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League of Women Voters Warns Of Risks In Proposed Westchester Budget

The League of Women Voters questions the proposed county budget.
The League of Women Voters questions the proposed county budget. Photo Credit: File

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- In a statement about the Westchester County budget proposed for 2014 by County Executive Rob Astorino, the League of Women Voters of Westchester  warned that the budget numbers are based on assumptions that endanger the county’s AAA credit rating and would jeopardize some county services.

The League pointed out that Moody’s, one of the three credit rating agencies, already has downgraded that credit rating to AA-1, based in part on the county’s borrowing to pay for operating costs such as pensions.

“We cautioned against this practice in our comments on the 2013 budget,” Sharon Lindsay, League president said in a release, “and yet the County continues to rely on a funding device that could snowball into the future. It is unsustainable.”

Moody’s cited the county’s limited liability and increasingly depleted reserve fund, concerns shared by the league.

The statement also noted that there is no increase in department personnel and some deletions in key departments, including environmental areas.

The League repeated its plea for an earlier release of the budget to give the Board of Legislators and the public more time to review it, and for the board to make and publicize its additions and deletions.

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