Oh Say Can You Hear?
Now here’s a nice simple subject…
Newly minted Westchester Count Executive, Rob Astorino, inherited an ongoing Federal lawsuit which was hauling the county over the coals for taking tens of millions in federal money to be used to build fair (integrated) housing when it instead built only affordable housing in poorer districts, which according to the suit served to perpetuate the county’s pronounced racial/economic segregation. Taking Federal money and using it differently than the law intended is a violation of The False Claims Act. A lot of the wealthier towns just said “no thanks” to the strings-attached money, and cited zoning regs as a cover for not wanting to allow integrated housing. Citing a “lack of authority” the Astorino administration is very reluctant to go back and tell the towns what they have to do to settle the federal suit. His action proposal was rejected as being non-specific and detail-less. Philosophically opposed to the federal order, a conciliatory Astorino has said he would prefer to use the “carrot approach” to enforce compliance. Meanwhile the Feds are standing over him with a stick.