By editorial board • 

Government, like people, should try to 'Shop Local'

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great commentary on the problems associated with the public bidding process


I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.

I would be curious to know how many times in the past half a century the school district has asked Washington Roofing for contributions. How many sports programs, fund raisers, auctions, or emergency repairs, all of which WR has undoubtedly said yes to. How many other local businesses has the school district hit up to cover costs or raise funds? How much in taxes have the local businesses paid to keep our schools running?

Yet the district hires a consultant from out of the area who just happens to set criteria that locks a local company out of bidding on jobs. The suspicious part of my nature wants to look at the companies the consulting firm has just guaranteed will get those bids.

Washington Roofing didn't ask for the jobs, they asked for a chance to bid on the jobs. I would trust their expertise, given their history, far more than an outsider, as they have a vested interest in getting it right the first time.

My hat is off to Stan Primozich for standing up for what is right. Now I hope the school district will re-examine their policies to include local businesses who have always supported them.


BC is right, in that the "set criteria [locked] a local company out of bidding on jobs". THAT is the larger issue and that is the one that I have asked the district to re-examine and re-propose. I would like to stress, however, that the question before the "board" was a strict and narrow one: did Washington Roofing meet the SPECIFIC requirements for Modified BUR roofing as set forth in the RFQ. I cannot speak for other members (nor do I want to), but using the strict criteria set forth in the RFQ, they did not. Even Washington roofing admitted as such.
My hope is that we can re-examine the consultant's original recommendations and possibly modify them to give this excellent local business a place in the bidding process. Obviously none of the board members wished to exclude them. But speaking for ME, the specifics of the question for which the hearing was held and the objective and rigid requirements of the original RFQ upon which the appeal was based left no other proper choice on that particular vote. In MY mind, the real workable (and equatable) solution is to widen the parameters of allowable roofing to be sure Washington Roofing has a place at the table, not to set forth specific restrictions, but then ignore those restrictions for one particular company.
I must STRESS that I am speaking NOT as an official board member, but as a citizen. I've been frustrated with the portrayal of those of us who voted no, and feel that it was not clear that our vote was based on answering an appeal to a VERY SPECIFIC question on a RFQ that had already been submitted. If there is a bright side to all this, it is that it triggered a re-examination of the RFQ process, but the VOTE ITSELF, in my interpretation of it, could not be cast any other way.

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