By Barrett Seaman—
The inaugural ceremony for George Latimer and his deputy, Ken Jenkins, as Westchester County’s chief executives was virtual and thus, understandably remote. But the County Executive did not let the opportunity pass to tout his first term achievements and to make a political statement that went well beyond the borders of the county.
In a drum roll leading up to the swearing-in ceremony, a parade of state-wide Democrats—Chuck Schumer, Jamaal Bowman, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Letitia James (and a message from Governor Kathy Hochul), Latimer was lauded for his practical contributions to Westchester and the state.
In his acceptance address, deprived of a live audience, Latimer spoke not only of his practical achievements in his first four years but also of his ambitions for the next four years and a pledge to fight ideological extremism.
Responding to the inevitable charges that the county’s two-year term limit renders him a “lame duck,” Latimer conceded that “I may limp in the days to come,” but went on to say, “I intend to quack quite loudly and boldly on the issues that phase us.”
“That quacking,” he said, “will have force and power and will be unencumbered by concerns about the next election.”
Declaring that he was always prepared to work across party lines, Latimer warned that “when we face opposition that is not based on principle but rather simply to gain political power, we will call it out for what it is and we will push back with purpose and vigor…This administration will fight to protect democracy, the rule of law and the right of will of the majority of the people to be followed and not be subverted by any angry minority.”
In saying that, the County Executive made it clear that he intends to quack in ways intended to be heard well beyond the borders of Westchester County.