"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cronyism Dominates Construction Spending at Washington Township School


Brothers Steve and Tim Thoman have the inside track for a multi-million dollar heating and air conditioning contract for North Central High School. Their firm is Performance Services, Inc.

Thanks to a little inside help from Steve’s brother-in-law, school employee Mike Gause, they were able to pitch a school board meeting in January. This presentation so impressed the Superintendent that it is still posted on the front page of the school’s website. Go to http://www.msdwt.k12.in.us/ click on “Mr. Thoman’s Report on NCHS HVAC Controls” for the full slide presentation.

While dancing through the charade of a public bid process, industry sources believe that cronyism will deliver the business to the Thoman brothers. The school’s proposal evaluation committee includes Washington Township school employees Phil Smith, Joe Licata, Bruce Goberville, Joe Truett, and (you guessed it) brother-in-law Mike Gause. There is not a single engineer on the bid evaluation team. None.

School Board member, Greg Wright, was unsuccessful with his requested that an independent engineer evaluate the bids. Apparently, that suggestion was not in the best interest of insiders and would only benefit the taxpayers.

Following a long tradition, school insiders slide construction projects to their friends and relatives. For example, Washington Township Superintendent Mervilde was hired by the spouse of a CSO Architects executive. CSO is to handle the $200 million plan to rebuild all of the elementary and middle schools.

Some Washington Township traditions die hard.

In case you forgot, Jim Schellinger (candidate for governor that airs pro-school commercials) is the "S" in CSO Architects. CSO Architects is getting richer off Washington Township School contracts.

No comments: