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Whitman: And for more, we welcome back to the program Westchester County Executive Democrat George Latimer and the County Director of Operations John McDonald. Welcome back to Newsbreakers.

 

Whitman: So I want to go through the allegations and some of the questions about safety at Playland in detail in just a few minutes, especially with this being the opening weekend for the park, but I do have a couple of wide-angle questions about this that I want to start with. Mr. County Executive, you've rejected the claims that Playland isn't safe and the county has pushed back on Standard for having made those claims, why is Standard doing this? Why do you think, what's their endgame here, are they trying to depress turnout at the park and make it less economically viable so you have to turn back to them?

 

Latimer: It's hard to guess what the other person’s [motivation] in a chess match is…

 

Whitman: But you must have considered this?

 

Latimer: The bottom line is this, the health and the long-term welfare of the park should be of interest to both parties. There is nothing that I want to do prior to turning it over to Standard, where that to be the case, to hurt the park and its viability. And were the contract to go through, if it were to go through, we would still have a capital obligation that was significant in the park. So, why would we want to damage something that we would still have as a responsibility? And the same would be true for Standard, because we have at least initially offered them a continuing role and a consultant going forward, so you know I can't read the motives. All I can say is this, when claims are untrue and they're repeated unnecessarily you begin to question motive, now it's not a question of accuracy, it is absolutely provable that their claims are inaccurate, false, the question is why would you advance a narrative based on reports that were done over a year ago,  which you know there were responses done to those reports that give an update as to where we stand today.

Whitman: Well let me ask you to answer your own question what do you think their motivation is?

 

Latimer: Well, it causes me to wonder whether the stated goal of saving Playland operating the park profitably is really their ultimate goal. We know that Playland is an extremely valuable piece of land. It sits with a tremendous infrastructure, direct access from 95, beautiful harbor scene out to the water. And you know when you look at, any time you look at a group of investors you wonder what is their motivation of the investment? Is the investment to enhance the use of the park today or do they have an alternate potential use? And if that's the case then the most important game isn't whether or not you run the park effectively, it's making sure you don't lose the control with the contract over the park. That concerns me. I don't have proof of motivation one way or the other, but like you I question why you would try to devalue an asset that you intend to manage successfully, you could create a brand problem that would then dog you for the use of your management.

 

Whitman: They have also offered to add more money to their end of the obligation in all this, and yes the contract sort of details that they would get their money back before they shared any of their profits with the County, but given that, are you are you thinking that they are trying to find an alternate revenue stream through Playland?

 

Latimer: Well what I see is this, first of all, the original contract as was originally adopted in 2015 and then amended in 2016 had Standard putting money directly into the park, not into travel costs and not into food and beverage or hiring law firms of things, but directly into park management and their breach of the contract. We believe this is because they haven’t allocated money along those lines. Now they went through a period of time where they had deadlines by which they had to put in some of that money and those deadlines got delayed and delayed, mutually agreed by the County Executive of the day, not approved through the Board of Legislators and then finally two weeks before we took office as a new executive team, they flipped the roles so that Standard would not have to put the money in until the County put in a significant portion of money. All through this time, up to this very day, Standard has not put a dime in yet. So if I saw that you had made a commitment of three million dollars and you'd put a million and a half into park improvement, I physically saw the improvement, your promise of adding another twenty million has some resonance with me. But the promise of an additional twenty million still isn't backed up by any tangible accomplishment of the original commitment, so I question whether that is part of what the gamesmanship is that we're going through right now.

 

Whitman: We'll revisit some of these big-picture questions in just little bit, but I want to get to some of the specific allegations and questions about safety, and Joan I'll start with you. Are the rides at Playland safe?

 

McDonald: The rides are absolutely safe and the process that the County and Playland goes through every year is within the State. The New York State Department of Labor is the entity that comes in and inspects the rides every year, and it's not the rides in total, it's each individual ride is inspected.

 

Whitman: How often are they inspected?

 

McDonald: They're inspected at least once a year at the beginning of the year, and then before we open them, they have to be given a certificate. Any items that they have identified as needed to be fixed, we have to fix them before we will certify the ride. And then, on top of that each day before the ride opens, before the park opens, we have a checklist that's been signed off by the Department of Labor that our ride operators go through. They make sure that the checklist is followed. The dragon coaster is walked every single day. Each ride has its own set because there are different operating standards.

 

Whitman: And we have certificates from the State Labor Department of each of the County own rides.

