- Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 19:01
The fifth county executive, and the first Democrat in that office, was Alfred Benedict Del Bello, elected in 1973. He was re-elected in 1977 and 1981.
As county executive, Mr. Del Bello ran a fiscally conservative government to deal with the economic recession that was gripping the country. The county's unemployment rate was at seven percent - a post-Depression high. Mr. Del Bello managed to keep the tax rate relatively stable despite the growth of county government. He worked with minority representatives for increased social and health-related services. His most important contribution was the building of the Westchester County Medical Center. Other accomplishments include the vast garbage-recycling plant near Peekskill, several secondary treatment plants and establishing a countywide bus system. He created the first Office for the Disabled and the first Office for Women in the state. The county's only boat launching ramp on Long Island Sound was built at Glen Island Park and bicycle paths were constructed along the Bronx River Parkway. An infamous riot at the Westchester County Jail occurred during his tenure in 1981 and caused a million dollars in damages.
Mr Del Bello was born on Nov. 3, 1934 in Yonkers. He graduated from Halsted School and, in 1956, from Manhattan College, with majors in economics and political science. He received his law degree from Fordham University Law School and entered private practice after a brief tour with the National Guard. Mr. Del Bello's political career started as councilman in Yonkers, before he became mayor of Yonkers in 1970.
Mr. Del Bello left county government to become Lieutenant Governor in 1982. Three years later he resigned and left public service to accept a job in private industry.