Tuesday, December 2, 2014

THE CONTROVERSY OVER THE GYM ------------- by Joe Hill ------Originally Posted 2 weeks Ago

Let me qualify my remarks by first saying I believe Mr. Green and the members of the School board are all honorable hardworking people that care immensely  about our town and school system. They spend countless hours trying to improve our schools. I agree with their decisions 90% of the time but on this occasion I think they have made a costly mistake

I believe the School Boards decision not to take the lowest bid will, in the long run, cost us much more than the additional 17 thousand (Mr. Green's number) in bid difference. It could also cost us thousands in legal fees.

While the monetary damage of this decision could run in the tens of thousands of dollars I believe the gravest damage is to Lisbon's Reputation.  I think in the future contractors are going to look at this and ask themselves if they want to do business with a town that grants their bids on third party preferences and hearsay instead of objective dollar numbers.

One thing is undeniable. Both companies, Landry and French and Ledgewood, have  good reputations and either company could perform the construction. This is evidenced by our School board's pre qualifying both companies.  If  Landry and French didn't have an acceptable  track record finishing projects the School board should have eliminated them from the bidding process.   Going back "after the fact" and disqualifing a company from the contract is just wrong.

I disagree with Mr. Fillmore's statement that Councilors don't have the right to get involved in the process.  I don't think a Councilor gives up his right to address the school board, as a Lisbon Resident, just because he becomes a Councilor. And yes the Councilors may be a little uninformed but how are they going to become informed if they are not allowed to ask questions?

There is no right answer to this problem. If Ledgwood wins the court battle we will have the reputation of giving a bid under questionable circumstances. If Landry/French wills we will have to work with a company that clearly knows we don't want them.

 The damage has been done and the big loser is Lisbon's Reputation.  

Call your School Board and let them know your preference.

Joe Hill