To the Editor:
When the Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously approved a ten-year lease agreement for the operation of a children’s museum in a historic building on County property at Playland, I fully expected County Executive Astorino to sign the legislation since it is aimed at enhancing a major regional attraction and creating new jobs while adding year-round revenues to the County’s coffers.
Needless to say, I was shocked and disappointed by the County Executive’s veto, as probably many other Westchester residents were, especially after the lease legislation received unanimous, bi-partisan approval.
I sponsored the lease bill in the Board of Legislator’s Budget & Appropriations Committee because the Westchester Children’s Museum stands as a superb example of the visionary public-private partnerships needed to help shrink government spending. To date, the Children’s Museum has raised over $8 million for the project, with more to come as soon as a lease is in place.
Having the museum open even during the months when the amusement park at Playland is closed will bring visitors to the park year round. In fact, it is estimated that the Westchester Children’s Museum at Playland will have 198,000 visitors (along with 50,000 cars) over the course of each year.
County Executive Astorino should know his veto sends a bad message to others who may want to partner and invest in Westchester County. Frankly, I’m not sure at this point who or what he’s waiting for.
Westchester County Legislator
7th District (Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, part of New Rochelle and part of Harrison)