New Milestone Accepting 1000th Passport Application for 2007
County Clerk Tim Idoni Reaches New Milestone Accepting 1000th Passport Application for 2007 Out In the Community
Westchester residents take advantage of the opportunity to apply for a passport close to home while White Plains Office continues as largest passport office in the region
Oct. 01, 2007
On Saturday, September 29, 2007, a very proud Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni was on hand as his Community Outreach staff processed their 1000th passport application for the year during New Castle Community Day at the Chappaqua Train Station. In early 2007, when new passport regulations went into effect, County Clerk Idoni recognized that there would be an increased demand for passports and expanded the programming of his mobile office, a small truck where residents can apply for a passport, including having their photo taken. Since that time, community outreach staff members have made over sixty appearances throughout Westchester at municipal buildings, parks, colleges, libraries and senior centers.
"Our White Plains office is the largest passport processing office in our region, having processed almost 5,000 passports last year. However, we know that Westchester residents have obligations with work and family that make it difficult to visit us in White Plains during regular business hours,” began Idoni. “We have worked hard to let residents know that our community outreach staff is available to help them closer to home and the response has been tremendous, with 1,000 passport applicants taking advantage of our outreach efforts,” continued Idoni.
And if you haven’t applied for a passport already, County Clerk Idoni urges you to visit his mobile office when it next appears in your community. “Routine passport applications take only a few minutes and with increased attention on homeland security and terrorism, passports will soon become the primary identification document for those traveling outside of the United States by any means,” stated Idoni. As early as next summer, the new passport requirements will be extended to border crossings by land and sea.
Westchester residents interested in applying for a passport should be sure to learn what documents to bring to the mobile office. “If you are planning to visit our mobile office, please be sure to call our office at 995-3086 or visit online to learn what documents you need” advised Idoni. “And be sure to bring original documents with raised seals,” he continued. The Office of the Westchester County Clerk is located at 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. To find out when the community outreach staff will be in your area, check our website calendar.
County Clerk Tim Idoni Praises Legislation
County Clerk Tim Idoni Praises Legislation Confirming Penalty Provisions of County Plumbing and Electrical Laws
Legislation also extends reciprocal licensing provisions to plumbers
June 05, 2007
Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni praises the Westchester County Board of Legislators’ passage last night of an amendment to county law regarding the licensing of plumbers and electricians in Westchester County. The amended law, which passed unanimously, clarifies that both the Electrical Licensing Board and the Board of Plumbing Examiners can impose civil penalties in the form of monetary fines for violations of the respective county laws. In addition, the amended law provides that fines can be levied for each violation of the law and matters that rise to the level of a criminal offense can be referred by the boards to the District Attorney’s Office.
“Our trades licensing boards now have the clear and unambiguous authority to levy fines against individuals who violate our plumbing and electrical laws. Westchester residents can now sleep safer at night,” stated County Clerk Idoni whose office includes the Trades Licensing Division responsible for the licensing of plumbers and electricians and the support of the Electrical Licensing Board and the Board of Plumbing Examiners. “And our Trades Licensing Inspectors, who travel the county to ensure that individuals performing plumbing and electrical work are properly licensed, will be able to focus on keeping those who live and work in Westchester County protected,” concluded Idoni.
The amended law also extends the authority to grant reciprocal licenses to individuals licensed outside of Westchester County who meet certain requirements of the Board of Plumbing Examiners. This authority was already held by the Electrical Licensing Board. “Plumbers licensed in other jurisdictions will still be required to prove competence and will still pay the same statutory licensing fee,” stated Program Director of the Trades Licensing Division, Edward Brady, Jr., “but the new law will allow the Board of Plumbing Examiners to issue a license to an individual who has not taken the Westchester County Plumbing Examination if that individual has passed an exam and is licensed in a jurisdiction which requires equivalent qualifications.”
The Office of the Westchester County Clerk’s Trades Licensing Division assists plumbers and electricians who are applying for professional licenses, as well as consumers who would like to check the status of a plumber or electrician they wish to hire. In addition, the office provides administrative support to the Electrical Licensing Board and the Plumbing Examining Board. The office is located at 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains and is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. For more information, please contact the Trades Licensing Division at (914)995-2657.
