"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Saturday, June 13, 2009

STOP PAY TO PLAY: What you can do

Hat tip to tax activist Penny Bigelow for compiling this information concerning who to contact to put a stop to pay-to-play politics in Indianapolis. At a time when our cities, states, and country are in fiscal crisis, our elected officials (and appointees) should be more concerned with saving taxpayer dollars, than political cronyism. Sadly, most of them are not.

Penny writes:
Since Indiana dismantled the AEPA no-bid roofing scheme, “consultants” have been working with friendly people to allegedly write tight specifications to favor the Tremco roofing materials. This allows the company/governmental agency to declare only one company has met the bid specs so they are awarded the bid. It is extremely rare that another company is ever awarded the bid – usually when the salesman has been able to convince the buyer that his product/service is better than specified. The buyer must write a justification report when he wants to accept a different bid – something that many buyers are too lazy or too complacent to do. And lord help the underling who goes against his superiors…

Tremco, an Ohio company, has been very active in Indiana for many years and is now, finally, in the spotlight for such schemes in many states, allegedly overcharging by MANY hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet, when these Tremco allegations surfaced, I questioned Superintendent Mervilde in a public Board meeting more than a year ago. He defended MSDWT’s no-bid practice of using the Wilson Center, which was, at the time, a State agency which had only one roofing contractor, TREMCO! So much for open bidding in MSDWT, with general specs…

My husband and I have experienced such tactics firsthand. We often ran into such unfair dastardly business tactics in our business when we were quoting and bidding on equipment. We learned quickly not to waste our time with most governmental bidding schemes. If the specs were slanted to one company, we did not bid. Only if the specs were written to accommodate general bidding did we participate. Even then, it was not a level playing field; many times the customer already knew what he wanted and justified it in his purchase report.

This scheme for limiting bidders/bids cost the government and therefore cost the taxpayers plenty of money. It has happened in a wide variety of industries, as well, for over forty plus years, but government seemed to be the worst offenders to us.

Government should assure fair purchasing practices on ALL levels. Email your government representatives to tell them how you feel. You will be surprised what a flurry of emails can do to change their minds! Each email counts – more than you would ever guess!

1. Here’s how you find YOUR state legislators and email them:

2. Here’s how to email your City Council Councilors (all or a few, your choice – I am going to email them all):

3. Here’s how to email your Washington Township Trustee and Board: (The new WT Government Center interior was built without bidding because “the landlord chose the contractors”. Baloney: I’ll bet that the lease could have had a clause allowing WT Administrators to choose the contractors by open bidding. But that didn’t happen. I wonder how much input Trustee Short had in recommending the contractors to the landlord… Also a number of positions have been filled without posting notices of job openings to the public. POOR management, IMHO.

Frank Short: Frank@shortstrategy.com or fshort@indygov.org

David Smith dfsinvol09@yahoo.com

Don Barr duobar@sbcglobal.net

Jack Werner jackwerner@aol.com

Joe Simpson jesimp@earthlink.net

Mary ORea; marry_orea@att.net

Maureen M. Faul m.faul@sbcglobal.net

Newest board member – not listed yet

This info is from http://www.washtwp.org/publiccontactlist.html

Without your input, these bad practices will continue. So take a few minutes and email your elected officials!

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