 

McDonald: Absolutely and we have them for opening day tomorrow for every single ride.

 

Whitman: But as we saw through Jonathan Gordon's piece for the walkthrough that you did Thursday at Playland, even the eye test watching on TV, you know you can see that there's some aging material at the parks and creaky looking stuff, warped wood maybe, some looser looking bolts, it makes Standard’s claims somewhat plausible.

 

McDonald: I'm going to disagree with you on when you say warped wood and a little bit of loose bolts. That is absolutely not the case. They go through and they make sure you know, specifically to the dragon coaster, which is the bolts and the wood. They go through, they make sure the wood is as it's supposed to be. The dragon coaster was built in 1928-29 when the park opened. It is nationally landmarked as a standalone ride, but safety is of utmost importance, so every day we go through. We have an inventory of bolts, if a bolt is loose, it is replaced immediately before the ride opens

 

Whitman: Standard..

 

Latimer: One other point too, I think people will confuse cosmetics with structural and technics and that's the point of the whole pushback that we've given on this. We do have a park that has been open for a long long time, and unless you were going to completely reconstruct historic rides, completely take them down, and completely restore them or reconstruct them so they look brand-new, and you take it out of service for a couple of years, you're going to have a ride that looks weathered. You're right by the sea, you're right by the sea air and salt and what have you, but the cosmetics are one thing, but the structural integrity is something different. I think it's cynical to point to cosmetics and try to make people think that it's structural, that belies the motive of the criticism.

 

Whitman: I have some coaster enthusiasts in my family they pointed out that, like the cyclone in Coney Island, a certain rickety sense of the coaster is kind of important to the ambiance of a wooden coaster. But I want to get directly into something that Standard wrote in one of their letters. They said that safety poses an urgent risk to physical safety and they said, in current condition, they would not open certain rides and amenities if Standard was the operator of the park this year. Did standard ever transmit that or share that concern with the County earlier in the calendar? Do we know what they were referring to, or was this just a claim that you got a week and a half before the park opened?

 

McDonald: They did not transmit it earlier. What you're referring to there, it wasn't even directly transmitted to the County Administration.

 

Whitman: They never shared that with you?

 

McDonald: It was transmitted directly to the Board of Legislators and directly to the press. It was never sent directly to our Parks Commissioner or to myself as the Director of Operations.

 

Whitman: No warning about this before the contract was [terminated]?

 

McDonald: Absolutely not.

 

Latimer: Yeah, I think what you have to see this as, in many ways, when I've sat on this couch with you in the past during political campaigns, you have charge and counter-charge in a political campaign and oftentimes the truth isn't what's important. The important thing is that you lay a negative out there so that your opponent is put in a defensive mode. Standard has failed to perform under the contract that they signed in 2016 and, because of their failure, we have now terminated that contract. Now they're looking for ways to try to justify it and I think they, you know, you pull out a report well over a year ago with that pointed out, some problems that were corrected, you don't say that they were corrected, you don't show the reports that they were corrected. When we open it up to your reporters and others to come in and look at the site, their response comment is ‘Well there was no independent inspection.’ We point to the fact that the independent inspections are done by New York State Department of Labor, they come up with a clean bill of health, and then you move the goalposts because what you're trying to do is make a political point, not a structural integrity plan.

 

Whitman: And towards that end, as a stakeholder in this process, what does it say to you, what should it say to us, that Standard did not raise this alarm, which is awfully alarming to read before it was sort of…

 

Latimer: I think they're in a full defensive mode down there trying to defend their failure to work under the contract. I think they're trying to affect hearts and minds and they're trying as best as they can to put the burden on the County for the things that they themselves should have done. And the biggest concern that I have, it's not necessarily germane to our conversation here, who is Standard? When someone says ‘Standard says this,’ and ‘Standard says that,’ who are the individuals? What are the levels of their expertise? When have they had a press conference, as we've done more than once, and opened themselves up to the scrutiny of the press or the scrutiny of the general population, for that matter, the Board of Legislators. Not in a meeting context, but you know, who they are in terms of expertise. Who's on staff that makes this or have you contracted out to get these services done, and who are the investors behind it, so that we can make at least some intelligent judgment as to what might be your motivation for wanting to do this with the Parks. I think those are germane parts of this argument that have not been brought into play, and I think they need to be a part of the discussion as we go forward.

