Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So What's Going On With Gracedale?

At last Thursday's Northampton County Council meeting, Executive John Stoffa told Council members that a consultant has now been hired to evaluate Gracedale. It's low bidder Complete Care, which will cost the County $18,000. Other consultants asked for as much as $63,000.

What's being studied? Stoffa spelled it out.

"Whether to modify services, policies, procedures or management of the facility; whether we can partner with a neighboring County in providing back room functions at the facility; whether we should scale back the size of the facility; close the facility over a months or year period; lease the facility; sell the facility; any prudent combination of the above options; and any options that you believe worthy of consideration."

This consultant's report will be in by the end of July.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

So if you need a car and you get quotes of $20,000 to $25,000 but one guy says he can get you a car for $1000, is that a good deal? Stoffa can be so lame. Does he really think a bid at 18K will provide the detail and expertise of bids around 60-63K. He might as well just piss the money off the roof.

Hell, why not save the money and use the study that was completed in 2003. Every question being posed was answered and some of the solutions were being implemented out here until Stoffa got elected and stopped the reforms.

One thing can be said for John Stoffa, he has never changed. He is as clueless now as he was when he worked here thirty years ago. Good Grief, retire and give the County a break. How much more do you need to inflate your five or six public pensions.

THE wing

Anonymous said...

all of the above-posters vitriol and spittle aside, there is a point there. at 18k, i'd be worried about a) the depth of the analysis, or b) whether this consultant has an agenda. at the same time, this area is the Exec's sweet spot, so I'll presume he knows more in this instance than i do.

Anonymous said...

This is how the County works. They get the low bidder and fix the problems at a higher expense later. Or, they pay the low bidder and scrap the entire project because the work wasn't worth it (i.e. Controversial Job Study).

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Does he really think a bid at 18K will provide the detail and expertise of bids around 60-63K."

I see. So from now on, I guess government work should always be awarded to thehigh bidder.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"so I'll presume he knows more in this instance than i do."

All of the bis were reviewed and rated by a committee. The low bidder was selected, not because it was the low bid, but bc it was the best bid.

Anonymous said...

Bad bad idea..It reminds me of the joke about the astronauts quipping"
Isn't it good to know that the building of the spacecraft went to the low bidder..The issues at gracedale are too inportant to hand out to the lowest bidder..Find a firm that will be exhaustive and extensive when handling this task!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bernie,

can't swallow the kool aid here..It is highly questionable that a bid that low, compared to the rest, would be the best bid..
very , very doubtful..

Bernie O'Hare said...

That bid was rated the best bid, not just the lowest. If you would like to see the County reverse course and start awarding bids to the high bidder, I suggest you make that an issue, run for office, and see what the people think.

Anonymous said...

That's a pathetic and ignorant argument bernie..No one is saying you should award everything to the highest bidder. Again, what is being said is that it is very questionable that when there is this much of a difference in bids it most likely means you aren't getting the best work done. Not rocket science here..

Bernie O'Hare said...

What's ignorant is criticizing a bid simply bc it is the low bid. How many bids were there? Do you know? What did each bid come in at? How were they rated? You know none of these things and are condemning an $18k bid simply bc it is low.

Anonymous said...

Two things- first- as Bernie mentions, this is a professional consultant contract, which is not required to be awarded to the lowest proposal, but should be evaluated on quality and price. If this was the best quality proposal, then the price is a bonus.

Second- chances are they low-balled to get their foot in the door in hopes of getting work from the county for those back office functions- a quick look at their website shows they do billing/collection work.

Let's wait and see if their report concludes that the county would be best served by outsourcing to a company like them.

Anonymous said...

The whole point of the study is to figure how to unload the County of all these annoying old people who don't contribute to the bottom line. What's a couple thousand bucks matter? Why is there sudden compassion?

Anonymous said...

Let's all wait for the old folks to pass and sue them!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wayne Grube continues to haunt the county from the grave via his money draining "baby."

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you really are off the mark on this one. You know people are not suggesting anyone take the highest bidder. However, when there is this much of a spread in cost it does make one wonder what the parameters of the bid were. You are also aware that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. There is no such thing as an independent group looking at the bids. They are inhouse people controlled by the Executive.

As to Gracedale, the big shame is that there was a very effective program in place a few years ago. In a bi-partisan effort a Republican County Council and a Democratic Administration hired a consultant around 2003-04 to review operations at Gracedale. You continually deny that but it does not make it any less of a fact. I recall attending meetings with Mary Ensellin and the Director of Human Services at Gracedale. They worked together with the consultant to implement new ways of collecting revenue and cutting costs as well as enhancing the billing process. The Gracedale Administration hated the plan, as they always hate anything that is not the way they always do things.
As soon as Mr. Stoffa was elected, the firm weas thrown out of Gracedale and the report was put on a shelf and never looked at again.

I realize that Mr. Stoffa decided to throw out any previous Administration initiatives but this was a bi-partisan approach that was working. Over the past five years Gracedalwe has regressed back to its old ways.

Mr. Stoffa has always wanted to sell Gracedale as does Mr. Angle. I am guessing the reason for the low cost was because it won't take much money to tell them what they want to hear.

You are a big fan of all things John Stoffa. But Bernie this is too important an issue to let your love of Stoffa and Angle cloud judgement or facts. I mean if Stoffa chained a monkey with a gun to the parking deck and called it "enhanced security", you would praise hiom for his ingenuity.
Try to be a bit more objective on this subject, examine the facts and understand that both Angle and Stoffa have a pre-determined agenda regarding Gracedale.

Tahnk you.

Anonymous said...

We have blowed enough money on consultants. All these people do is blowed money on consultants. I thought we elected them to make decisions?

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The county blows - in any tense.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As to Gracedale, the big shame is that there was a very effective program in place a few years ago. In a bi-partisan effort a Republican County Council and a Democratic Administration hired a consultant around 2003-04 to review operations at Gracedale. You continually deny that but it does not make it any less of a fact. I recall attending meetings with Mary Ensellin and the Director of Human Services at Gracedale."

I don't think I ever denited there was a consultant and Stoffa himself acknwowledged that consultant saved the County lots of money. That consultant was not thrown out, but the contract was up. Things did deteriorate. Hence, the new consultant.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I can hear you spinning Ron Angle's latest crap into something not negative. How will you do it???

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that this consultant low-balled the bid to get their foot in the door. Could be considered a travesty or just a savvy business practice. The consultant is certainly more than qualified and will do a very thorough job. The entrenched management at Gracedale are shaking in their foxholes. This group will take no prisoners. Gracedale's future will either be the privatization of management, laundry services, housekeeping, food services or all of the above. Or it will be sold outright. It is a bloated facility that is not operated efficiently. The county needs massive savings in the next year or two with dwindling tax revenues and reserves. Gracedale is an asset that will have to be liquidated.

Anonymous said...

If Stoffa sells Gracedale he should be impeached. Whomever on county Council votes to get rid of Gracedale will be voted out of office.

Anonymous said...

Ohare is spinning as usual. The former successful consultants were asked to leave, despite their willingness to continue on the job. The fiscal reforms that were helping Gracedale were stopped and things did in fact deteriorate.

Please stop bullshitting for you patron.

Anonymous said...

The way it's usually interpreted is- "lowest responsible bidder". The county (or whoever entertains bids) needs to examine the record of the bidder to determine , all things equal, whether the successful bidder is indeed the right man for the job in question. You do not have to use the lowest bidder, but you need a compelling reason to go with a higher bid over a qualified low bidder.

VOR