Astorino announces contracts website, but Dems say nothing new

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Westchester County taxpayers can delve through over 2,000 contracts on a  website aimed at letting them know how their money is being spent.
County Executive Rob Astorino earlier today announced a new web tool that shows whose getting county contracts and how much they’re getting paid.

It’s part of his new “Government Transparency Initiative.” Anything that’s public information under Freedom of Information laws, or FOIL, will eventually go online, the county executive said.

“Anything that’s foilable should be up on the web,” Astorino said. “It’s somewhat mundane, but it’s government at work.”

Democrats on the Board of Legislators say this idea is anything but open: It’s actually misleading because contract searches  have been in operation since former County Executive Andrew Spano’s administration.

Astorino is late to the game, they say.

“For the County Executive to say that ‘now for the first time, the public will be able to view exactly where their tax dollars are going,’  is misleading,” said Legislator Judy Myers, D-Mamaroneck. “Westchester County residents should be truly dismayed by a county executive who attempts to take credit for a transparency initiative that predates his taking office, just as they should be dismayed by his taking credit for the historic 2.2 percent tax decrease in the 2011 Budget that was adopted by the Board of Legislators, even though he vetoed it.”
Legislator Sheila Marcotte, a Republican from Tuckahoe, who months ago had proposed the concept (one that had support from some Democrats, who along with Marcotte also advocated for a database of vendors) of posting contracts online was pleased with this recent push.

“Taxpayers have a right to know where the money being spent,” she said. “This is a no-brainer.”
During Monday’s press conference, Astorino went through contracts doled out by his office and the county board’s and took issue with the their efforts.

“They’ve been talking about it,” he said. “We’re doing it.”

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10 Comments

  1. Truth in Government on

    Myers and her Democrat cabal never tire of telling us taxes are “down” when everyone knows that were it not for Astorino’s victory at the polls, taxes would still be burgeoning and they’d be right in the middle of the cheering gallery.

  2. Credit goes to Sheila Marcotte who got the Democrats behind her bill. When you’re one of 5 in the minority and you convince some of the majority to join you in the name of good government – then you’re showing leadership.
    Kudos to Marcotte for taking the lead on this. It doesn’t matter who gets credit as long as the public ( that’s me and you) benefit.
    Keep it up Marcotte and you got my vote every time.

  3. Ms. Meyers doesn’t seem to understand that this may have been in place under the Legislators website but the “tool” wasn’t so easy to understand and find the contract. I’ve tried it in the past and unless you knew exactly what you were looking for you wouldn’t have been able to find it. So yes, it may have been there but it wasn’t useful to residents who didn’t know who was getting paid $5000 to feed the Board of Legislators for their meetings. I now found it so much easier and seriously… $10K worth of food from two different places at $5K each? What do you people eat? I go to work every day and have to brown bag it or buy my own.

    I also don’t believe the County Exec is taking credit for the 2.2% tax cut but rather that he forced the majority into making those cuts. Ms. Meyers, you should be ashamed of yourself. You should take some lessons from Ms. Marcotte and actually WORK for the people paying you instead of wondering who to grant the $10K food bill too!

  4. I agree the Board of Legislatures website is a hot mess. It’s difficult to understand and/or find anything you’re looking for. It definately is not user friendly or really allow the info one may be interested in to be found. Oh but you sure can find all the

  5. This is just a game the Republicans are playing. This website has NO information showing
    political contributions made from contract vendors to county officials. Cuomo did the same website and added political contributions BECAUSE THAT IS THE POINT. The public needs to know who is making political contributions! This press conference is simply a shame and a way to get Marcotte some clout before the election….

  6. lifelong Rye resident on

    5:25 PM on November 1, 2011
    Judy Myers has apparently reached her limits as far as political careers go. She’s out of touch, sometimes clueless and mystifyingly disconnected at times from issues – relying instead on tired poll tested phraseology, support from the filthy Working Families Party and prone to ideologically propelled clap-trap legislative compromises. She should have retired.

    But I’ll be voting for her.

    Suzanna Keith, currently living in my home town, has been tested. And she’s failed. And she’s failed repeatedly. Most important she’s failed very publically in the areas of character, integrity and promise keeping. You need these to actually be independent – to act independently – to act some might say courageously – and to serve only your constituents – not run over the weak and honorable when encouraged to by compromised outsiders and call it a mere difference of opinion. And that’s just what she’s done in several serious, criminal type municipal issues still suppressed (for now) here in Rye. And that’s what I’m convinced today that she’s going to do if she gets to White Plains – take direction and act accordingly no matter what happens to anyone or anything back home.

    Now I like Astorino – and think he generally means well. But his ambition (and those political minders who cravenly stoke it) will almost certainly be his downfall. It will probably be something like Playland where a bus-crash-like political finale could happen. And that’s an issue right around the corner.

    So in order to save Astorino’s public service career – and allow him to mature as a leader – I’d like to deny him an additional rubber stamping facilitator on that board. That will make his life and mine more difficult – and believe me when I say our local property taxes are beyond obscene and our county government is a plague. But given those individuals surrounding Astorino on the executive floor I’d say a more difficult and more transparent give and take in White Plains is essential now more than ever.

  7. Drowning in Taxes on

    Tax Rye Democrat residents and not the rest of us for the coming collapse of the “children’s museum” that they touted so loudly They will come running to the politicians with their hands out before too long.

  8. Meyers claim that this data pre-existed the new legislation by Marcotte first, then Astorino is nonsense. All that existed before was a dollar amount and a vague description and the name of a company. TRhis legislation requires that a PDF file of the ACTUAL contract be posted…in other ALL the relevant info not some warm fuzzy reference to “life skills training” at a church in Mt. Vernon.

  9. Cant trust a Republican like Marcotte. She is utilizing the resources and salaries of county departments to further her campaign. How much was spent in creating this web of contracts? Most of the contracts (all of them?) have huge chunks of the pages blackened out !
    What are they hiding??
    Are they hiding the political connections in awarding these very expensive contracts??

    John Fitzpatrick is the true and proven leader we need in office for the benefit of Westchester.

    This is Westchester and we are a more sophisticated society to believe the lies of politicians who have party agendas as their main motivation in campaigns. The tactics employed by many Republicans is insulting and should not be tolerated by smart voters this election day.