Legislator John G. Testa Helps Deliver Over $200,000 of Funding for Peekskill’s Youth

Visiting the Peekskill Youth Bureau with County Executive Rob Astorino

At the May 21st of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL), Legislator John Testa (R-Peekskill) was joined by his colleagues on the BOL in voting to enter into an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) with the City of Peekskill to provide critical funding to the city’s “Advancing Leadership for Teens” program.

Legislator Testa who is a full time educator and former Mayor of Peekskill said, “I am thrilled to be able to help bring this funding to the youth of Peekskill.  I have dedicated my career to educating kids and preparing them for their future educational or career endeavors.  The Advancing Leadership for Teens program and the City of Peekskill Youth Bureau is a wonderful partnership that was created not just for kids but with those kid’s direct input.”  Legislator Testa concluded, “While we have seen a lot of our community programs cut or even eliminated in municipalities across the county I am very gratified that we were able to arrive at this agreement between the county and the City of Peekskill.  This is an investment in our greatest resource in Peekskill and Westchester, our kids, and it will pay great dividends far beyond the terms of the agreement.”

Under the terms of the IMA, the program would receive $135,000 from Westchester County with the City of Peekskill providing $72,693.  The funding carries the program through 2014 and will serve approximately 180 kids.

The “Advancing Leadership for Teens” program was designed to address the needs of youth in Peekskill focusing on objectives like developing resumes and job seeking.  Another primary focus will be college exploration and readiness.  The program also aims to prevent health risk behaviors in kids by providing health education, community and cultural service projects, youth activism, academic and education services and dropout prevention.  One of the most basic yet important aspects of the program is that it provides a constructive and safe atmosphere for youth outside of school.

About Legislator John G. Testa

John G. Testa, a life-long resident of Peekskill, began his first term on the Westchester County Legislature in January 2010. Prior to his successful run for the District 1 Legislative seat, he served 3 terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming mayor he also served a four-year term as a Councilman. From his first days in office Testa worked tirelessly to set the City on the path of economic stability. Peekskill flourished under this plan, increasing the city fund balance to its highest in history. During John’s tenure in office, the NY State Comptroller’s Office named Peekskill one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in the State; independent auditors proclaimed Peekskill as being in its best fiscal condition in over 30 years; and Moody’s Investor Service agreed to upgrade its bond rating, resulting in further savings. The plan he put in place was so successful that it enabled the City of Peekskill to pass three budgets in a row with a 0% tax increase. These fiscal skills will prove valuable to Testa as he works to put the brakes on what has been wildly escalating county spending and unchecked government growth. He has pledged his efforts to work to consolidate services, eliminate wasteful spending and improve efficiency. In addition to the fiscal conservatism that served Peekskill so well, Testa worked to promote the city, attracting investment, jobs and an increased tax base. Over $100 million of private investment came to Peekskill in the forms of new residential construction, retail space, and the redevelopment of historic structures. As Mayor, Testa led a successful battle to stop the unfair and unsafe plan to send sewage to the Peekskill plant from outside the sewage/water district. John’s roots are deep within the soil of Northern Westchester. His father’s family has lived here for more than a century and his mother’s family is nearing that mark. He is proud that he was born in Peekskill and has lived and worked here all his life and, with his wife Nancy raised their two children here.
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