Latimer Releases Data on Member Items, Capital Projects

Also Sends Media HIs Annual Ethics Submission

by Judy Silberstein

(November 2, 2006) Assemblyman George Latimer, whose district includes Larchmont and Mamaroneck, is up for re-election on Tuesday, November 7. Though no one is running against him, he has still been working to educate his constituents on what he’s been doing during his first two years in office. Last week, he released information to all the local media giving a full listing of the “member item” grants he has distributed (totaling $106,000 over two years), funded capital projects he has proposed and his annual ethics form submission.

What was his purpose?

Latimer“We’re at a point where there is so much doubt about public officials,” he told the Gazette. Citizens are inundated with news of politicians’ misdeeds. He cited politicians appearing to allocate funds to phony organizations and pocketing the dollars themselves. Or others granting huge sums right before election time. He said he wants people to be able to see where his “member item” funds are going. “I am comfortable being public.”

The list of member items (see list below) reflect requests made by the organizations in the 91st Assembly district for local services such as fire protection, senior services, veterans groups or sports and cultural programs.

“Every dime went to an established organization known among the communities of the Sound Shore," he stressed. His total of $106,000 ($53,000 per year) reflects the low amount assigned to a freshman assemblyman; senior members receive much more.

In addition to member items, “We get to advocate for up to six capital projects per term,” he explained. He’s identified four and is in dialogue with the communities he represents about the others. (See: capital projects list below.)

The four major capital projects, each allocated $50K, include a pedestrian bridge alongside U.S. 1 over the Mamaroneck River in the Village of Mamaroneck; repair of a commuter tunnel under the Larchmont Metro-North station; completed jogging/bicycle paths at Crawford Park in Rye Brook; and the Wellness Center at the College of New Rochelle. Two of the projects, the tunnel and the bridge, may also be eligible for larger grants, which he is also pursuing.

He said, “It’s hard to predict when we’ll hear about these.” The legislature authorizes, but the executive branch administers the grants. He’s been given the “green light” on the listed projects, but the next phase is up to the executive branch.

He also released hard copies of his annual state ethics submission, which provides details about the general amounts of money received by the assemblyman and his family. Most of the income reported comes from employment salaries. "People need to be reassured, in this climate of  Jack Abramoff and other lobbyists, that elected officials are ready to reveal their financial specifics and can prove they have no conflicts of interest," he said.


CAPITAL PROJECTS (2006)

                  All funds have received preliminary approvals;
no funds are yet released.  

Village of Mamaroneck: Pedestrian Bridge over U.S. 1               
$50,000
Village of Larchmont: Metro-North Station Tunnel Repair           
$50,000
Town of Rye: Crawford Park Bike paths                                     
$50,000
College of New Rochelle, Wellness Center                                  
$50,000

MEMBER ITEM ALLOCATIONS (Combined 2005 and 2006)

All projects have received preliminary approval;
not all paperwork is completed, nor are all funds allocated:

Boys and Girls Clubs of New Rochelle 
$8,500
Port Chester Schools/Blind Brook Schools/Village Governments: Reverse 911 
$7,000
Village of Mamaroneck Fire Department 
$5,000
Rye Merchants Association/Rye Youth Council   
$5,000
Keeps, Inc. Early Childhood Center, Mamaroneck  
$5,000
Westchester Chamber Orchestra - New Rochelle    
$5,000
The Guidance Center - New Rochelle/Mamaroneck  
$5,000
Port Chester/Rye Town Council of Community Services  
$4,000
Blind Brook High School (Rye Brook)    
$4,000
New Rochelle Little League    
$4,000
Don Bosco Programs, Port Chester     
   
$4,000
Larchmont Public Library  
$3,000
Town of Mamaroneck - Monroe Day Camp 
 
$3,000
Cancer Support Team (Sound Shore)  
$3,000
Port Chester Columbus Day Parade Committee  
$3,000
Rye Arts Center 
$3,000
Human Development Services of Westchester (Port Chester/Mamaroneck)      
$3,000
  St. Francis AME Zion Church, Port Chester    
$3,000
Flint Park Conservancy, Larchmont  
$3,000
Washingtonville Housing Alliance, Mamaroneck    
$3,000
City of New Rochelle, St. Gabriel's Laborers Site  
$3,000
New Rochelle Opera 
 
$2,500
Port Chester American Legion Post 93  
$2,000
Larchmont/Mamaroneck Summit - Community Directory        
  
$2,000
Stephenson Park Master Plan, New Rochelle    
$2,000
Rye Senior Citizens       
$2,000
New Rochelle/Hugh A. Doyle Senior Citizens 
$2,000
Rye Brook Senior Citizens / Recreation Department   
$2,000

The documents were released to all Sound Shore electronic and print publications; Campaign filings are online through the State Board of Elections website at http://www.elections.state.ny.us