For what it’s worth

At the last Selectman’s meeting, I made an issue of the fact that only one vendor has been asked to provide more than $75,000 worth of windows for BMH.  The Town Manager defended his action by saying it would require developing specifications.

So then along comes Tom Bickford and posts a link to the Town’s Procurement policy.  It would appear that the Town Manager is in gross violation of this policy.  The threshold amount for applicability is $10,000, and none of the conditions that allow waiving the policy are remotely applicable.  There does not seem to be any indication in the public record that the Board of Selectmen were consulted or that they voted to direct the Town Manager to ignore the policy, which has been in effect since 2008.  Then again, none of them seemed to be particularly upset by the revelation.

The TM also takes great liberty with the spirit of the policy when he decided to enter into a $21,000 contract for asbestos removal based on a $15,000 bid that was tendered more than a year ago.  It seems to me that when the contract is 40% more than the original bid, it no longer accomplishes the objectives of the policy, among other problems.  In this case, there no doubt are straightforward specifications for the abatement, and a rebid would be a simple matter of advertising again.

It isn’t easy to spend more than $800,000 on a building and have as little to show for it as we do.  But they’re doing their best.  Wait until they get it up to a couple of million, maybe the public will wake up then.

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