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?
“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.
All funds have received preliminary approvals;
All projects have received preliminary approval;
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