Sunday, April 24, 2011


The Journal News ran a story today ( on no bid contracts awarded by the county of Westchester.

I also believe that this story highlights the need for more scrutiny re: the hundreds of millions of dollars in county contracts awarded by the Board of Acquisition & Contract. How many contractors donate campaign contributions to the County Executive and Legislators? Should the county do what the town of Greenburgh did four years ago? We approved an amendment to our ethics code and prohibit all elected officials from accepting campaign contributions from contractors. At the minimum the county should prohibit the County Executive and Legislators from accepting contributions from contractors who receive no bid contracts (or who are not the lowest bidder--since there is some discretion in awarding the contract). At the present time contractors feel obligated to attend annual 'birthday parties' of elected officials who give them business.

The county should also publicize contracts that are going out to bid. All contracts that are being bid out should be posted on the county website. Recently, the town of Greenburgh started doing this.The town is now posting all RFPs (requests for proposals) on the town website. We want to encourage more vendors to compete for business. Check our website: to see most recent RFPs.

Another suggestion that could encourage more scrutiny of contracts: share purchase information with the public. Two weeks ago the town of Greenburgh starting posting on our website some of our purchases. We want to encourage residents to compare the prices we pay for goods with the prices their companies pay. If they are getting better rates than we are we encourage the resident to provide us with information re: who the vendor is so we can invite them to bid for town business.

Another suggestion: All non bid contracts that are approved should be publicized on the county website--for at least a week before the contract is awarded--providing other contractors with the chance to raise questions about the no bid contract.

The Board of Acquisition & Contract currently consists of the County Executive, Commissioner of Public Works and the Chairman of the Board of Legislators. THe Commissioner of Public Works is an appointee of the County Executive. He always votes with the County Executive--since his job is at stake. The county charter should be amended to expand this important Board so that there is more scrutiny of all county contracts --before the contracts are awarded.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor