Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday, March 12 Agenda Item # 9 - Another Dump Truck Expense

Hi All,
This is the last item I will be blogging about for the Monday, March 12  Board of Trustees meeting. The last 10 blogs I wrote are archived to the right and all concern the BUDGET and the AGENDA items for March 12, 2012.  Variations of my blogs have also been posted on PATCH.

Have you forgotten that the FIRST agenda item on Monday is a public hearing to approve the budget?  Do you know the LAST agenda item is approving payroll and vouchers...which the Board does not share with the public on the website. Will you come to this meeting and add your three minutes for each agenda item that concerns YOU?

Agenda Item # 9  Consider Approval of Purchase of New Dump Truck
Go to pp. 109 -112 in the March 12 Board Packet for the details.

The March 5 letter from the Director of Public Works to the Supervisor starts out this way:

I thought this agenda item sounded familiar.  It was just this past fall when the township trustees authorized a purchase of a new dump truck.  Bids were received for this purchase.

Another truck....more new bids?  A chance for companies to take a second look at their bid and make any adjustments and offer a new bid for a new purchase.  Each purchase of this size should go out for bids....but the second paragraph of the letter:

Notice the urgency of this request.  No time to put out for bids!  Didn't the township know a few months ago that this dump truck was old and no parts could be found?  Good thing we had a mild winter. Would the base price been lower if ordering two trucks at once?  If the truck takes months to build, the money would still have been budgeted and available.

The third paragraph of the letter from Tom Trice to Leo Savoie states:

How can you get bid results and prices for a new dump truck by June or July 2011 and then miss the deadline for the purchase order in September?  Result, the township taxpayer paid more than the board approved.  But...instead of $2,900 too much...we got a deal at only $1900 too much.  Kind of like the statement, vote yes for new taxes and pay less.  People actually believe that! Amazing.

That the next paragraph carefully...

Sorry, the price bid June 28, 2011 was $190,745.20. 
The 201l dump truck purchase ended up costing:  $192,645.20 
The 2012 dump truck purchase being considered on 3/12/12 is costing the taxpayer:  $193,644.25
The facts in the letter should be accurate.
Caution:  A good chance to miss the deadline again .....result?  Higher price again?

There are documents in the board packet from last year concerning bids.  Too bad there are no documents from this year.  Once again, a purchase of this value should go out for bids.  It did not.  This is not the best practice for a government.

Bottom Line: BIDS should be required to purchase equipment and vehicles.   

To the Bloomfield Township taxpayers:
Everything I have written about on all the agenda items for March 12 should make you pause and think about what is going on at the township and how it relates to the budget and the taxes you pay.  Personnel costs and vehicle purchases are excessive and unsustainable. If you are one of the 300 in the likely upcoming Mitchell Research SURVEY...answer carefully and truthfully as you see the township.  From my perspective, changes need to occur and those changes need to include less taxes on the property owners.  We elect leaders to find the happy medium between what taxpayers can afford and what services are worth.  When most of the money for a service is benefits to employees...that is not much service to the taxpayer. 

I would bet the vote on all the items...including the public hearing budget vote, will be 7 votes for the agenda item and 0 votes against.  I would bet that there will be little discussion, unless the presenter or trustees choose to address any of the issues found in my blogs.  I would like to bet, that many of you will voice your opinion at the meeting....but past attendance at board meetings tells me that:  it is the silence that allows the status quo to continue.

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