Fire Truck Specs - Min Change

Posted by Anonymous

The LUSJ reported that the council approved the Fire Truck Bid Spec with 2 desenting votes. The LFD appearently did the bare minimum to "clean" the specifications.

"Over the objections of two aldermen, the Common Council on Wednesday OK’d a revised call for proposals on a custom-built fire pumper truck.
The bid specification, which virtually repeats a spec previously tossed out by the city attorney, was published last week.

Fourth Ward Alderman Andy Chapman tried getting the Council to pull it back for further revisions this week, claiming the new spec is still too similar to the old one that got tossed because it skirted rules of fair competition for the city’s business.

The new spec “is not changed enough. There needs to be additional sanitization,” Chapman said.

With Fire Chief Tom Passuite and 13 firefighters standing around the seated councilmen, Chapman aired his suspicion that the revised spec is still largely the work of a truck manufacturer’s representative that bid on the previous spec. He said he compared the old and new computer files and found them “exactly the same ... except for 109 words.”..."

Below is a document that was handed out at the meeting showing the specifications similarity to the manufacturer's web site specs for their equipment, the minimum number of changes that were done to the last spec and higlighting FEMA's rules : (click on link below pic for PDF file) . Draw your own conclusions.

I feel the document deserved to be questioned. I can also see why people would get frustrated when the way "something has always been done" gets questioned. But why not do it right the first, second or third time? It may only be one fire truck purchase that people want to get over with but if it highlights culture of the city departments some friction may be called for.

Last blog post on topic: Pumper Saga Continues


Alderman Jack Smith said...

MJ- Thanks for posting the above documents so that people can see the concerns that Alderman Chapman and myself about the specs. I would like to further clarify that the new specs were already sent out for re-bid before at least two of us were aware, I personally was told that the City was using an outside firm to re-write the specs before going out to re-bid. The only way I found out that it was sent out was reading the advertisement in the paper. That is the reason I encourage everyone not to take the media reports at face value.
BTW- Good turnout at my "Ward" meeting last night, had three representatives of the LFD in attendance, good dialogue, I believe everyone walked away with a better understanding of the needs of the LFD and the concerns that Alderman Chapman and myself have about the specs. Thanks to all who attended!

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