Westchester County Board of Supervisor Minute Books, 1888-1898. Source: Series 215, Board of Supervisor Minutes, 1772-1930

In 1703, by act of the General Assembly of the Colony of New York, a Board of Supervisors was created in Westchester County to assume responsibility for assessing and collecting taxes, to care for the poor, and carry out numerous other duties. This body served as Westchester's executive and legislative body until the Office of County Executive was created by the Westchester County Charter adopted in 1937, at which point its responsibilities became primarily legislative. In 1970, the Board of Supervisors was replaced by the current Board of Legislators, with significant changes in how representatives were elected to the Board. Since that time, almost 100 individuals have served as County Legislators.

Unfortunately, no records survive from the 1703-1771 period of the Board of Supervisors' history, although proceedings and/or minutes for almost all years since then (except for the most recent) are available at the Archives.

Board of Legislators Board Meeting Packets, 1970-2000
Series 308
178 cubic ft.  Arranged chronologically. View box and folder list.

Materials prepared for individual meetings of the Westchester County Board of Legislators from 1970-2000; includes minutes, agendas, and background materials related to issues that were covered at the meetings, such as correspondence, reports, proposed budgets, local laws, petitions, environmental reviews, and public hearing materials.

Continues: Series 299

Board of Legislators Meeting Videos, September 1990-present
Series 213
516 tapes, plus digital-only media.  Arranged chronologically. View box and folder list.

Videos of all public meetings of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Formats include VHS, DVD and MPG.  2012-present are digital only.

Board of Legislators News Clippings and Press Releases, 1983-2006 (bulk 1990-1998, 2001-2005)
Series 340
18.5 cubic ft.  Arranged alphabetically and chronologically in three subseries. View box and folder list.

Press releases and newspaper clippings covering the work of individual legislators as well as topical matters of interest to those governing the county – see box and folder list for complete subject listing. Collection is organized into three subseries – (1) press releases and news articles arranged by name of legislators. Also included in this subseries are newsletters distributed by those legislators in office in Fall 1993; (2) press releases arranged chronologically from 1986-1992, 1997-1998 and 2000 though part of 2005; and (3) news articles (and occasional press releases) for the time period 1983-1997 (bulk 1991-1997) and 2001-2006 (bulk 2001-2005) on a variety of subjects.

Board of Legislators Proceedings, 1970-2007
Series 147 
91 v. Arranged chronologically. Index for each year.

Published minutes of the County's legislative body. The minutes include a variety of proceedings, annual reports of various departments of the government, financial reports, and statistics. Beginning in 1992, the proceedings also include a copy of the county budget.

For electronic versions of minutes for 2008 and beyond, see: http://westchestercountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/calendar.aspx

Continues: Series 145

Board of Supervisors / Board of Legislators Local Laws 1960-1984
Series 360
2.5 cu. ft.  Arranged chronologically.

Official letters, memorandum, newspaper clippings, and affidavits dealing with the adoption of local laws by the Westchester County Board of Supervisors and then the County Board of Legislators. The documents demonstrate the relationship of the offices of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors / Legislators, the Westchester County Executive, and New York Secretary of State, State Comptroller, and the State Records and Law Bureau, in the adoption of local laws. In addition, letters, affidavits, and newspaper clippings, explore how the county government used various local newspapers to publicize new local laws. The local laws adopted during the period covered by this collection include pay for county officials, tax changes, amendments to the county charter, and the creation of various county departments.

Board of Supervisors / Board of Legislators Subject Files, 1890-1980
(bulk 1928-1969)

Series 300
36 cubic ft. Unarranged. View box and folder lists arranged in subject order and date order.

Subject files primarily relating to Budget and Appropriations Committee and Department of Public Works activities during the middle twentieth century, as reported to the Westchester County Board of Supervisors. Files include reports, correspondences, budgets, blueprints, maps, audits, and meeting minutes. A number of files from the Department of Public Works involve the airport, Children’s Court, county and state highways and roads, engineering of public buildings, sanitary sewer district projects and assessments and Grasslands Hospital. Other files involve the County’s Park Commission and the Department of Public Welfare.

One highlight of the records is documentation relating to the reapportionment of the Board of Supervisors which led to the dissolution of the Board and its replacement with the Board of Legislators, following the Supreme Court’s “one man, one vote” decision in the mid-1960s.

Other items of interest to researchers include materials on the United Nations' initial interest in establishing its headquarters in Westchester County; the separation of Grasslands Hospital from county authority; materials relating to the establishment of the Westchester County charter and later revisions thereto, and materials documenting relief efforts in Westchester County’s during the Great Depression and the work of the Westchester County War Council and other agencies during the Second World War.

Board of Supervisors Board Meeting Packets, 1925-1929 (gaps); 1930-1969
Series 299
76 cubic ft.  Arranged chronologically. View box and folder list.

Materials prepared for individual meetings of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors from 1925-1969; includes minutes, agendas, and background materials related to issues that were covered at the meetings, such as correspondence, reports, blueprints, and maps. There are reports/ brochures from Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children most prominently in the 1950s.

There are very few records for the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 (one meeting package for each year). For the years 1930-1939 there was more than one folder available per meeting date; these materials were kept separate during processing, but are listed under the same meeting date in the finding aid.

Continued by: Series 308

Board of Supervisors – Charter Revision Committee, 1922-1984 (bulk 1951-1969)
Series 388
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

In the late 1950s Westchester County established a Charter and Administrative Code Revision Committee made up of twenty five members, including eight members of the Westchester County Board of Supervisors. Eight subcommittees (Planning and Zoning, Executive, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Budget and Finance, Health and Welfare, Legislative, and Miscellaneous) were established to submit recommendations for change to the full committee.

