Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.



I watched the recent Beacon City Council meeting (on TV) where a consultant presented a proposal to replace existing streetlights with LED lights.  I have several concerns regarding this:

1) why would the City of Beacon (us, the taxpayers) contract ANYTHING (of significant cost) without competitive bids being sought?

2) the projected "break even point" was, I believe 17 years!  Does anyone think that it is wise to have the same company that is trying to get business also conduct the economic analysis?  And any economic projection beyond 5-10 years would seem to be pretty ludicrous, especially considering the very precarious economic situation of our country.

3)  shouldn't some of the cities who have made this switch to LED lighting be contacted to find out what their results and costs have been, compared to the projected costs?

4)  the consultant is asking for $7,500 to conduct a negotiation with Central Hudson, as if this is a done deal with them.  If they want to be considered for the business, their cost of setting up the cost of the project should be on their own dime.

I don't know if any city council members, or the mayor, reads posts here, but I would appreciate it if someone would point them to this post.  Thanks.

Views: 449

Tags: LED, city, contract, council, lights, no-bid, taxes


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Comment by Steve Knowles on September 4, 2014 at 9:32am

It's not my job to find a contractor for the City of Beacon!  We elect presumably competent people to manage OUR tax money.  Part of THEIR job is to make sure OUR tax dollars are spent wisely.  One of the contracting steps used by the Federal government, which could be used here, is what is called a "Sources Sought" advertisement, where a description of the contract work is published, along with a request for interested bidders.  No estimated cost is sought.  It's just a way to find out who is qualified and who is interested in POSSIBLY doing the work.

Comment by Anna West on September 4, 2014 at 9:13am

So have you tried to find another contractor?   This is not a regular contractor, they are certified in LED installations etc, and they get all the supplies at the same place. Also they spread out and get assigned certain territories so that there will not be another contractor locally that can do it.

Please your words/arguments mean nothing if you have not tried to find another local contractor.

Or else, you are not reading what I wrote.

Comment by Steve Knowles on September 2, 2014 at 11:12am

Anna, I don't know why you think certification of contractors means that bid amounts won't vary.  In open-bid contracting, the low-bidder, in general, wins the work, so each contractor is free to propose an amount they think will be lowest, and also allow them to make the most profit.  What most people don't realize is that an organization (homeowner association, city, club, etc.) is free to prepare a description of work they want done, advertise a request for bids, and then review the bids/proposals.  If the plans and specifications for the work are properly prepared, and include a description of prior experience and technical expertise required to be considered a legitimate contractor, then the lowest bid received can usually be considered the best option for the work.  However, an advertisement for such work can also include a statement that the lowest bid will not necessarily be accepted, and that it is up to the discretion of the organization funding the work whether to have the work done or not.  If a contractor doesn't like the conditions associated with the bid advertisement, then they don't have to submit a proposal/bid.  People need to realize that it is OUR tax money and that WE, through our elected officials, have the ultimate say regarding how the tax money is spent.  The days of black holes of wasted tax dollars is fortunately coming to an end, thanks largely to the internet making it a lot harder for boondoggles, fraud, and incompetence to go by unnoticed.

Comment by Anna West on September 1, 2014 at 6:45pm

The contractors are certified, which means there won't be much difference in bids. They have been doing something similar in NYC for businesses, and they are certified. 

Why don't you try and find another company that is doing it locally?  That would really help Beacon.

Thanks Joan,  I am a news junky and always try to listen to both sides.


Comment by Steve Knowles on August 28, 2014 at 11:23am

How about advertising the contract, having contractors prepare their proposals (on their own time/money), submit their proposals, review the proposals, then decide if any of the proposals are worth funding?  When such requests for bids are made, a statement that indicates there is no guarantee that ANY proposal will be accepted is normal (otherwise, some outrageously expensive proposal would have to be accepted, if it was the lowest bid of a group of outrageously expensive proposals)  This is the way it is done in organizations that are concerned about how to best spend the money others contribute to the organization.  Unfortunately, with seemingly every taxpayer funded organization in NY, there seems to be minimal concern for how taxpayer money is spent, and more concern with spending whatever money is available at the time, and even looking for ways to spend money that isn't available (yet).

Comment by Joan Martorano on August 28, 2014 at 8:50am

Anna, thank you very much for the time and attention you put into civic affairs. Your clarification of the issue is much appreciated!

Comment by Ben Royce on August 27, 2014 at 7:26pm

the earth's climate has always changed, yes. the problem is man-made changes that are accelerating us in directions we don't want to go

Comment by Steve Knowles on August 27, 2014 at 1:12pm

Anna:  I BELIEVED the man-made global warming theory thirty years ago!  I have had 30 years to observe the evidence, and it's just not there!  It is not up to scientists to disprove a theory, it is up to scientists who propose a theory to supply evidence (data) to support it; that evidence is just not there!  Numerical models and cherry-picked "examples" is not evidence.  I realize people want to "save the Earth", and cutting back on pollution is a great thing, but to mask the effort to control the world via this fraudulent theory is just wrong.  Did you know that the Earth has been warming for 18,000 years, and that sea-level has been rising along with the warming, and that climate has been changing along with the warming?

Comment by Anna West on August 27, 2014 at 12:53pm

It is a shame you think that way about the climate because it means you will never think differently with an open mind. Would love to see your facts from a group of real scientists that shows the man made global warming theory is wrong. 

Competitive bid? If there were other companies working locally fine.  It is amazing how people don't want to pay for the most important part of the process. To do it properly they have to spend time on it, to expect them to do it properly, fairly without pay would be stupid on our part.  They are our client.  Paying the 7.5K leaves us open to saying NO. That is what we want the ability to do, right?

Comment by Steve Knowles on August 27, 2014 at 10:46am

Anna, if it is a good idea, it should be done through competitive bid processes, and the $7.5K would be part of contractors cost of putting their bid together.  $7.5K is a drop in the bucket for a contractor involved with a multi-million dollar contract.  As for climate change, I agree with you, it's been happening for thousands of years and WE MUST STOP IT!  I recently came across a nice summary of global sea level, which, if the man-made global warming theory were true, would be experiencing an increase in the rate of rise (it's been rising for ~18,000 years).  The rate of global sea level rise is NOT increasing, which is pretty much the nail in the coffin of the man-made global warming theory! (of course, the fraudsters realized that a few years ago, so started referring to the fraud as "climate change")

The fraudsters rely on the general public not being educated in science enough to see through the flaws in the theory, and also relying on their belief that "scientists" (in quotes, because no scientist who promotes the fraud should be considered a scientist) only seek to promote the truth.

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