Medical Center Honors Idoni
Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni receives Marie F. Vitt Humanitarian Award from Sound Shore Medical Center
March 16, 2007: On Friday, March 2, 2007, over three hundred people gathered at the New York Athletic Club in Pelham Manor as Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni was presented with the Marie Vitt Humanitarian Award in recognition of his service to the community and on the Board of Governors of the Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester. John R. Spicer, President of Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester also presented awards to co-honorees Fenizia Maffucci and Susie McEvoy. The Marie F. Vitt Award is presented annually in recognition of individuals who demonstrate a true commitment to Marie Vitts legacy of volunteerism, philanthropy, and service to the community.
"Having high quality, accessible and affordable health care right in the heart of New Rochelle is such a benefit as the City of New Rochelle continues to move forward" said Idoni, the former Mayor of New Rochelle and current Westchester County Clerk. "In addition, Sound Shore Medical Center is one of New Rochelle's largest employers, providing jobs close to home for so many city residents." As Mayor, Idoni was a vocal, visible and active supporter of the medical center who promoted the center throughout the community and fought for appropriate I.D.A. financing to secure the hospital. He was pleased to be invited to remain on the Board of Directors of the medical center upon becoming Westchester County Clerk and continue his commitment to ensuring that Sound Shore remains a viable part of the fabric of the community.
Hands On Management
Idoni’s hands-on management eliminates backlog and restores good government to clerk’s office
January 17, 2007: When Timothy C. Idoni was sworn in as Westchester’s 43rd County Clerk in January, 2006, many wondered how the fourteen year Mayor, who built the foundation on which the current revitalization of New Rochelle is taking place, would transition from being the dynamic leader of a growing community to the professional manager of the office responsible for safeguarding county records. The results have been tremendous for those who live and do business in Westchester. After just one year in office, Idoni has eliminated the six-month backlog of deeds, mortgages and other land records, improved staff productivity, protected the privacy of thousands of residents, and made dramatic improvements in increasing accessibility to records and services.
These results, and an overview of the office, are documented in the 2006 Annual Report of the Office of the Westchester County Clerk. “One thing you will not find in the pages of my first annual report, but what I value as my most significant achievement in 2006, is that those we serve have witnessed the emergence of a professional level of service from a government office,” stated Idoni. “So while my dedicated staff and I are pleased that Westchester residents trust us to secure their records, we are most proud that our office has broken away from the stereotypical expectation of mediocrity which plagues so many government offices.” Idoni, a former municipal manager and Past President of the Westchester County Municipal Officials Association who holds an M.P.A. from New York University, has frequently shared his belief in good government managed by professionals. In his first year in office, Idoni transformed the Clerk’s Office into an efficient, respected operation.
“I have been energized by the opportunity to return to my management roots and to serve residents throughout Westchester as their County Clerk,” shared Idoni. And in an office of ninety-five employees, Idoni’s energy and active management style has not gone unnoticed. The Westchester County Clerk can be seen walking through the offices to address employee concerns or constituent inquiries at all hours of the day. “I have always believed that public officials must give the taxpayers a hard day’s work” said Idoni, a twenty-six year public servant. “And I know my active involvement in the management of the office has provided my dedicated staff with the support and tools they needed to implement organizational improvements.”
Idoni's arrival in the County Clerk’s Office has been met with the approval of many attorneys, bankers and real estate industry professionals who had grown frustrated by the office’s inability to keep records current. “The industry as a whole is very pleased with the progress we have seen since County Clerk Idoni took office” stated Jean M. Partridge, Co-Chair of the New York State Land Title Association Liaison Committee for all County Clerks of the Hudson Valley Region. “And our association has been particularly impressed with County Clerk Idoni’s active participation in our organization. He attends our meetings, listens to our suggestions, implements change, and his staff has followed his lead,” continued Partridge. “We realize that a reduced volume has been a factor in the elimination of the backlog, but the initiative County Clerk Idoni has taken to address problems head-on gives us confidence that the elimination of the backlog is only one of many improvements we will see during his tenure.” County Clerk Idoni looks forward to continuing to work with professionals who use his office to increase efficiency and streamline services.
