I sent this to the Grunter this week.
I had to laugh at the Grunter coverage of the latest controversy framed as another Brewster Hall issue. . They had me wondering if I was at the same meeting. The article was titled “Town Hall repair bidding process criticized”. Actually, the criticism was that there was no bidding process at all.
Watch the five minute exchange on video at the town’s website. (wolfeboronh.us – July 11, public input).Rather than support the policies of the Town Manager as reported, the chairman of the Board of Selectmen distanced the Board from his actions. She said that “last time [meeting] was the first we heard of it”. There’s a subtle but significant difference between the reported statement that the asbestos contract had three quotes and the actual “we were told that we had three quotes”. The paper quotes Linda Murray saying “Let me be clear, the board is following the policy” If you watch the video, she actually says “Let me be very clear from here on out we will be following the procurement policy…”
Bottom line is that the day after that meeting, the town initiated action to put the three projects out to bid.
Government works when all of the elements are in place. Key provisions are open access to information and the freedom to speak out against abuse. When public servants, for whatever reason, forget how to do their job properly, the only safeguard is public exposure.
This isn’t over. The window quote that was solicited from the Pella sales company (not Pella Corporation that makes the windows as they would have you believe), is being used to produce the bid specification. Unless another company can produce windows that are more or less exactly like Pella windows, except for the brand name printed on them, we are probably going to end up paying more than twice the budgeted amount for Pella windows. That’s sad when there is a plant that manufactures custom storefront windows in Gilford, practically in our back yard, that employs our friends and neighbors and contributes to our local economy.