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Letter: ‘Southbury's Inept Bid Process Has Become Irregular and Inappropriate’

Co-chair of the Concerned Taxpayers of Southbury submits letter to the editor regarding town's bid process.

Editor,

As reported by Maeve Slavin in Voices who covered the Board of Selectman Meeting on 8/02, it is highly irregular and inappropriate that a vendor (who received nearly $295,000 in bid awards for capital equipment as the ONLY bidder) would be invited by Edelson to defend Southbury’s failure to obtain other price quotations.

The Sales Manager of Nutmeg International trucks with 4 CT locations: Hartford, North Haven, Franklin, West Springfield (and is the state bid on truck, selling to towns throughout the state): informed me that IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE AN INTERNATIONAL TRUCK IS PURCHASED, ALL DEALERS MUST HONOR THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY ; i.e., buy a truck for a better price at another location and the local dealer must honor that warranty, ‘come snow or high water’ as Crowe contends!

If, as Edelson/Crowe indicate, the decision has been made 'not to shop around by the best price per item,' but do one-stop shopping,’ why mislead the taxpayer by wasting money/time on ads placed in the local papers and website that they know only reaches one local dealer?

The statement: “Other towns including Watertown and Harwinton are going through the same experience as Southbury and ‘the smart thing to go with the local vendor’ inferring that business is no longer conducted by bids) . ..." … and ‘the trend is NOT to shop around for the best price per item’ is FALSE.

John Fredsall, Harwinton DPW head, stated even though they have a ‘local’ dealer, they still bid out all trucks and capital equipment over $5,000 and get several bids.

The office of Watertown’s Purchasing Manager stated that trucks go out to bid and they placed a bid request as recently as April 2012. That the beneficiary of nearly $295,000 of taxpayer dollars would be invited to defend the town’s failure to obtain additional price quotations borders on idiocy, defying common sense with nothing to compare that vendor’s prices to determine if we are in fact, getting a good deal.

With the exception of Selectman Landmon who alone questions expenditures on behalf of the taxpayer, the rest of the Boad sit on their hands - deaf, dumb mute to this inappropriate invitation.

Coupled with his disdain for the bid process, this invitation represents an Incredible lapse of judgment on the part of First Selectman Edelson.

Signed,

Carol Renza
co-chair, Concerned Taxpayers of Southbury
799 Peter Road, Southbury, CT
(203) 264-2186

Greg Kuehn August 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Dark shadows cast for the golden child candidate who was going to save Southbury! Eh, nobody is perfect and Ed will have some bumps. However, this issue keeps coming up and it must stop. Can someone from town hall please speak to this? How many high-end items is this town going to purchase without giving due regard to cost? So what are we left to do as taxpayers? Politely wait my turn at the next BoS meeting, tell the BoS that I'm unhappy, Ed thanks me for my comments and life moves on? Nothing I say is going to convince you (save Chad Landmon) to follow a practice that's been followed for as long as good business practices exist. In the short time I've lived here it seems like town hall maintains that in today's economy, regardless of party lines, nobody wants to do bidding on big purchase items. I can't wait to find out who's pockets are getting lined the most. So frustrating. Maybe I'll show up at the next BoS meeting to ask Ed and the rest of the one-bid team if they could describe how they went about purchasing their own personal vehicles? Did they just show up to the local dealer and take whatever price was thrown at them and jump at it? Or did they maybe check out at least one other dealer to make sure they are not being taken for a ride? BOARD OF SELECTMEN: please stop messing with long standing business practices that work. Everyone knows that bidding keeps people and prices honest.

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