Pete Harckham

Progressive Legislative Record of Accomplishment

Westchester County Board of Legislators 2008 – 2015

Democratic Majority Leader 2010 – 2013

Prior Endorsements: Democrat, Working Families,
AFL – CIO Central Labor Body Westchester Putnam,
Sierra Club, NYSLCV, WCLA

Environment

  • Successfully co sponsored legislation that will ban the waste from hydrofracking   from being treated in any wastewater treatment facility in Westchester, and to prevent fracking brine from being used for dust control or deicing on any road in Westchester
  • Successfully negotiated with NYC DEP for a pilot of enhanced treatment units (ETU’s) in a centralized way as a cost effective way for municipalities to treat wastewater
  • Successfully secured more than $30 million in grants for water quality protection efforts in Northern Westchester
  • Successfully negotiated groundbreaking multi party (DEC, DEP, Westchester County Department of Health, watershed municipalities) local law to comply with enhanced MS4 septic inspection regulations while saving municipalities hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Successfully negotiated implementation of food waste digester pilot program with the Department of Environmental Facilities
  • Sponsored Legislation to ban BPA in children’s toys & cups
  • Sponsored Legislation to ban plastic bags
  • Successfully sponsored solar inventory law, that, for the first time required the Department of Public works to conduct a survey of all county buildings for the suitability of solar systems.
  • Successfully passed a law exempting solar components from County sales tax, as well as streamlined licensing for qualified professionals
  • Successfully sponsored legislation requiring expanded plastics recycling in Westchester to include plastics 3 – 7
  • (Prior to State ban) Successfully negotiated passage of a resolution opposing hydrofracking in the New York City watershed and called for a moratorium on hydrofracking in New York until the EPA and DEC conducted further study
  • Successfully cosponsored recertification of the Westchester County Agricultural District to preserve open space, as well as passed bonding to pay for the completion of more sections of Riverwalk and the North County Trailway
  • Successfully passed legislation to require Westchester County to purchase only hybrid or high mileage vehicles
  • Successfully led the fight to restore important environmental programs back into the 2011 – 2013 County budgets including Cornell Cooperative Extension, Hilltop Hanover Farm, all of the County nature centers and preventing the elimination of several key environmental positions
  • Successfully passed groundbreaking legislation restricting the sale of phosphorous in lawn fertilizer (one year before NY State passed its bill)
  • Successfully passed $235 Million in bonds to retrofit County sewage treatment plants to remove nitrogen from the Long Island Sound.
  • Steered millions of dollars in ARA and Energy Department grants to climate change protection projects such as implementing the County’s green house gas inventory, home energy audits, and multiple energy efficiency projects for county buildings including solar panels and centralized energy and climate controls
  • Successfully passed the County’s anti-idling law
  • Steered federal money to purchase electric vehicles for Westchester County airport, as well as hybrid busses and particulate filters for older busses for the Bee Line bus system

 

Taxes, Spending, Government Reform

  • Cut taxes by 2.2%, reduced county spending by $100 million and downsized the size of the county workforce by 15%.
  • Fought to maintain investments that help to keep our families working and in their homes, and off of costly mandated social services.
  • Maintained the county’s AAA rating with all three credit rating agencies.
  • Successfully passed two voluntary separation plans for County employees that reduced the size of the county workforce by 10%, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually going forward.
  • Successfully passed groundbreaking county employee benefits reform package that will save taxpayers millions of dollars.
  • Opposed county executive’s budget containing more than $5 million in patronage jobs.
  • Successfully reduced Board of Legislators budget by 11%.
  • Successfully passed term limits legislation limiting the number of terms for legislators and the county executive.
  • Successfully cosponsored legislation granting property tax breaks to volunteer emergency first-responders and veterans.
  • Successfully opposed stipend increases for legislative leadership.
  • Successfully opposed pay increases for top county management.
  • Coauthored report tightening BOL spending, procurement and personnel policies.
  • Voted against increases in filing fees for the county clerk’s office.
  • Served on BOL Stimulus Task Force, securing over $50 million in funds for Westchester County.
  • Passed LDC legislation enabling nonprofits to obtain low-interest financing to expand facilities and to create jobs.

 

Public Safety

  • Successfully cosponsored legislation facilitating two municipal police mergers to save taxpayers money and to enhance public safety.
  • Held NYSEG & Con Ed accountable for poor storm recovery efforts and forced important reforms in their emergency planning.
  • Successfully sponsored an emergency generator inventory law to enhance readiness of critical public infrastructure during natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy.
  • Passed legislation enabling school districts to contract with county police for school safety officers.
  • Successfully sponsored legislation to toughen DWI penalties in Westchester;
  • Successfully protected the Departments of Emergency Services, Probation and Public Safety from reckless budget cuts.
  • Successfully passed Social Host legislation to protect underage teens from parties where alcohol is served.
  • Successfully passed restrictions on the sale of cough medicine containing DXM to minors.
  • Successfully sponsored emergency appropriation for mortgage foreclosure prevention saving hundreds of Westchester families from foreclosure.
  • Successfully appropriated $150,000 in Invest in Kids funding for Boys & Girls Club of northern Westchester for at-risk youth.
  • Successfully cosponsored legislation granting property tax breaks to volunteer emergency first-responders and veterans.
  • Changed county policy at police firing range to foster shared services and save local municipalities money.

Housing, Labor & Human Rights

  • Former housing advocate prior to BOL
  • Voted for Federal Housing Settlement
  • Funded over 800 units of affordable housing
  • Created eviction & foreclosure prevention programs
  • Created a revolving loan fund to renovate abandoned properties
  • Successfully expanded charge of Human Rights Commission to enforce Fair Housing Law
  • Successfully sponsored “Source of Income” legislation
  • Sponsored Co op/Condo disclosure legislation
  • Led the fight for Childcare cuts restorations
  • Fought for restoration of cuts to neighborhood health centers
  • Passed Displaced Workers legislation
  • Fought to save CSEA jobs, reduce through incentives not layoffs
  • Supported Marriage Equality

 

Cuomo Administration, 2015 – 2018

  • While overseeing $4.3M in CDBG funding for Westchester County, awarded funding for affordable housing, energy efficiency and municipal complete streets for safer mobility for the disabled
  • While serving as the Director of Intergovernmental affairs, awarded grants to municipalities and non profits for Riverwalk, Old Croton Aqueduct, and pedestrian and cyclist safety & mobility on Route 9 (five town corridor) and Route 9 (Tarrytown to White Plains)
  • Served on Project team with Department of Transportation to develop new bus rapid transit system, Lower Hudson Transit Link (LHTL), connecting Rockland and Westchester counties