Attached is the Manager’s explanation on the history of why it was permissible for the Fire Chief to mandate the specific boxes and why (in his view) he didn’t and apparently from his comments on WCAP doesn’t, feel it necessary that neither he nor the Council be notified that the Inspector General sent the City a letter stating their process was ‘flawed” and not “advantageous for the businesses and citizens of Lowell.”
He’s justifying this by stating this was simply administrative and that the report states (bold mine):
“The Inspector General’s office’s review and letter to our Purchasing Department did not order any changes to what had been or was going to be done, nor did it seek any penalties, etc. Instead, they provided a number of good recommendations to us and other communities making similar types of procurements.”
So as long has the IG doesn’t say you have to rebid or fine you or explicitly state “STOP THE PRICE GOURGING” than the Manager doesn’t have to be notified that the Inspector General’s Office sent a letter.
Even if the letter clearly states “This is not advantageous for the businesses and citizens of Lowell ? That decision according to the City Manager is open to a Department Heads interpretation of the letter.
Maybe the part of the letter that says (Bold MINE) “Based on our review and according to the City, the price that East Coast was charging for the non-municipal installations for each Keltron radio alarm box was much higher than the $1,100 price that East Coast was paying to obtain the boxes.
This was not advantageous for the businesses and citizens of Lowell. In fact, the City advised this Office that one municipal user complained of “price gouging” by East Coast.
might have gotten your attention last October and the attention of the City Council.
If you were made aware of this letter last October Mr. Manager and shared it with the City Council and citizens, than that Council and those running for that office, would maybe have the IDEA that the taxpayers/businesses felt they were being screwed (again) by the City forcing them to spend $2,475.00 for a fire box and it would have prompted a City Councilor or council candidate to call for a review of this process or a detailed explanation at that time before this administration was again forced to back pedal and justify again their lack of communication to the Council and Taxpayers.
You can use all the legalese and swamp the council with history of the fire dept being allowed to do this all you want but to downplay the Inspector General’s Letter and to state in your opinion it is okay for a Dept. Head to decide when he/she needs to inform you when the city receives a letter from the Inspector General leaves the door wide open for criticism of your management and communication skills.
To simply dismiss this as a day-to-day common administrative event makes people wonder what else don’t we know about? It also shows a lack of respect for the taxpayers and business owners of this city when the Purchasing Agent and Law Dept. for the City ignores the IG’s letter when it states clearly
This was not advantageous for the businesses and citizens of Lowell
You really believe that YOU the City Manager does not need to be made aware of that statement from the Inspector General?
It is sad the this Council would have to pass a motion directing you to have all departments send you a copy of any letter from the Inspector General or any Investigatory State Agency and that you are required to pass that along to your bosses the entire City Council but it appears to me by your statements that it will be the only way for them to insure this doesn’t happen again.