 

Whitman: In the letter that Standard sent out to the media, Joan, they claimed that they had raised serious and urgent concerns to the County multiple times in the past 16 months and they say that the response is to either ignore those concerns or attack Standard. Has the County responded? Have you received those concerns? What was the response?

 

McDonald: First of all, absolutely not true that we have not responded. You know we have an obligation to the patrons of Playland and to the taxpayers of the County to make sure that we do our due diligence no matter who raises an issue. A food safety report unauthorized was brought to our attention a year ago before the park opened, we made sure that all those issues that were identified in that report were addressed and resolved before the park opened, and in those and in that food venue. Number two, when some of the issues have come to our attention, regardless of who brings it to our attention, on ride safety, we go through and we identify and we address them and make sure that the rides are safe.

 

Whitman: One last element on ride safety to focus in on, because you know they're making claims and you're saying there ‘they're not true and we've taken care of this’ - there was one issue that may be an ongoing concern that was about manpower at the park. That not having enough able bodies working on particular rides could theoretically jeopardize safety on some of the rides, is that a factor?

 

McDonald: Not true, not true. And you know again, we go by the standards set by the state Department of Labor for safety, not only safety of the actual ride, but the safe operation of the rides. So that is critically important. And we have on staff, and on site, every single day that the park is open, a mechanic and an electrician so in the event that there were a malfunction it is taken care of. And each and every ride has its own individual safety evacuation plan were something to happen mid-ride

 

Whitman: I want to shift over to food safety, and I’ll come back to you in just a second County Executive, [but] Joan, who does the food inspections at Playland and how often are they doing them?

 

McDonald: The food safety inspections are done by the County Department of Health as the designee of the state Department of Health. We follow the state regulations as for food safety for the category of an amusement park, it is not the same category as a restaurant that is open 365 days a year, and the inspection is done by County health inspectors.

 

Whitman: This brings me to my next question, for this I'll go back to the County Executive. You have the County inspecting the County, in this example you have County food inspectors or health inspectors inspecting a County-owned property at Playland. This issue popped up several years ago after some unfortunate incidents at the park because you had the County police investigating incidents at the County property as well. Is that a conflict when you have one entity of the County investigating another?

 

Latimer: No, because they're separate and distinct entities they don't report to each other. And the County Health Department inspects every restaurant at every kitchen, every swimming pool for every private sector, in every public sector entity across the county. So the county will do pool inspection, as one example, the County Health Department will inspect public pools by other jurisdictions, by our own jurisdiction, and in private held hands. So their level of expertise and their responsibility of reporting goes to the State Health Department, it isn't sanitized through any other type of process of the County government. What I think has happened here, and this is important whether we're talking about the health safety from a food standpoint or a ride standpoint, Standard raised no objections during the period of 2016 or 2017 to anything. Now, that tells me either they didn't care or they had a sympathetic County Executive who changed their contract to their liking on more than one occasion. Now a new Administration comes in and immediately a level of conflict occurs. We're not sold on the deal with Standard, we've looked at it from an objective standpoint and we found it wanting. Well over a year ago we raised these objections, interestingly enough the minute we raised those objections to the contract Standard starts to raise objections about different things. And when we address them they ignore the response to it. So I don't think it's a question of us being, you know, difficult or not difficult enough on ourselves, I think Standard is trying to make a case to benefit their standing within the contractual world.

 

Whitman: That point is well-taken, I'm just trying to put my head in the place of somebody who's considering going to the park and want to get some specific questions answered. So the inspectors, food inspectors never notify the park in advance before they're coming?

 

McDonald: Absolutely not. It is absolutely unannounced and they come in several times during the season. And again, if it is a public safety or a public health risk, if it’s there before we open the park for the day, we don't open that restaurant then or don't open that food service venue.

 

Whitman: What about notification of the public? I went on the State health department's website to look up restaurant inspections and I found the Tiki bar alongside Playland has an inspection that you can check, I didn't find any reporting for Playland.

 

McDonald: Not aware of that. The Tiki bar is a different category than Playland. I know that we've got all of the inspection certificates for the different venues. Whether they're on the state website I would have to confirm on that.

