Only a week after the end of an often frustrating county budget process, we were back in session for a Board of Legislators (BOL) meeting last night (Jan. 3). The agenda was light because over the past month there was little time for other issues outside the budget (and the holidays). One item to note was a public hearing on reform of the Board of Acquisition and Contract (A&C Baord), although there was only one speaker on this important issue. I have been working to reform the A&C Board for over a decade (along with other Republican legislators) with each attempt being blocked by the Democratic majority on the BOL – mostly at urging of then County Executive Andy Spano, who strongly opposed reforms to the A&C Board that I believe will bring more fairness and transparency to its deliberations.
The Republican caucus reintroduced the A&C Board reform legislation in 2010, even after Republican Rob Astorino was elected County Executive. To our caucus, it was a good policy reform regardless of the political party of the County Executive. Yes, I am happy to report that we try to be consistent with our policy proposals and continue to advocate for an independent BOL. Now the Democrats support our proposal (surprise, surprise…Andy Spano is gone), and we are working on bipartisan legislation. To the Astorino Administration’s great credit, they are very open to this reform legislation, and playing an active role in its development. We worked diligently on our original legislation and hope to pass a law to reform the A&C Board very soon in 2011. Please keep an eye of this issue.