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Herald Editorial

South Okanagan topics including Summerland, Naramata, Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Keremeos.

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Herald Editorial

Postby fluffy » Dec 27th, 2012, 8:16 am

There was a rather critical editorial in yesterdays Penticton Herald in which Managing Editor James Miller takes Summerland Council to task on awarding the janitorial contract for municipal buildings to an out-of-town firm even though the winning bid was about 35% lower than the next closest bid. The bid from the outfit that had held the contract before came in at just over $110,000, the successful bid was close to $40,000 lower. Local hiring is all fine and dandy, but we're talking about a sizable chunk of taxpayers' money here. I shudder to think what sort of uproar might have ensued had council chosen to retain the local outfit at such a generous premium.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby grammafreddy » Dec 27th, 2012, 10:49 am

The municipality might be required by law to always go with the lowest bid.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby Tero » Dec 27th, 2012, 10:52 am

grammafreddy wrote:The municipality might be required by law to always go with the lowest bid.


no, someone (the mayor I belive it may have been) has been quoted as saying they are not required to go with the lowest bid. I feel bad that locals did not get the contract, but that is a SIGNIFICANT amount of difference so I'm totally ok with an outside firm getting it. If one company can over services that low it makes me think the next ones up in the bid process may be gouging a bit.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby Darkre » Dec 27th, 2012, 10:57 am

Other companies bid as high as 193,500. There must be some differences in opinion on just how much work was needed to clean all of Summerland's buildings. As the old addage says you get what you pay for. It will be interesting to see what level of service Evergreen can deliver at such a reduced rate.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby GIS_Dude » Dec 27th, 2012, 11:06 am

Darkre wrote:Other companies bid as high as 193,500. There must be some differences in opinion on just how much work was needed to clean all of Summerland's buildings. As the old addage says you get what you pay for. It will be interesting to see what level of service Evergreen can deliver at such a reduced rate.


Exactly!!!
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby grammafreddy » Dec 27th, 2012, 11:09 am

WOW .. so bids ranged from $106,000 to $193,000 ??? That's mind boggling.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby Darkre » Dec 27th, 2012, 11:25 am

grammafreddy wrote:WOW .. so bids ranged from $106,000 to $193,000 ??? That's mind boggling.

Actually they ranged from $68,968 (the winning bid) to $193,500.

Here's a story on it in the Herald
http://www.pentictonherald.ca/front-page-news/council-takes-contract-for-janitorial-services-out-of-town.html
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby fluffy » Dec 27th, 2012, 11:38 am

It was also noted by Mayor Perrino that council is obliged by law to accept the lowest bid unless a good case can be offered for not accepting that bid. It will now be up to the winning bidder to supply services that fulfill the requirements of the contract. It's a safe bet that they will be under close scrutiny for some time.

The "support local" idea is not without it's own areas of thin ice. This is a perfect example, how much of a premium should council be paying to support local business? Will any local residents be hired by the new contractor? It also seems a little funny to complain about "money leaving town" when as a town with a significant number of residents employed outside city limits they have no problem bringing other towns' money into Summerland.

I think in this case it comes down to "business is business" and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby twobits » Dec 27th, 2012, 3:20 pm

-fluffy- wrote:It was also noted by Mayor Perrino that council is obliged by law to accept the lowest bid unless a good case can be offered for not accepting that bid.


That is true. It was provincial legislation brought in to prevent patronage awards. It was noted that there are some creative things that can be included in the RFP's such as "on call 24/7" that can discourage out of town bidders but bottom line is that pretty much the only way to not award to the lowest bidder is to demonstrate something like lack of skills or required equipment. Perhaps really bad references would work also.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby Sn0man » Dec 27th, 2012, 4:53 pm

-fluffy- wrote:There was a rather critical editorial in yesterdays Penticton Herald in which Managing Editor James Miller takes Summerland Council to task on awarding the janitorial contract for municipal buildings to an out-of-town firm even though the winning bid was about 35% lower than the next closest bid. The bid from the outfit that had held the contract before came in at just over $110,000, the successful bid was close to $40,000 lower. Local hiring is all fine and dandy, but we're talking about a sizable chunk of taxpayers' money here. I shudder to think what sort of uproar might have ensued had council chosen to retain the local outfit at such a generous premium.


The winning bidder will probably use temporary foreign workers to do the cleaning.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby sobrohusfat » Dec 27th, 2012, 5:25 pm

Sn0man wrote:The winning bidder will probably use temporary foreign workers to do the cleaning.


... armed with a diluted vinegar & water solution on used clothing rags, ending their shift with a couple squirts of Fabreeze on the way out.

Squeeze the trades back another 10 years... SQUEEZE 'EM HARD!

:nutzoid:

Pathetic.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby fluffy » Dec 27th, 2012, 6:54 pm

sobrohusfat wrote:Squeeze the trades back another 10 years... SQUEEZE 'EM HARD!


Care to elaborate on that a bit? Not to demean those employed in the janitorial field but isn't a "trade" more of a reference to a trained specialist of some sort? Don't see how it applies here.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby RupertBear » Dec 27th, 2012, 10:28 pm

I picked up a copy of the Herald last week. There was a picture of James Miller in the first section and a picture of his dog on the front of the suppliment. There was also a note on the editorial page noting that the paper should have researched one particularly nasty recent letter to the editor before allowing it to go to print.
I'm sorry, but isn't it the editor's job to do the research, to make sure the letters are fit to print?
A suggestion James -- maybe spend less time making the content of the paper about you and more time acting as editor.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby Giants Head » Dec 28th, 2012, 10:45 am

[Waterman was scolded by the mayor for his statement that "staff appears to cherry-pick what goes out to tender and what doesn't.] This is a very interesting line that only people who follow council in Summerland will be able to pick up on. Less than one year ago Summerland Council made the decision not to go to tender for the operation of the Sanitary Landfill because they felt the the current operator was doing such a good job they didn't want any change and they didn't want to have to deal with a situation of someone else coming in with a lower bid then having to defend going with a higher bid to get what they wanted. So it's not always a situation of doing what is best for the Taxpayers of Summerland. In this case they didn't even want to check out the current market cost for this kind of work. There is another twist to this contract as well but someone else can go there.
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Re: Herald Editorial

Postby GIS_Dude » Dec 28th, 2012, 11:51 am

Giants Head wrote:[Waterman was scolded by the mayor for his statement that "staff appears to cherry-pick what goes out to tender and what doesn't.] This is a very interesting line that only people who follow council in Summerland will be able to pick up on. Less than one year ago Summerland Council made the decision not to go to tender for the operation of the Sanitary Landfill because they felt the the current operator was doing such a good job they didn't want any change and they didn't want to have to deal with a situation of someone else coming in with a lower bid then having to defend going with a higher bid to get what they wanted. So it's not always a situation of doing what is best for the Taxpayers of Summerland. In this case they didn't even want to check out the current market cost for this kind of work. There is another twist to this contract as well but someone else can go there.


Further to this, does anyone want to hazard a guess as to whom owns the company involved in the landfill contract that conveniently did not go through the RFP process this past March?
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