 

Latimer: Let’s point out too, we contract with a private company, Culinart, that does the food services. It's not County employees that sit and dish out the food, so we hold that that private sector company responsible for meeting these standards. And so we don't have a vested interest in covering over something that they might do that's wrong. If there's a problem, we'll stop it immediately. But I think once again, the other concerns about this, I think it's very important to note, Andrew, we've operated the part of Park as a management team for one season, 2018. And it has been in effect for a long time. Throughout 2018, there were no food problems, we had no incidents of anything that's come up that affected the public at large, and there is no reason for these charges to have any base except that they're being made. And in the world of unfortunately to say it, fake news, somebody charges something without there being any way to prove it. They have failed to prove that we fail any of these inspections, they assert that there were problems but then when we have inspections, whether it's through the State Labor Department on the rides, the quality of the rides, or through the County Health Department, that there's any merit or validity to these concerns.

 

Whitman: Quickly on this topic, some of the things that were cited, and I know that you challenge, but some of them seem like there could be one-off, just on the day it happened to be. Some of them spoke to something a little more systemic, like coverage of buns and things like that. Have the systemic issues been addressed?

 

McDonald: The systemic issues have been addressed and, again, the 2018 report unauthorized last year that they did was two months before the park opened and all of those issues that were in that report have been rectified. We went through a thorough review yesterday when we were in the park. And again, I just want to circle back, it is the State Health Department that designates the County Health Department to act as their agents for food safety and our County Health Department also tracks patron complaints, whether it's from Playland, or whether it's from a restaurant in the County, and last year there were no complaints.

 

Whitman: Well I have a few questions I want to get to with you Mr. County Executive. Near as we can tell, Playland remains the only County owned amusement park in the United States, one of the few municipally-owned amusement parks. We know it generates revenue for surrounding communities, it helps the economy of Rye, but we also know that the park loses money every year. Why does, why do you, want to continue to have the County own this property?

 

Latimer: Well I think the thing that we miss when we talk about a park is that we're providing a public recreation service to people. Think in terms of a little kiddie park in your neighborhood, where there’s swings, there's some sort of a climbing apparatus, a slide, a sandbox, that Park doesn't generate any money either. In fact, it's only a cost provider. You're going to have to provide some insurance for that, you're going to have repaired maintenance, maybe you know you haven't finished financing the attractions within those parks, but you provided it because it's a recreational facility and a service. This is an historic park that goes back over a long period of time for a reason. And it's a beautiful setting and it's an opportunity for people that don't live in a multi-million dollar house that looks out onto the river or the sound to be able to have that access and to enjoy themselves. So I view this as a public trust, and in the public trust you don't automatically park in private interests unless you're sure that the public is going to be served by that.

 

Whitman: On the program last week Catherine Parker pointed out that Playland used to pay for the entire budget of the Parks Department once upon a time. Is that - what's the end goal financially for the park in your mind, to be a revenue generator to break even to lose less?

 

Latimer: The goal for the park is to provide a recreational service that people enjoy. The financial goal is the secondary goal. If we break even, make a slight operating profit, now it's going to, you know, now you start to get into how you handle the debt service of an entity. In Westchester County, we uniquely have charged the debt service to Playland back to its operating funds, we do the same in the County Center, we do that for no other park and therefore Playland looks like it is a bigger loser than then is fair to be able to estimate. The other thing that we have to take into account is it is a weather-related facility, unlike the County Center which is indoors, when we book something it will happen. With Playland, if we get bad weather on certain dates we have a problem. But the end game is this,  Playland represents an important asset that people in past years have created, just the way the County Airport, the Bronx River Parkway, the County Center, the sewer treatment systems that we have, the Community College, all of these were things that were created by past administrations to serve the people of Westchester. Playland falls into that same category. It is unique but it is also valuably unique, and I'm not prepared for us to just turn it into a financial kitty to finance whatever else it is that that someone thinks is important. I think it has to be protected and has to be advanced. Now we'll need professional assistance to market, a professional assistance to management at the top, we have a terrific workforce that works there, we have people who over the last few years since the County Administration decided to, you know, reduce staffing everywhere, and that has made the park have great stress and inability to achieve its maximum. We believe it can achieve its maximum. We can do that with a private sector partner but we don't want to do with a private sector partner that we don't feel comfortable with.

 

Whitman: I’ve got about 30 seconds, which is unfortunate for this, Standard, in their letter said that you seem personally determined that this will all end an expensive litigation, litigation we hope to avoid. What has Standard done to try to avoid that litigation?

