Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Norton boilers (part 1)

For those of you who saw the meeting tonight, you may have noticed there was some discussion on the Norton boiler project. Ok... that's a bit of an understatement considering the many themes* of Council operations became apparent during the discussion.

Regardless, I want to help you understand this project. A project that is IMO very troublesome. And while most of the information I have right now has been provided by one side of this story, I think it may help you begin to understand the potential gravity of this mess.

Unfortunately, I was just about to start scanning in pages to the blog and noticed that the opening (summary) pages of the book (provided by CT Combustion to the Council via State Marshall delivery) is copyrighted! And since this seems to be such a mess (due at least in part to the administration's failures, not CT Combustion, IMO)... I don't want to take any chances.

Nonetheless, I'll offer my own summary.

Basically, in relation to the three different bids that have occurred over the past ten months... CT Combustion offers seven issues of concern and substantiates those issues with (what they state as, and I believe to be) Town documents. They then go on to provide "exhibits" A to Z... most of which seem to be town documents... though some are memos from CT Combustion to the Town, etc.... and of course, those documents may or may not have reached and/or been read by town officials.

CT Combustion's whole book seems to be pretty thorough from my perspective. Though as Elizabeth Esty rightly pointed out... it's only one side of the story. And that's why I wanted to ask questions tonight... even though we ultimately tabled the motion... I still felt it was important to begin shedding light on this mess... to let the voters know that not everything is right in town government.

And before I go to bed, for those of you who caught my comments on the administration's failure to act within the 45 day window for the second bid, you can see the Feb 13 Council meeting here:
To which you may want to watch the video from about 0:56:30 to 0:57:30 (Google video is finicky and the precise time seems to vary by a few seconds for different computers). It's in there that you'll see the comment about the 45 day window not being obvious in a two and a half page document. Maybe I'll post the document tomorrow, but I'm going to sleep now.

Tim White

* 1) a failure of the administration to provide relevant information to the Council in a timely manner (we basically didn't hear about the meningitis at the pool or the cop in Wolcott until we saw the front page news... and the list of issues goes on)

2) a failure of the Council to hold people accountable with real consequences (see the 45 day window being missed or the $153,000 financial software or the pool.)


Anonymous said...

The discussion was an embarrassment to all that were associated with it. This is a clear example of incompetence by Town government. Evryone; TC, Town Manager, Public Works, and PBC had a hand in this one. Comical as it was; Chairman of the PBC attempting to explain he and his band of merrymen did everything buy the charter, what else is he allowed to say.

Matt Bowman attempts to do the deal in public and validates he really is incompetent. Maybe he should go back to removing mall signs from telephone poles.

What this did shoe was the inability of elected and appointed town officials listening to their subordinates that led to a bad decision. By not admitting they screwed up on the 45 day rule and at least saying to CT Combustion we will allow the 16k adder it has cost the Tax payers more money. It also shows the town govt really sides with the Bowman clan. How dare Matt say and infer because he and his business pay so much in taxes they are the appointed ones.

Why did a member of the PBC resign over this issue, lets here the reasons on this one.

Anonymous said...

TAXPAYERS OF CHESHIRE!!! Get your wallets out and get ready to pay for this screw up one way or another!
Mike Rocci

Anonymous said...

The way I remember the February TC meeting was that the PBC admitted there was an error in going beyond the 45 day window. Even with the possibility of an additional 16K, the bid from CT Combustion was still the lowest. The PBC was recommending the TC accept the bid and the TC voted to do exactly that - accept the bid. I recall Esty saying that even if CT Combustion wants the add'l 16K then that amount would just come back to the council for approval. The TC voted to accept the bid and CT Combustion should get the job.

The PBC pointed out at last night's meeting that it is not them, the PBC, that accepts the bids - it is the council. So it should not be the PBC that throws out the bids either. If the council wants to "change their minds" on a vote already taken of accepting a bid, they should have to take another vote to "rescind" their previous vote. One would think that Robert's Rules of Order should come into this whole mess.
The way it is playing out now makes one think that something or someone is trying to pull a fast one.