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Ossining's Borgia: Tripodi Vote Not About Parties

OSSINING, N.Y. – Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) said Monday her vote earlier this month against Ossining Republican Peter Tripodi was not motivated by party lines.

Tripodi, an Ossining Town Council member, recently called a Feb. 13 Westchester County Board of Legislators vote “childish.” The board voted by a margin of 9-8 against sending Tripodi, a Republican, to the committee of appointments to continue his role as an at-large member of the Westchester County Housing Opportunity Commission. The board then repeated the same vote for other Republican citizens up for other county commissions and boards without specifying any reasons. Legislator Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers), was the only Democrat to vote with the Republicans on the appointments.

Borgia said she had other reasons to vote against Tripodi.

“I’ve worked with Mr. Tripodi for a number of years and I didn’t think his qualifications merited a seat on the housing committee,” Borgia said. “It was basically on my knowledge of him as a worker and colleague.”

Tripodi, who received affirmative votes to serve on the housing opportunity commission in prior years, said he was shocked to receive an e-mail notifying him of the vote and believes all nine Democrats voted against him “purely based on party.”

“It’s obvious that it was politically driven for them to vote how they voted,” Tripodi said recently. “They all followed an order without reason.”

It’s a sentiment that was shared during the Feb. 13 meeting from Legislator Jim Maisano (R-New Rochelle), who said he was “blown away” by the votes.

“Talk about bad government and talk about lack of new government,” Maisano said during the meeting. “Shame on all of you nine legislators.”

Borgia said allegations from Tripodi and Maisano that the vote was purely party-based were unfounded.

“It didn’t enter into my decision making at all,” Borgia said. “But I wouldn’t be adverse to supporting (Tripodi) on another commission, I just didn’t feel he was right for this board.”

Tripodi said Westchester County attorneys informed him last week that, while the vote doesn’t affect his current standing on the commission, it could in the future.

“It’s still in limbo,” Tripodi said Monday, noting that he had yet to receive reasons he was voted down from anyone on the board of legislators. “I haven't heard a single reason as to why and I don't expect to hear one from anybody anytime soon.”

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