NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Just one day into Westchester’s 2011 budget and the memory of the wrangling, accusations and the harsh words that flew about who knew what was best for the county is still there.

With a $160 million deficit, officials faced tough choices about what was right for the county, including a 1 percent decrease to the tax levy and job cuts.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi reports

County executive Rob Astorino admits that it has been a long budget season, but in the end he thinks the tax levy decrease and county job cuts are the best thing for Westchester.

“What’s very apparent is people throughout Westchester County cannot absorb these high taxes anymore,” Astorino said. “There’s a mass exodus in this county and in this state and we’ve got to turn things around.”

Astorino said they’ll manage the 2011 budget, watch every dollar and make adjustments as they go.

“In order to balance the budget and wipe out a $160 million deficit, you have to make some difficult choices, you have to define what it is that we really should be doing and strip out that that we’re not supposed to be doing or can’t afford anymore and reduce spending,” Astorino said.

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