Thursday, November 21, 2013

Really? Let’s Hope It’s A Trend!


Steve Lazo
Last night the Town Council’s DPW subcommittee took a major step toward financial sanity.


Former Town Council Chairman and current subcommittee citizen member Steve Lazo saw fit to question the item.

And question it he did! 

How much of the $20,000 would come from the water and sewer fund? Virtually all of it.

How much has been spent for these purposes (i.e. sidewalk maintenance and repair) so far this year? Well, there have been three arrangements of $5,000 each. But those were each separate contracts.

It also came out that $4,000 was still owed on one of those arrangements. That’s right, the services were contracted even though the money wasn’t there to pay for them.

And whose fault was that? It turns out it was the fault of the town’s procurement officer – who just happens to be the Town Manager.

Why did all of this work as well as that being proposed now go to the same [out of town] contractor? Doesn’t the way this has been done really amount to a circumvention of state procurement laws? If the work had been consolidated, wouldn’t it have to go out to bid?

Why wasn’t this work done in-house? Well, according to DPW Director Blakely, we don’t have the expertise in-house. But don’t we still have the same people who oversaw the work installing ADA compliant sidewalk curb cuts? Well, yes, but we’re short-handed. It was then pointed out that the department was, in fact, fully staffed.

By this point citizen member Morin as well as councilor members Peloquin and Carrasco were clearly favoring the work being done in-house.

Subcommittee Chairman Conrad Vandal offered to remove the item from the agenda and all the subcommittee members agreed.

Now it is up to councilors to see to it that this work is done in-house. Let’s hope that they follow through.

This is also an illustration how the most recent effort to raid the water and sewer account was thwarted by the expertise of a former councilor whose absence is clearly missed on the council. 

Let’s hope that this is merely the beginning of some serious efforts to rein in spending in light of the imminent loss of landfill revenues revealed at the most recent council meeting.

4 comments:

  1. Why is all this no-bid work being directed to an out of town contractor?

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    1. "the beginning of some serious efforts to rein in spending?" Every department head better try to rein in spending as they school department is headed for another major overspending of the 24.5 million we already allotted.

      You've heard of tax-and-spend; well the school district uses the belief of spend-then-tax.

      Delete
  2. That Town Manager sure is talented when it comes to dancing around the State Laws to get the people he wants contracts, but in this case, when he spends money that isn't available, is there a way that $4000. can be taken out of his last pay check?

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    Replies
    1. If thats a motion - i second it! what about it councilors any discussion?

      Delete

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