WEST HARRISON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Westchester’s George Latimer on Wednesday approved a law to make sure residents never see a county executive’s name or face on county buildings or properties.
“All these facilities are owned by, in this particular case, the people of Westchester County,” Latimer said. “They’re not owned by the politician of the moment.”
For years, county executives put their names on county properties during their term. When Latimer took office, he signed an executive order on day one doing away with the practice which bans elected officials from putting their names and likeness on informational signs.
Latimer signed a bill passed by the county legislature into law at a Wednesday news conference.
“We want to try to project that we are stewards of the public,” he told the media. “We are not the rulers of the public.”
The county executive says the legislation covers signs on more than 50 properties, mainly parks and pools. Permanent building names and plaques aren’t included.
Westchester isn’t alone. On Long Island, new Nassau County Executive Laura Curran did the same thing. Former executive Ed Mangano had his name on some 700 signs.
Though it’s not law in Nassau County, Curran removed Mangano’s name and didn’t add her own. She called it inappropriate self-promotion and a waste of taxpayer dollars, claiming eliminating the name would save $80,000 on new signage.
Latimer says he didn’t know how much it cost to change all the signs every time a new county executive took office, but he says the new law does equal some savings for taxpayers.
As for the county’s website and letterhead, they’ll still include the county executive’s name.