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Mayor Foster Asks Legislator Testa to Fight for Hudson River HealthCare

A letter from Mayor Mary Foster to County Legislator District 1 John Testa asking him to fight County Executive's proposed cuts to Hudson River Health Care.

Dear Legislator Testa,

The City of Peekskill Common Council and I urge you to fight the cuts proposed by the County Executive, Rob Astorino, to Hudson River Health Care and the other health clinics in our communities.  I realize that you understand the importance of the health clinic system as an affordable choice for quality health care. Peekskill’s health care clinic provides necessary services including vaccinations to children, prenatal care to mothers, health screenings to reduce the likelihood of costly chronic illnesses, and health screenings for our teens. Health clinics are an important element to the quality of life in Westchester County. They are also a cost-effective alternative to having increasing numbers of uninsured seeking emergency care and treatment at the areas hospitals.

We would also urge you to restore the funding cuts to the Westchester County Arts program. Arts Westchester is a modest investment in the quality of life and unique offerings in Westchester County that enable cities and towns to recruit new corporations and jobs. It is part of what makes Westchester County a community and not just an amalgamation of municipalities. This past month Deputy Mayor Bennett participated in reviewing grant applications to Arts Westchester from 43 different arts related nonprofits. Although the Arts Westchester funding that is available to these organizations is limited, this funding provides critical financial support and has a significant impact in the local arts communities.

We look forward to your support on these important budget issues.

Sincerely,

Mary F. Foster,

Mayor

John Q. Public December 02, 2011 at 12:31 AM
Liz -- you got yourself another news story here. It's very significant that Foster does not say how much money she wants the County to pay. Hudson River Health Care is one of the most inefficiently run non-profits in the State. While they claim to help underprivileged people, the Administrators of HRHC get 1 of every 4 dollars. Read their 990 and audited financials at the link below. In these hard times of shared sacrifice, a concept foreign to Foster, administrative fat should be cut first. Why does an organization with a budget half the size of the Peekskill School District, less than the City's General Fund, Water Fund, Sewer Fund, etc, pay the CEO over $500,000/year in total compensation? $6 million in salaries go to administrators -- and that's before rich benefits and fringe benefits which aren't broken out. Foster came out of the closet her as a bad auditor, or one who cozies up to the client and looks the other way. She has always been comfortable with waste in the organizations she's been part of. Others have been saying this for ages. This is proof positive. She's endorsing administrative waste at the HRHC because they are political friends. http://bartlett.oag.state.ny.us/Char_Forms/show_details.jsp?id=%7B56A62B59-A56D-4B1B-8436-7334A90B11FD%7D
Floyd Kitty December 02, 2011 at 01:00 AM
After their budget cut, they should move the entire operation out of the downtown. We need retail not a bunch of out of work folks hanging around on Main Street. This is just another visual indication of the culture of poverty Downtown Peekskill shows to the world. Move to Washington St.
Patty Villanova December 03, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Bravo to the commentators above! You have really laid it all out for the rest of the sleeping taxpayers. Just how much money are we paying already through our Federal taxes,not only for the Health Center, but also for Jeannette Phillips' Preservation Company which is Peekskill's version of ACORN? Maybe Foster can explain why it's not a violation of the City's Ethics Code for Phillips to be the head of an organization that receives City grant money while she is also the permanent chairman of the BID? Why do all these people get a pass?
John Q. Public December 09, 2011 at 06:28 PM
It's official. The County Democrats reinstated funding for Hudson River Health Care, and essentially say, Screw the poor, let's keep the administrators rich! It's unconscionable that 25 cents of every dollar goes to administrators. Democrats usually paint health insurers as heartless greedy b@st@rds, and they take less than 5 cents of every dollar. But when a Peekskill Democrat takes 5 times that at the expense of the poor, they call it good public policy. The world of Peekskill Dems is sick. http://www.thedailypeekskill.com/news/17-billion-westchester-budget-restores-187-jobs
Patty Villanova December 10, 2011 at 02:41 AM
In my opinion, it seems that Jeannette Phillips, Mary Foster and the entire HRHC/ Dem cabal all have a vested interest in keeping Peekskill the poverty capital of Northern Westchester. The last thing they want is for private businesses to succeed, despite all the money they spend on the BID, make believe economic development, etc. etc. Just follow the money. Every year the Fed throws untold millions into state and city agencies that are supposed to serve the poor and disadvantaged and every year millions somehow end up in the pockets of the administrators and politicians. What a disgrace.

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