I hope Mr. Roach didn’t expect an intelligent answer from Mayor Graham with respect to his concerns about the air conditioning contract.
The response “Roach’s complaints boil down to Roach” is typical of mayor Graham blowing off the better interests of O’Fallon’s citizens.
I would think a better response would have been to explain why the U.S. Communities contract was fiscally better for O’Fallon than a contract with a local firm.
But that explanation was impossible because the local firms were not given the opportunity to bid for the work.
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Which poses another question for the mayor, how does he know a local firm would have been $100,000 more expensive? So where does he come up with this outrageous cost differential?
Especially when he and the city administrator don’t have a clue that local contractors are able to install Trane equipment.
It would be interesting to know what the supposed U.S. Communities competitors provided, however, the city council members were only given one choice to vote on, so even they probably don’t know.
O’Fallon citizens shouldn’t be any more surprised about this discussion than Mr. Roach, as the Mayor has noncompetitive history behind him.
Consider the following contracts let noncompetitively in addition to that for the air conditioning work: over $120,000 for street signs, over $500,000 in new software, approximately $2.7 million for about 90 acres of land ($30,000 an acre) without an assessed value, and the city wide trash hauling contract with Waste Management.
These are just some of the larger not competed contracts handed out over the last 4 years, and not a complete listing.
Maybe local contractors wouldn’t be able to provide a better service at a better price on these contracts, but how are we to know if they aren’t given a chance?
I don't believe contracts should just be given to local contractors without them having to competitively bid but they should at least have an opportunity to bid on these large contracts.
I’m not sure how the mayor figures buying a screwdriver from a local establishment is equivalent to the multi $100,000 business he arbitrarily gives away to outsiders.
And as a collateral issue, is there any question as to what extent management decisions have contributed to our city debt growing over 600 percent under Mayor Graham?