Thursday, April 2, 2009
Westchester Tea Party Rolls On!
Movement Gearing Up For April 25th Rally
Last Thursday morning, Publisher Sam Zherka and more than a dozen advocates for the abolishment of County government, including David
Spano, and Sam Rivers, held a press conference in front of the Westchester County Of-fice Building at 148 Martine Ave., White Plains. That’s the
site where Zherka has been promising thousands of taxpayers, homeowners, and business people will be gathering at noon on Saturday, April 25th, teabags in hand, to register their dissatisfaction with taxation without real representation from a County government grown gluttonous and unresponsive to the plight of hardworking families and small businesses.
People have been coming out to pre-rally gatherings all over Westchester; the latest a few weeks ago at the Royal Regency Hotel in Yonkers,
drawing 350 supporters. People are fed up with living in the highest taxed county in the nation, and are fearful of losing their homes and businesses
under such a financial burden.
Sam Rivers, a Democratic District Leader, and real estate broker from Mount Vernon, revealed the staggering rate of home foreclosures in that city. Sam Zherka, publisher and owner of more than 4,000 residential units, bolstered those concerns explaining, “The value of residential real estate decreases with each increase of property tax.”
Citing the Boston Tea Party of 1773, and referring to politicians as “self-serving morons,” Zherka told the press and media gathered, “After
the April 25th Tea Party, we will put together a list of our demands.” He went on to say, “If, after we present our demands nothing is done to substantially lower taxes, we will go to Albany to register our objections.”
David Spano, the 49-year-old son of County Executive Andy Spano, told reporters, “I’m disenchanted with the job my father is doing, and
so I come out to support the Tea Party movement.” Responding to a reporter who questioned how he could come out against his father’s administration, David Spano said, “I’m surprised that he’s surprised. I’ve been a fighter all my life.”
The movement to abolish, or significantly reduce, County government, and with it County taxes, has been gaining a great deal of traction. It’s fair
to say that most Westchester families are unhappy, not only with having to pay the highest property taxes in the nation, but also with the arrogance and insensitivity of County Executive Andrew Spano, as well as his bought and-paid-for County legislators.
Spano definitely demonstrated his disrespectful attitude with regard to the plight of working class families when he rammed through the purchase, last year, of a worthless, unneeded hulk of a moldy, leaky disaster of a building at 450 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley, that was owned by one of his big political contributors; a purchase that is estimated to ultimately cost taxpayers as much as $20 million.
The Board of Legislators, of course, rubber-stamped their approval over some of the strongest public outcry we have seen in years. Andy and his super-majority said, in no uncertain terms, “We’ve got the power; so taxpayers be damned.”
And that’s not all the People of Westchester are sick and tired of. There was the Gary Kriss affair which Janet DiFiore, newly-minted Democrat,
made light of. Suddenly more than $12,000 in personal acquisitions at County taxpayer expense, by a man whose sole contribution to County
government for a $150,000 salary, was simply being Big Bill Ryan’s advisor, were all but cut by three-quarters and plea-bargained so that Kriss
could retire and collect a very hefty pension forever after.
How many Gary Krisses are there in our bloated, self-rewarding County government? Hardworking, taxpaying Westchester families want to know; have a right to know. Then there was Bill Ryan himself. Taxpayers realize that $89,000 plus for his part-time job didn’t put him in Reggie LaFayette’s league. But Bill so wanted to be in that company with Reggie and all those other $155,000 commissioners, not to mention all the first, second and third deputy commissioners.
Finally, those who are convinced that we must do away with County government altogether, just as Connecticut and Massachusetts have done, have not forgotten the pay raises the Board of Legislators were giving themselves for their part-time jobs that already cost taxpayers $1,000 per
week per each of 17 legislators, plus stipends and other “lulu”.
Strangely, as the sand washes from beneath their feet and public sentiment turns ever more strongly in favor of abolishing the greedy lot of them,
Spano and the best Board of Legislators money can buy go right on wheeling and dealing with our money. As the press conference drew to a close, Zherka and several Tea Party supporters dumped hundreds of teabags on the sidewalk as a prelude to their upcoming April 25th rally; and, then, promptly removed them.