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Airport, Affordable Housing and Post-Pandemic Economy Topics of Legislators Reception

From left, Legislator Ben Boykin; Legislator Verdat Gashi, Legislator Terry Clements, Legislator Christopher Johnson, Board of Legislators Chair Catherine Borgia, BCW President & CEO Marsha Gordon, , Board of Legislators Vice Chair Nancy Barr, Legislator Catherine Parker, Legislator Margaret Cunizo, Legislator Jose Alvarado, Legislator Jewel Williams Johnson and Legislator David Tubiolo

The future of Westchester County Airport, the unmet demand for affordable housing, and continued focus on the post-Pandemic economy were leading topics of discussion during the BCW’s 7th Annual Westchester County Board of Legislators Reception held Wednesday evening at the Cambria Suites Hotel in downtown White Plains.

More than 150 BCW members took the opportunity to meet with members of the 17-member board in a relaxed two-hour-plus gathering. The relaxed setting provided time for both personal conversation with the board leadership and members, as well as to hear formal remarks.

BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon noted that due to Covid restrictions last year’s reception was held virtually, and how the chance to meet in person was a welcome change. She said the working relationship between the board and the BCW was not only welcome, but an important opportunity to engage with the business community on key legislative issues.

The selection of Catherine Borgia as Board Chair, and Nancy Barr as Vice Chair at the beginning of the year marks the first time both positions have been filled by women.  Borgia succeeded Benjamin Boykin, who remains a board member.

Both Borgia and Barr addressed the gathering, and both commented on the resumption of the development of a new Master Plan for the airport by County Executive George Latimer. Each noted that there are different constituencies with strong interests in the future of airport, including a wide range of businesses using private aircraft, commercial airlines, private plane owners, and those living in areas surrounding the facility. They acknowledged the BCW’s Coalition for Westchester County Airport’s role in the ongoing discussions, and the position that the airport is a valuable airport that can and should be improved by not expanded.

The need for more affordable housing serving people at various income levels is a major point of focus by the board. Borgia said the board is backing the effort with significant funding and emphasized that for Westchester to continue to attract and retain businesses and maintain a healthy economy, it is imperative to increase the stock of housing that meets the needs of a broad cross-section of the workforce. She pledged continued support for a county-wide effort.

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