 

Latimer: I think I think Standard’s role in this is completely suspect. They're in the middle of trying to protect an investment. I'm more concerned with what t is behind their desire to maintain this investment. Do they have some ulterior motives for this Park that they're not telling you? If you don't know who the investors are in Standard, if you don't know anything more than the single principle of Standard but you're going to turn this park over to them for 30 years, who should really be under scrutiny here? The County government that's been open and transparent or the private sector entity that you know almost nothing about?

 

Whitman: So we were talking just before we went off the air on the program that Standard, I mean, Standard sort of is in control as to whether there's going be litigation on this or not. Are you still involved in active negotiations with Standard to try to prevent that?

 

Latimer: We originally had a meeting scheduled for two weeks ago that was going to continue the discussion between the legal representations. Standard chose not to attend that meeting, they made a point of talking about how we don't negotiate with them but we've been actively discussing through legal contacts, you know, in anticipation that if this does go to court then we want lawyers to be talking to each other and not sort of this general narrative that might impact what ultimately is a lawsuit. I think Standard has got a lot to answer for, and the County now for the course of the last few weeks has explained its position, we've done it in open public sessions we've done it before the Board of Legislators, there's videotapes of two and a half hours of commentary where the Legislators questioned myself and my team as to what our thinking was on Playland and why. We know exactly how the 42 million dollars that we have budgeted and set aside for capital is going to be used. We have no idea how they would spend their 30 million in capital, we don't know exactly how they intend to defend the way they spent the managers investment, and as I've said before we don't really know the principles beyond one individual who represents Standard. So we're in a position of uneven scrutiny here.

 

Whitman: How far out are you looking when it comes to Playland’s future, we know that Standard was set to take operation of the park in 2020, that's not going to happen, how long do you anticipate the County operating the park?

 

Latimer: Well [here is your] situation, we operated when we came into office knowing that there was a contract in place that required to turn over the park for 2019 and it was my direction to Joan and her operational team to understand we'll run the park for two years, and in 2018 let's run it under its current realities. We inherited a budget from my predecessor that didn't allow for much additional money, let's run it in 2018, let's make assessments and then let's make changes for 2019, which we knew we'd have to run. Over the course of that time, evaluate the deal that's in place so we understand what we're facing. So we evaluate that deal and we find it lacking we find it wanting so now we're in a position, where as we've gone through the discussion back and forth, we're dealing with a dance partner who really is, I mean they really would rather have the relationship they have with my predecessor which was to make the changes they'd like at the time. So now the climate has become contentious, if we wind up continuing to manage Playland, we are going to actively look for external assistance from experienced individuals in the amusement park management field to help us. But not to turn over the control of that park to somebody else. And in that regard it's very consistent to what I've said about the airport.

 

Whitman: Understood, but one of the questions about bringing in an operator is the sort of future planning before the park itself. And one of the things that was part of that deal was the capital investments that both sides were going to make to try to make it a more attractive part to bring in even more people in general…I'm not asking about Standard at this point. At what point does Latimer start planning for when we need to make these capital improvements to the park and hopefully increase the size of the crowds that come in and at what point do you have to make that decision whether you've got a management team in place or not?

 

Latimer: Well, if what we're dealing with in Standard is the ending of the relationship which is what we've called for in the letter, they have time to respond and we will yet see how this plays out. If we are now operating to the future without Standard, then we are immediately planning for what our capital asks will be for the next cycle and budgeting and we're going to immediately look at how we identify, whether it's an RFP structure, some other structure to bring in that expertise, that we feel we need in order to properly manage the park. We're already showing and a level of innovation, we're planning to bring in a new ride, by marketing the property differently using certain tools that have not been used in the last 10 years, that were committed to making the park project a more energetic appeal so that we can capture greater attendance that will manifest itself over the course of the period of this year and into next year so by 2020 you would see a next level of energy and activity at the park.

 

Whitman: That sounds good but then you have in 2019 the park getting a year older and a year without those capital improvements, what's the time frame there?

 

Latimer: …a minute Andrew, we have 42 million dollars of capital projects that are underway. A host of things that involve necessary activities. If Standard were to do what they have contracted to do, they would add another 30 million in capital but every other dime of capital beyond that fell on the County's responsibility anyway. If someone says it's the two hundred million dollars worth of capital needs to that propery, the additional hundred and thirty million beyond the arrangements of the contract would fall to the county anyway. So you really haven't changed the dynamic on capital. We still have to look at what will our capital investment be and something that that Standard has not done is to sequence and target what things we need that are absolutely essential versus those things that that are less immediately essential that would add to the aesthetics of the park and the marketing of the park, and Standard has not laid out how they would use their capital in those regards. We've already laid that out with the first forty two million and we would do that in this year's budget for the next round of capital.

