BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
With the recent resignation of Clarkstown purchasing agent Rob Berdy, the town is now looking for a new way to handle its bids and RFPs. Republicans George Hoehmann and Frank Borelli have suggested farming the job out to the county Purchasing Department. Supervisor Alex Gromack told the Rockland County Times he is open to the idea.
For the past nine years Clarkstown’s insurance and claims coordinator Berdy has worked a second job for the town as purchasing agent on the cheap. When he started the pay was around $15,000 and at the end of his tenure he was making $20,000 on top of his $110,000 salary as insurance and claims coordinator. Gromack stated that Berdy did the work at a discounted rate because he was passionate about helping the town.
Hoehmann and Borelli wrote a letter to Gromack seeking an explanation “on how the purchasing agent was selected initially and a full review of our hiring practices.” The letter stated further, “It is our opinion that by turning the purchasing function over to the county we will be able to save money by putting a skilled purchasing agent in charge, eliminating redundancy and inefficiency and protecting the town taxpayer.”
There appears to be disagreement on why Berdy resigned, with Gromack claiming it was due to his being overworked and Hoehmann and Borelli implying something more going on behind the scenes politically.
County Director of Purchasing Paul Brennan stated he will be setting up a meeting with Supervisor Gromack shortly. Brennan said, “Procurement has been consolidated elsewhere before. It takes a little bit of study before you can determine how much money it can save and so forth. You look at how many purchase orders they cut, bids they issued, how are they similar and different. It is always worthwhile to sit down and consider possible consolidation.”
If the town did contract with the county for purchasing, the town and county would have to agree on a price for the service.