Westchester County, with its dynamic economy, burgeoning urban centers, open space, schools and diversity, is a microcosm of New York State and a harbinger of its direction, one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s top aides told members of the business community on Friday, May 8.
Speaking exclusively to members of The Business Council of Westchester, William J. Mulrow, secretary to the governor, candidly covered a variety of topics including regional economies throughout New York, education, casino gambling, state regulations and ethics, among other topics. But it was his characterization of Westchester as a gateway to the state and epi-center of political power and strength that resonated with many people in attendance.
“In many ways, Westchester is a microcosm of New York,” said Mulrow. “Where Westchester goes, so does the state.”
In addition to citing many examples of Westchester’s position as a vital regional economy, Mulrow outlined major economic efforts undertaken by Gov. Cuomo that would affect the region, including:
• Allocating $1.28 billion in the current budget for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge
• $1 billion in capital investments in transportation, including $250 million for the creation of four new stations throughout the Bronx
• $500 million investment in broadband in areas that do not have it
• Major plans to modernize and revitalize LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International, Republic and Stewart International airports
• Cutting corporate and manufacturing taxes and limiting the growth in property taxes.
As a result, a state deficit has been turned into a surplus; New York has created 640,000 jobs since 2011; and unemployment is down, Mulrow said.
In speaking of Westchester’s prominence, Mulrow, of Bronxville, noted that the governor was a Westchester resident, as are former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. He also said that five of the last 10 secretaries to the governor – a position charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of state government – were Westchester residents.
“To me, it’s the greatest place to be,” he said of the county.
Mulrow also credited The Business Council as being the premier voice for businesses in Westchester County.
Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council and a member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, said Mulrow was “a man who gets things done.”
“The Business Council of Westchester has been with Gov. Cuomo since the very beginning,” she said. “We’re so proud to be a leader in economic development.”
After his remarks, The Business Council presented Mulrow with its 2015 Legislative Agenda, which is a list of its priority reforms that will help businesses grow and thrive in New York State.