VOICE OF THE LEGISLATIVE MAJORITY: Getting The Best Deal For Taxpayers

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picBY LEGISLATOR ALDEN H. WOLFE (D- Montebello)
Chairman
Rockland County Legislature

I was very proud to work with my colleagues in the Legislature to develop a real, comprehensive plan to find the best deal for taxpayers on the Sain Building- and one that meets all legal requirements. After being presented with a single offer from a developer who proposed building dozens of units of housing on the Sain property, the Legislature voted to authorize an RFB – a Request For Bids – to search far and wide for potential buyers.

The RFB process is simple. Unlike the previous process – an RFP, or Request For Proposals – the Legislature-led RFB is seeking to find a buyer with minimal contingencies, as opposed to providing us with an offer with significant strings attached. This way, we can ensure that the deal will be as smooth and problem-free as possible– unlike last year’s failed deal to sell the Summit Park facility. Under the Legislature’s leadership, a sale can also potentially close by the end of the year.

Other very important issues were also addressed by the Legislature’s RFB. After numerous questions were raised about the previous process – questions that have still gone unanswered – the Legislature’s RFB includes multiple levels of disclosures by potential bidders to ensure greater transparency to the public.

Among these requirements is a non-collusion affidavit and a disclosure of political campaign contributions, which will weed out any potential conflicts of interest that a bidder may have with county officials. There should never be a question about the integrity of the sale of county property – ever – and the Legislature-led RFB process will ensure that there will be none.

This RFB is a victory for everyone, and of great importance is the fact that it was reached in a bipartisan manner, with Legislators from both parties coming to an agreement on how the Sain Building ought to be sold.

Next week, an open house will be held at the Sain Building for potential bidders to inspect the property. The bids that will be made by interested parties will be sealed, and all bids will be opened in public in September, in furtherance of the transparent and open process that we in the Legislature always strive to have.

This is truly a victory – for our county government, and most importantly, for our taxpayers. There will be no backroom negotiations or suspicious arrangements with the open process we have implemented. Ultimately, the Sain Building will be sold to the highest responsible bidder in a process that will satisfy our taxpayers and further improve the fiscal health of Rockland County.

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