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As Westchester County Executive George Latimer begins his third year in office, he took a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of his predecessors and honored them with a special dedication.

The conference rooms of the Westchester County Executive’s office will now be known as the William F. Bleakley Conference Room, the Herbert C. Gerlach Conference Room and the James D. Hopkins Conference Room – in honor of Westchester County’s first, second and third County Executives.

During the dedication, Latimer uncovered portraits and biographies in each of the conference rooms.

Latimer said: “Since the office was created, Westchester County Executives have been tasked with making our County a greater place for our residents. While we may differ on philosophy from administration to administration, we have faced similar challenges. As we continue to move forward, I’m proud to recognize the accomplishments of our first three County Executives – William F. Bleakley, Herbert C. Gerlach and James D. Hopkins.”

Bleakley, a republican and former New York State Supreme Court Justice, was elected as Westchester County’s first County Executive in 1938. His first challenge was to reduce the County’s debt, a result of the construction of the County’s parkway system. By the time he left office in 1941, he had reduced the County’s debt by $16 million, in addition to reorganizing the County’s departments.

Gerlach, a republican and former Town Supervisor of Ossining, was named interim County Executive when Bleakley resigned in August 1941. He was elected to three terms, serving as County Executive until 1953. During his time in office, Gerlach advocated for state aid to support the County’s parkways and brought commercial flights to Westchester County Airport.   

Hopkins, a republican and former Town Supervisor of North Castle, was elected Westchester County’s third County Executive in 1953. During his term, Hopkins acquired the land for Westchester Community College, Dunwoodie Golf Course and Saxon Woods Pool. He also created the Westchester Parkway Authority, a seniors program and a permanent election registration system. After serving as County Executive, Hopkins became a County Judge and was later appointed to the New York State Supreme Court. He is the only person in Westchester County to have lead all three branches of County government.

Since 1938 Westchester County has had nine County Executives, including Edwin G. Michaelian, for whom the County Office Building is named, and Alfred B. DelBello, for whom Muscoot Farm is named.