 

Whitman: Standard did put out a master plan of what they envisioned the park would look like under their management. Is that a fair template to use as to how or what direction that they might be able to take the park?

 

Latimer: It's a misnomer to call it a master plan. It doesn't meet any industry standard of what a master plan should be. It is a lovely printed document, beautifully printed document, 118 pages. I read it, and remember that I had marketing experience in the hospitality industry working for major corporations before this. Nowhere in that master plan, when they showed you artist renditions of future improvements, nowhere did they show cost at all, nowhere did they talk about how they would finance that particular improvement, and they didn't talk about how they would price the parks products in order to generate a portion of the revenue to finance it. They never put out a calendar sequencing what these projects would be. When we have a project, whether we're repaving the runway at the County Airport, or resurfacing a road, or bridge than a road, there's a sequencing that goes on in these things. Phase 1, phase 2, phase 3, and none of that was present. So this wasn't a master plan, this was almost a menu of what could we do in the future without a price tag to it. So if you take, you know, someone out to dinner and you're picking up the bill they get the menu that tells you what you could have, you're the one that has to figure out, you get the menu with the price tag on it.

 

Whitman: But that's what they, to use your metaphor, there it's like showing me a picture of what the desserts going look like and I'm like ‘that looks tasty, I think that might be something I'd like to order’ is that again is that at least an outline or some ideas to where the park could go?

 

Latimer: It isn't because here's what you have to do, you need to look at what are the essential capital needs of the park. What is the infrastructure upgrades that are absolutely necessary and you have to cost them out. Then you have to sequence, you have to show them in year 2020 this is the capital we're going to spend and it's going to be very specific, and this is what we're going to spend in 2021, this is going to be very specific. Now, we haven't sat down to do that diligence at this stage of the game and we obviously were working on under some belief that that Standard would have a 30 million dollar piece and may they offer 50 million, they might as well make it two hundred and fifty million, if that [don’t] spend any money it doesn't matter how much you promise. But the essential element of capital is not just to point to what the desert is, but tell me that's an $8.95 desert, and that will come after you spend $33.95 on the entrée, and by the way you're being charged for the mashed potatoes on the side and the asparagus.

 

Whitman: I think we've officially strained the metaphor to its breaking point.

 

Latimer: I just want it to be consistent.

 

Whitman: I get it. Joan, I feel bad, I haven't included you in any of these questions so far so I have a few for you. The specific complaints or allegations that Standard made both about ride safety and food safety, I'm not going to go through them all, have you looked at, have inspectors looked at, each specific point of those allegations to make sure that they're not, that there's no validity to them?

 

McDonald: Yes they have and anything that had validity has been addressed. You know you mentioned the open bun package, there were some open bun packages they got thrown away. There you know, one of the things that that I learned yesterday was that everything that is food-related cannot be on the ground, they have to be on a pallet. All of that has been taken care of all of. All of the refrigeration, the water, everything that is tied to food safety is as inspected and addressed if there are any issues at all.

 

Whitman: Okay, I'll just end with two questions for both of you. Would you be comfortable riding or putting loved ones on any of the rides or on all of the rides at Playland?

 

McDonald: Absolutely.

 

Whitman: Mr. County Executive?

 

Latimer: I'm happy to ride any of those rides with any other person in the population.

 

Whitman: Well that sounds like a challenge. What about the food, you'd be willing to eat food at every single one of the vendors?

 

Latimer: Absolutely, it's not even it's not even a problem. And I'm the kind of guy that eats all the time so…

Whitman: I wasn't gonna say it but…

 

Latimer: I'm happy to volunteer what's obvious. The bottom line is that these are bogus charges, the food is safe, the rides are safe, what's not safe is whether or not standard is telling us the truth about what their motivations are for being involved in this deal. For them to attack us because we rightfully pointed out their failings represents going to war and trying to create a false narrative in order to win the war, not in order to serve the people of Westchester.

 

Whitman: and my open ended softball, any other points that you think people need to know that I haven't asked?

 

McDonald: Come tomorrow and enjoy the park!

 

Whitman: That would be Saturday as we're taping this on Friday. Okay Madam Director, Mr. County Executive, thank you both very much.

 

McDonald/Latimer: Yes, very nice to see you.