GOP County Legislators to Democrat Colleages: Stop Playing Partisan Games with County Executive’s Appointments – Approve Ed Buroughs and Mary Mahon Immediately

January 19, 2011, White Plains, NY – The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators are sending a strong message to their Democratic colleagues to stop playing partisan political games with County Executive Rob Astorino’s appointments.

Last week, the Appointments Committee of the Board of Legislators voted 2 to 1 on a party line vote to reject the appointments of Ed Buroughs as Planning Commissioner (currently Acting Commissioner) and Mary Mahon as Director of Real Estate.  Mr. Buroughs has worked in the Planning Department for 16 years, is a highly respected planning professional, and has served admirably under both Republican and Democratic administrations. His professional achievements have been recognized time and again.

Ms. Mahon is a long time attorney with significant real estate experience, has a real estate broker’s license and is the prior general counsel of the MTA, which has extensive real estate holdings.  The MTA General Counsel deals with complex real estate issues every day.  The Republican County Legislators maintain that these two experienced public servants have outstanding professional resumes and are fully qualified for these positions.

Minority Leader Jim Maisano stated, “My Democratic colleagues must stop the politics and partisan games, stop publicly embarrassing very qualified public servants and begin acting more responsibly.  In my 13 years as a County Legislator, we always observed the principle that the County Executive has a right to select the members of the administration.  Over several decades, the Board of Legislators has respected this tradition and dealt with appointments in a bipartisan manner.  The actions of the Appointments Committee are an embarrassment and affront to good government.  Now that Mr. Buroughs and Ms. Mahon are being reconsidered in the Appointments Committee, we expect the partisan political games to stop and that both individuals be quickly approved.”

“Unfortunately,” said County Legislator John G. Testa (Peekskill/Cortlandt/Yorktown) “At the January 10 Appointments Committee meeting the Democratic committee members chose politics over professionalism and good government. Not only did they refuse to recommend the approval of these two candidates, they produced pre-approved resolutions recommending the disapproval of both candidates and voted accordingly.” Testa is the sole Republican member of the Appointments Committee.

After significant bipartisan public opporition to the actions of the Appointment committee in rejecting these fine professional appointments, at last night’s meeting of the Board of Legislators, the vote to reject Mr. Buroughs and Ms. Mahon was cancelled and the Appointments Committee will review them again at an upcoming meeting.

“The right thing to do,” says Legislator Gordon A. Burrows (R-Bronxville/Yonkers), “Is for  the entire Board of Legislators to affirmatively vote to approve Mr. Buroughs as Planning Commissioner, and Ms Mahon as Director of Real Estate as soon as possible.”

About John G. Testa

Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader. John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility. John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching. John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester. John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters. John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years. John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.” John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill. John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.
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