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Kaplowitz Announces Westchester Board of Legislators Committee Members

Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, left, recently announced the Board Of Legislators committees for the 2014-15 legislative term.
Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, left, recently announced the Board Of Legislators committees for the 2014-15 legislative term. Photo Credit: File Photo, Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz announced Monday the board's committees for the 2014-15 legislative term.

Kaplowitz (D-Somers) said he worked closely with Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) and Minority Leader John Testa (R-Peekskill) to place legislators in Committees "where their unique skill sets, talents and interests would match the objectives of the committee."

Kaplowitz established a committee structure at the beginning of the term "that ensured every one of the 17 Legislators would serve in a leadership position or as Chair of a committee," according to a release. Chairman Kaplowitz is also asking each committee chair to undertake "a few simple but important initiatives toward the shared goal of productive and efficient work in committees," according to the release.

"The makeup of these committees reflects our commitment to operating in a professional and bipartisan manner. The real process of discovery, debate, compromise and problem-solving happens in the committee meetings and that is why it was critically important, in my view, to have both parties, fairly represented in each committee," Kaplowitz said. "I thank Majority Leader Borgia and Minority Leader Testa for working with me through this selection process. Together we have forged committees that will perform the vital oversight, advisement and legislative responsibilities that we share."

The following is a list of challenges from Kaplowitz to each committee chair:

  • Among the most important of the chairman's charges to the committee chairs is that each chair select from the committee membership, a vice chair from the alternate political party. (i.e., a Republican chair will select a Democrat as vice chair)
  • Each chair will write a "committee blueprint."  The committee blueprint is intended to provide clarity to each committees mission by defining what the committees objectives are for the two year term and what means will be employed to achieve those objectives.
  • Each chair in consultation with committee members will consider establishing citizen/legislator subcommittees to more narrowly focus on particular issues that fall under the purview of the legislative committee. Not every committee will necessarily require a subcommittee, however, where it is appropriate and beneficial subcommittees may be established.
  • In the interest of efficiency and synergy, all chairs will be asked to hold joint meetings with other legislative committees when it is appropriate. Frequently, items of legislation are before two or more committees concurrently. Processing legislation and approvals in multiple committees simultaneously presents a time/cost savings, eliminates redundancies for support staff and respects the time and efforts of County department-heads and commissioners.

The following is a list of the committee chairs and member assignments for 2014-15:

Budget & Appropriations

  • Chair-Sheila Marcotte
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • John Testa, Michael Smith, David Gelfarb, Peter Harckham, Benjamin Boykin, Ken Jenkins, Catherine Parker, Lyndon Williams


  • Chair-Virginia Perez
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • Alfreda Williams, MaryJane Shimsky, Benjamin Boykin, Catherine Borgia, Lyndon Williams, Sheila Marcotte, John Testa, Gordon A. Burrows, James Maisano

Economic Development & Capital Projects

  • Chair-Michael Smith
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • John Testa, Sheila Marcotte, David Gelfarb, Alfreda Williams, Benjamin Boykin, Ken Jenkins, Lyndon Williams


  • Chair-MaryJane Shimsky
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • Alfreda Williams, Peter Harckham, Catherine Borgia, Sheila Marcotte, Michael Smith, Bernice Spreckman


  • Chair-Peter Harckham
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • Ken Jenkins, Catherine Parker, Michael Smith, Bernice Spreckman, Virginia Perez

Community Services

  • Chair-Alfreda Williams
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • MaryJane Shimsky, Ken Jenkins, Catherine Parker, Catherine Borgia, John Testa

Public Safety

  • Chair-David Gelfarb
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • Gordon A. Burrows, Sheila Marcotte, Peter Harckham, Virginia Perez, Benjamin Boykin

Seniors & Constituencies

  • Chair-Bernice Spreckman
  • Vice Chair-TBD
  • Sheila Marcotte, Alfreda Williams, Benjamin Boykin


  • Chair-Benjamin Boykin
  • Vice Chair-David Gelfarb
  • Ken Jenkins

Federal & State Affairs

  • Chair-Ken Jenkins
  • Vice Chair-Gordon A. Burrows


  • Chair-Lyndon Williams
  • Vice Chair
  • Gordon A. Burrows, James Maisano, MaryJane Shimsky

Environment & Energy

  • Chair-Catherine Parker
  • Vice Chair
  • Peter Harckham, Catherine Borgia, John Testa, James Maisano, Sheila Marcotte


  • Co-Chairs-Catherine Borgia, John Testa
  • Mike Kaplowitz, James Maisano

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