to show for it. I’m here to say that yes, we can have ambition once again, we can pursue big ideas, we can put tax dollars to work for our community in ways that compound our investments, and we can do it within our current means.”

Branda’s agenda includes:

  • Reduce Westchester Community College tuition by 75% with an increased county sponsorship of $25 million that offsets the college’s budgeted operating revenues of $32.25 million. The new $25 million investment into education will also offset the $5 million cut under the Latimer administration.
  • Free Bee-Line loop service to municipalities in public transit deserts. Modeled after similar programs throughout the country, including the free Loop service in Beacon that connects to Metro-North and Dutchess County Public Transit, Branda’s Loop proposal will use the expenditures already earmarked for the county’s free summer ridership program to make public transit a benefit for more people throughout Westchester, including northern Westchester. Branda notes that the proposal, which will start with a capital feasibility study, will also make more sites available for community-based affordable housing development.
  • Keep our promise on Westchester County Airport with a feasibility study to change takeoff and approach routes. In 2017, County Executive Latimer’s campaign made promises to residents about Westchester County Airport that have yet to be fulfilled. In the Town of New Castle, specifically, resident complaints about noise from low-altitude flyovers have been effectively ignored by this administration while Westchester purposefully delays the release of the airport’s long-overdue Master Plan.
  • Advocate for a regional economic development approach to affordable housing. Rather than let New York State use a cudgel against local control of planning, Branda will work to build a coalition advocating for a regional economic development approach to housing that is modeled on the state’s REDC program. By focusing on the economic development components of community-based housing development, money from state, federal, and private sources can be better deployed to address the needs for road, sewer, and school investment that otherwise falls on the shoulders of property taxpayers.
  • Partner with Northern Westchester municipalities to use capital funds for our community’s needs. Westchester’s capital budget includes programs that are sorely needed in Northern Westchester–including Flood Mitigation and Affordable Housing grants. Branda will proactively work with elected officials in our towns to address our needs with this money.