The Westchester County Board of Acquisitions & Contract has just awarded a $99,800 contract to the Westchester County Association for: “the provision of international relations consulting services, including management of a Westcheser County Business, Education & Culutural Center in China.”
The contract was slipped in by County Executive Andy Spano, who has taken several trips to China over the years and, no doubt, will again. A couple of years ago, he declined to cancel a planned trip even though there was a bitter, Bee-Line Bus strike going on. He took some political hits for it.
It’s hard to see what Westchester gets out of these China visits. Spano insists he’s establishing business ties, but the only thing substantial to come out of his office having to do with China is a mandatory recall of Chinese toys and other imported products tainted with lead-based paint.
Spano’s trips to China have not been funded by county taxpayers, but members of the influential County Association have accompanied him on a few of the trips.
So now we have this A and C contract, which was voted on by Spano, the county’s Public Works commissioner and Bill Ryan, the chairman of the county board of legislators. This is the taxpayers’ money…And one might ask: Who’s really benefitting in this deal?