By Michael Gaffney

I received a message from a concerned constituent advising that the City awarded a bid to a local constable despite the bid being higher from the local constable than the bid from the Sheriff’s Office.

I sent the following inquiry to the Treasurer and Auditor:

A constituent called advising that the Sheriff’s Office was the lowest bidder on Process Servicing, but the contract was awarded to Trapasso’s office.

Is this true? Please provide details of the process and advise if Trapasso’s office is paying their taxes on process service.

Thank you.

I received this response from the Auditor as follows:

To:

Cc:

Counselor Gaffney,

With regard to the bid for the constable services for the law department Mr. Zidelis will reply regarding the awarding process.  

With regard to the fee payable to the City, I reviewed the revenue ledger for receipts from constables.   The City has received fees from Trapasso & Associates each quarter but we have not received the annual listing required by Ch41 Sec 95B where they attest to the related civil process fees received.   I would like to discuss the matter of fees for clarification with the City Solicitor, who is out today.

The winning bid went to a constable that hasn’t complied with the law concerning attesting to paying their taxes?

I then received this notice from the Treasurer:

To:

Cc:

You replied on 8/19/2017 9:01 AM.

Counselor,

With regards to the bid for “Constable Services” (Bid CR-6747-W7), the Department rejected all responses and the City exercised an option to extend the contract from a prior bid (Bid CR-6366-W5) an additional year. As noted, the bid specifications are being reformulated by the Department.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Oh, come on! There is no doubt that the Sheriff’s Office has the necessary personel, experience, and ability to handle the contract. But, the City just rejects all bids?

It gets worse as I asked the most important question, was the Sheriff’s Office’s bid lower than the others:

To:

I’ll cut to the chase, did the Sheriff’s Office bid on the job for less than Trapasso’s office?

REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD

If you guessed yes, that the City could have saved taxpayer money, but chose not to, you are correct. Here is the response.

To:

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Yes.

I have to say our Auditor and Treasurer are awesome. No equivocation, no dancing around, just straight up answers. They don’t run the “department” that made the decision, but they are straight-shooters that report back the facts.

So here we are. The City would save money by switching providers. Instead, the “Department” rejects all bids and extends the more expensive bid.

From the Mayor’s Tax Policy Committee:

Our cities do not have a spending problem, but rather a revenue problem. For almost a decade now our cities, our schools, our students and residents, have been doing more with less. In short we are no longer cutting the fat out of government, but we are cutting into the bone.

We are restrained by state laws that limit the ways in which we craft our tax policy. What we need on a local level is more local control. [Emphasis added]

No, Mr. Mayor, we are not “cutting into the bone.” We have a city government that spends other people’s money without a care in the world.

It is time for accountability for every dollar spent. Our taxpayers should have to spend one cent of their money for government waste.