Somers' Michael Kaplowitz Named Chair of Westchester Board of Legislators
"I am humbled and honored by the support of my colleagues and I am thrilled to accept the position of Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators," Kaplowitz said.
Kaplowitz, an attorney and investment advisor, has represented his district since 1998. In the county legislature, he has served as Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman, Environment and Energy Committee Chairman, and as Vice-Chairman of the Board.
"Bipartisanship is a word that is spoken often but not put into practice often enough," he said after the vote. "We all have different philosophies and bipartisanship does not mean that we pretend to agree on every issue but we can find a way to work through our disagreements in a positive and constructive way."
Kaplowitz's colleague Jim Maisano (R-New Rochelle), whose district represents New Rochelle, Pelham and Pelham Manor, was elected as vice chairman of the board. Maisano was elected as county legislator in 1997 and has since served on numerous committees and held leadership positions. Maisano held the position of minority leaders for the last four years.
"When Michael Kaplowitz and I began our legislative careers 16 years ago, there was a more professional and collegial atmosphere at the BOL," Maisano said. "I think that kind of working atmosphere allowed us to accomplish more and govern better. We will work hard each day to create a process of consensus building and cooperation between all 17 legislators."
Democratic Legislator Catherine Borgia, who represents Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining and Peekskill, was elected Majority Leader.
"The Democratic caucus looks forward to a productive legislative session as we focus on our shared goals: protecting the health, safety of Westchester residents; providing services to our children, families, veterans and seniors; protecting our wonderful local environment; and working to create new jobs and renewed economic opportunity for Westchester," Borgia said.
The Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators assigns committee positions for Legislators as well as staff. Kaplowitz said that every one of the 17 legislators will be assigned to a committee or a leadership position.
Committee appointments will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 9.