These records are from the files of the Charter Revision Committee. They were borrowed in the 1970s from Elmer Maloney, the Clerk of the Board of Legislators at the time. When they were later discovered among the records of the Planning Department they were sent to the County Archives. These files mainly contain information about Parks and Recreation, particularly the merging of the Westchester County Parks and Recreation Commissions.

The collection includes Recreation and Parks & Parkway Subcommittee reports, as well as reports from the Charter and Administrative Code Revision Committee. In addition to the reports, there are correspondences and memos about the Recreation Commission. The collection also includes the County Charter Administrative Code and amendments to the charter, as well as several newspapers clippings about the Board of Supervisors. Finally there are reports from other communities, such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles about their recreation and parks departments, and copies of the local government handbook and proceedings of the County Government Commission.

Related records: Series 370, Charter and Administrative Code Revision Committee Records, 1957-1961.

Board of Supervisor Minutes, 1772-1930
Series 215
53 v. Arranged chronologically.

Includes resolutions, bills discussed, payments approved, town matters, and voters’ canvasses. 

Related records: Series 216, Board of Supervisors Records, 1853-1913

Board of Supervisors Proceedings, 1772-1969
Series 145
102 v. Arranged chronologically. Index in each volume.

Published minutes of the Board which exercised legislative (and, until 1938, executive) powers in Westchester County from 1772 to 1969. The minutes include a variety of proceedings, annual reports of various departments of the government, financial reports, and statistics.

Continued by: Series 147

Board of Supervisors Records, 1853-1913
Series 216
158 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Notes and receipts which justified payment of bills by Committees of the Board of Health, Constables, Coroner, County Clerk, District Attorney, Judiciary and Justices, Printing, Roads and Bridges, School Board, Sheriff and Jailor, Superintendent of the Poor, Treasurer, and for matters brought by the Towns to the Board of Supervisors. Included in some records are names of deceased persons subject to coroner inquest, arrested persons, county and state prisoners, inmates of the County Poor House, Westchester inmates of State institutions for the blind, deaf, feeble-minded and insane, and Westchester children sent to protective agencies. Also, information regarding materials and costs for building and maintaining bridges, petitions to change town boundaries, notes about riots and cases requiring private detectives, and epidemics of disease.

Related records: Series 215, Board of Supervisor Minutes, 1772-1930

Board of Supervisors -- Records of Commission on Government, 1926-1937 (bulk 1936-1937)
Series 302
1.25 cubic feet. Arranged chronologically. View box and folder list.

Materials pertaining to the history of the Westchester County Commission on Government apparently kept by William A. Davidson, who was the County Attorney at the time of the records’ creation. Included in this series are eight drafts of the proposed charter for Westchester County and corrections thereto. Also included are a number of draft and revised bills proposed in the New York State Assembly and Senate to enact the charter, as well as materials from the Commission on Government about the charter. Bookmarks can be found throughout the legislation concerning the position of County Executive and the duties of that position.

One item of particular interest is the publication by the New York Times Women’s Club Service titled, “Westchester County Government Studies,” analyzing the reorganization of government in ten studies written by members of the Commission on Government, the Westchester League of Women Voters, and the Westchester County Federation of Women, Taxpayers’ Association and the Town Club of Scarsdale. Additionally, the series includes topical discussions on the current organization of the Westchester County government, in such areas as highways, fire protection, public welfare administration, and public health.

Related records: Series 164, Pforzheimer Papers: Commission on Government Records, 1921-1956 (bulk 1934-1937); Series 303, Elizabeth Shepard Lough Papers: Commission on Government, 1914-1937 (bulk 1934-1936)

Budget and Appropriations Committee Meeting Minutes, 1926, November 1928-1971, 1974-1976
Series 339
42 v. and less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Minutes of meetings of the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the Board of Supervisors / Board of Legislators of Westchester County. Also included in this series, for the period 1974-1975, are some agendas and attendance lists for committee meetings. Indexes can be found at the beginning of most years’ minutes.

The Committee’s work focuses on the approval or disapproval of monetary appropriations for various County government programs, projects, and committees, as well as other fiscally centered acts, such as allocations for the construction of roads and parkways, funding for the creation of Sanitary Sewer Districts, and financing for the construction and/or purchase of county buildings and parks.

Daniel P. Thomas Files, 1986-1995
Series 399
0.5 cu. ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

This collection consists of the files of Daniel P. Thomas, a Westchester County Legislator from Yonkers, 15th District, from 1985 to 1995. Thomas was also a Yonkers City Councilman. He was Chair of the Public Works Committee, and the collection reflects his efforts to improve sludge management in the county.

Five folders of correspondence from 1990 to 1993 include letters, memos, agendas, resolutions, and notices of meetings and site visits related to sludge management, recycling, and road and bridge repairs. Folders include the following: a “County Materials Recovery Facility and Long-Term Sludge Disposal Plan,” letters about the Tarrytown Lakes Trailway, and a letter recommending an outstanding newspaper carrier for New York State (1991); a plan for a “Westchester County Solid Waste Management Plan” (1992;) a report on capital improvements to the Croton Point Sanitary Landfill, a letter and a newspaper article concerning a water main break at Westchester County Medical Center, and memos related to septic system fees (1993). The remaining eight folders contain specific correspondence and records related to the City of Yonkers, including its designation as an “Area Agency on Aging” (1992); a gun control resolution (1994); the Legislation Committee(1992-1993), including letters on amending the consumer protection code in relation to the home improvement industry; reparation of the North Avenue Bridge in New Rochelle (1986-1987); professional associations (National Association of Counties and New York State Association of Counties); and questionnaires completed by Yonkers residents in 1993 and 1994.