Legislator John Testa Announces Re-election Bid for County Seat

Reelection2013_3On Monday, April 8th Westchester County Legislator John G. Testa announced his intentions to seek re-election for a third term in front of a large crowd at the Winery at St. George in Mohegan Lake. Over 100 supporters were present along with officials from across Westchester County.

Also on hand to address the crowd and give John his support was County Executive Rob Astorino. “John Testa has been a strong and unwavering defender of taxpayers.  His leadership, dedication and common sense approach to county government serves the people of Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown well and I urge them to re-elect John this November,” said Astorino.

Testa cited the various reasons for his seeking another term as County Legislator for District 1:

“It has been an honor to represent the citizens of the Town of Cortlandt, City of Peekskill and Town of Yorktown for the past 3 years.  Taking a bipartisan approach and working with County Executive Astorino we have been able to bring a common sense, fiscally responsible focus to Westchester County government.

County Executive Astorino and I came into office together in 2010 and over the three budgets that have been passed since then we have been able to not only prevent any tax increase but also have reduced the county tax rate over that time. We have also reduced the size of county government by 15%.  This was accomplished without reducing essential county services, keeping the county social safety net in place, enhancing public safety, keeping cultural programs viable, and adding services for senior citizens, veterans and victims of domestic violence.

The 2013 budget was particularly important because it took a true bipartisan coalition to avoid a proposed tax increase by the democratic majority leadership and a budget out of balance by $25 million. The 0% increase budget that passed by the coalition restored positions for public safety, emergency services and other law enforcement departments, engineering positions the Public Works, funding to ArtsWestchester, Cornell Cooperative, The Office for Women and reduced the parent share for Child Care from 35% to 27%. This was accomplished despite 8 legislators walking out during the vote and turning off the lights, microphones and cameras.

I am especially proud of the new initiative I championed to bring a local presence of the Legal Service of the Hudson Valley to Northern Westchester. LSHV will have dedicated representatives to help provide free legal services to the seniors, Veterans and victims of Domestic Violence to the residents of Cortlandt, Peekskill and Yorktown. Until now, Northern Westchester residents were forced to travel to White Plans or Yonkers for assistance.

I have dedicated myself to fighting for the municipalities I represent and have been able to bring funding for major infrastructure improvements to County owned property such as Blue Mountain Reservation and Sportsman’s Center, George’s Island Park, Main Street rehabilitation and resurfacing, rehabilitation of Rt. 202/South Division St., and the upgrades to the County Wastewater Treatment Plant in Peekskill. I also secured funding for various senior citizen facilities and programs in Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown.

As a member of the Environment and Energy Committee I helped establish policies to create alternative energy initiatives for county owned facilities and enhanced recycling capabilities and incentives for energy saving businesses and homeowners.

I am proud of my opposition to the MTA Mobility Tax that threatened to cripple Westchester’s economy. I secured unanimous support of my colleagues to have Westchester join in the lawsuit brought by Nassau County to challenge this egregious tax that resulted in the tax being ruled unconstitutional.

My colleagues also unanimously joined me in taking a stand for a cause that I am tirelessly devoted to, our veterans. As a result Westchester County for the first time took a formal stand, via resolution, against the Enhanced Use Lease that was proposed to turn most of the acreage of the VA Facility in Montrose to luxury condominiums. Recently, this proposed lease was deemed no longer in effect, providing a victory for the area veterans and officials who together have joined forces to preserve the Montrose VA facility. Despite this significant victory, the fight is not over to continue to push for the restoration and increase in services for our country’s veterans.

Despite all the accomplishments and success I have enjoyed so far as County Legislator, there is still much to be done to reduce spending and implement taxpayer friendly policies to county government. I look forward to another term working with my like-minded colleagues on the board and the County Executive to further reduce unnecessary spending while maintaining essential services for the citizens of Westchester County.

For more photos of the event go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jgtesta22/sets/72157633213109151/

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s