Rob Astorino served as Westchester County Executive from 2010 to 2017, twice elected by 13-point margins. During his eight years in office, Astorino cut property taxes — or held them flat — every year he was in office, helped create over 44,000 new private sector jobs, and the $1.8 billion budget he inherited was the same one he left the county with when he left office. This fiscal responsibility earned Westchester the highest credit rating in the state. While holding the line on spending, Astorino also managed to preserve essential services and make new investments into childcare, county parks, open space preservation, county roads and infrastructure.
On his first day in office, Mr. Astorino inherited the implementation of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop 750 units of affordable housing. Mr. Astorino never shirked from the county’s commitment to build the housing, but successfully pushed back on attempts by HUD to dismantle local zoning and have it directed from Washington. In doing so, he preserved the integrity of home rule, while meeting the full terms of the agreement. For nearly eight years, Astorino stood up for local communities against the federal government’s overreach – despite threats of being held in contempt – and in the end, Astorino and local home rule won.
To bring in new revenues, Astorino sought to maximize public-private partnerships. In the case of Playland Amusement Park, there was an infusion of outside capital and management expertise.
At Westchester County Airport, an innovative long-term lease was developed in which the proceeds could be used for the dual purposes of improving passenger facilities and paying for traditional county services like police, parks and roads.
The North 60 development is a cutting-edge bio and life science village that will create thousands of high-skilled jobs and revenue. Important capital projects included connecting the North and South County Trailways, building the Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park and completing major renovations at the County Center and bringing the Westchester Knicks to the arena. In his final year in office, the Journal News called Astorino, “The rare politician who keeps his promises.”
Born in Mount Vernon, Astorino was first elected to public office at age 21, serving as a member of the Mount Pleasant Board of Education and 12 years as a councilman in the Town of Mount Pleasant, including six years as deputy supervisor. In 2003, he was elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators.
Before taking office as County Executive on Jan. 1, 2010, Astorino had a long career in the TV and radio industry. He was the station manager and program director of The Catholic Channel on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and hosted a weekly radio show from St. Patrick’s Cathedral with the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York. In 2001, he helped launch ESPN Radio in New York and became the station’s senior producer, as well as executive producer of “The Michael Kay Show.”
He has also held a wide range of volunteer and civic positions such as the Mount Pleasant Rotary, the Hudson Valley Greenway, two terms as vice chairman of the Westchester County Board of Ethics, honorary chair for various non-profit, religious, and charitable organizations, and as a CYO basketball coach for his son and daughter’s teams.
Astorino earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Fordham University, where he also minored in Spanish and Political Science. In 2001, he studied in Barcelona, Spain, and received a Spanish Immersion Diploma from the Enforex School of International Studies.
Astorino is a lifelong resident of Westchester. He and his wife, Sheila, live in Hawthorne and are the parents of three children:
Sean, 17; Kiley, 15; and Ashlin, 11.