The city is rebidding its sidewalk repair program and that’s just peachy by City Councilman Pete Spain who makes a pitch for taxpayers to solicit their own bids from contractors for the best price.
From Spain’s Facebook page:
“We have people saying, ‘I could get my own (contractor) and get a better price,” Ricci said. “Perhaps it’s more fair to let them.”
Added suggestions to the City of Bridgeport, CT – Government (Tom Gaudett, Ed Adams, or whoever else may read this and have some decision-making influence):
Yes, it’s more fair if you allow them to solicit bids on their own from Connecticut contractors, if they wish, and to benefit from the 50/50 program as well.
Remember: It’s called a “REPAIR” program, not a “REPLACE” program. Don’t waste on Taj Mahal sidewalk projects. Do quality work in the high-priority spots, but don’t pour 4x the needed concrete because it’s a nice grab for the contractor.
Start with the sidewalks where the city has had to pay out sizable sidewalk trip-and-fall settlements — such as one in my district where the trip occurred in 2013, was paid out in 2015 (nearly half a million $$$,$$$), and the “trip” hazard remains unfixed. Talk about being put on notice!
Revise the 30-day notification do-it-or-else letters. It’s not fair to stress out our citizens needlessly. Collaborate, don’t grind them down into submission and send them into the madhouse and/or poor house.
I know that R. Chris Meyer in the time before becoming City Attorney was concerned about ‘known hazards” and the added liability attending to such sites or conditions on part of the City when they were not fixed.
What has stopped the repair of that particular half-million liability condition in the 4-6 year period? Is there a notice procedure to property owners about City process? Who manages such program and what Committee has oversight? If liability is known, and unattended to by owner and City, who pays the next time it hits the court? Public safety is the responsibility of more than Police and Fire Departments. Time will tell.
By the way Pete: does the City pay those self-insured settlements right away. Is the money budgeted and paid from taxes? Do we keep a “secret fund” from which such settlements are drawn as needed? Do they ever get paid with borrowed funds, either Bonds, TANS or other credit instruments? What is the running estimate (made by the City Attorney each year of what the City is facing) for budget purpose? Time will tell.
DMC=Discount My Cement