The Office of the County Clerk is also responsible for the processing of pistol permit applications, a responsibility which has gained attention in recent months as county officials have debated whether the issuance of pistol permits should be an administrative or judicial function. “The days of getting back door pistol permits in the County of Westchester have come to an end and as a result Westchester residents are safer,” stated Idoni who instituted new policies to ensure the equal treatment of all pistol permit applications. “My new procedures have eliminated discrepancies in processing including the bypassing of the Department of Public Safety review and ensured that each application moves through the entire system,” concluded Idoni.
The Annual Report highlights that $283,963,468.34 in funds passed through the Office of the Westchester County Clerk and over 500,000 property, business and court documents were filed or recorded by its staff in 2006. The Office of the County Clerk touches the lives of so many of Westchester’s residents and business people. From safeguarding court records, to recording deeds and mortgages, to licensing plumbers and electricians, its responsibilities to Westchester County residents are varied and significant.
The Office of the Westchester County Clerk is located at 110 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.
In Danger Of Foreclosure?
As Westchester foreclosures continue to rise, Westchester County Clerk Idoni urges residents at risk to seek reputable counseling
April 2, 2007: Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni announced that 527 foreclosures were commenced during the first quarter of 2007. This figure marks a 39% increase over the first quarter of 2006, and a 116% increase over the first quarter of 2005. These increases follow national trends which have been attributed to a slower housing market and an increase in sub-prime mortgages issued to individuals with poor credit, minimal savings or low incomes in exchange for higher interest rates.
In light of these first quarter figures, County Clerk Tim Idoni urges Westchester residents who may be at risk of having their properties foreclosed, to seek counseling from a reputable counseling agency. "We want Westchester residents to be able to live comfortably in our county and so we encourage residents to take advantage of resources available to them to avoid foreclosure," stated Idoni. Residents who have received warning letters from their bank or lender, or who have fallen behind on their payments, are urged to contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to obtain the name of a reputable counseling agency. A list of agencies can be found at http://www.hud.gov/ or by calling 1-800-569-4287.
And if a foreclosure action has been brought against you, County Clerk Idoni warns you to beware of foreclosure rescue scams. "Unfortunately an increase in foreclosures also brings with it a new set of con artists just waiting to take advantage of residents who are under the stress of foreclosure action," cautioned Idoni. "Making a bad situation worse can be avoided by relying on a reputable counseling agency or a trusted attorney to guide you through the process." Residents who meet low income guidelines may qualify for free legal services and should visit www.lawhelp.org/ny for more details.
The commencement of a foreclosure action does not mean that a Westchester homeowner will lose their home. Filing a foreclosure action in the Westchester County Clerk's office is the first step of a process which could result in the loss of a home or building. If a foreclosure is granted, the home or building is sold at a foreclosure auction and the proceeds of sale are used to pay off the loan. Deputy County Clerk John Allen noted, "Many homeowners enter into a repayment plan, secure a modified loan, refinance with another lender or sell their home on their own to avoid foreclosure."
The Westchester County Clerk is the Clerk for the Supreme Court where foreclosure actions are heard. Foreclosure actions are filed in our Legal Division, which is also responsible for non-court related county legal functions such as registering a business, filing a lien, applying to serve as a Notary Public, registering a domestic partnership, filing veterans military discharge papers, and accepting Small Claims Assessment Review petitions. The public can visit the Legal Division located at 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays to look up legal records, judgments, liens, lis pendens, and other business records. For more information on our Legal Division, please call 995-3070 or explore our website.
Calendar of Events
Monday, January 16
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday
Office will reopen on Tuesday, January 17th at 8 am
Monday, February 20
Office will reopen on Tuesday, February 21st at 8 am
Wednesday, March 8
Daronco Courthouse, 111 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. White Plains, NY 10601
Visiting Our Office?
To visit our office, enter through the Richard J. Daronco Courthouse located at 111 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in White Plains. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., excluding official holidays.