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At issue was a contract for a preventative maintenance plan for the corrections buildings in Easton and West Easton. This includes the old prison, which has been standing since 1871. As Council President John Cusick observes, "Duct tape only does so far."
A three-year contract with D'Huy Engineering was proposed at a cost of $119,000 for the first year, followed by $40,000 retainers for years 2 and 3. If dissatisfied, Council could vote not to fund the retainers in years 2 and 3. Under the proposed contract, D'Huy would provide an overall assessment of existing systems to help the Corrections Department develop a plan to keep everything up and running.
There was some confusion concerning the terms, so the matter was tabled. Ken Kraft also balked at "throwing money" for yet another plan, and mocked the notion of paying an annual $40,000 retainer to D'Huy for the "privilege" of letting them charge the County hourly. Those points were well made.
But then Kraft suggested that the County should just let this go because we'll have a new Executive in January. "The Executive had 8 years to put a new plan in place," he complained. "Now they want to bring up all these things and do the right thing."
Let's assume Council decides it better wait. If it does, it will take at least two years for that Executive to understand what the hell is going on. And when he does, he may have a Council that is unwilling to work with him. That problem plagued John Stoffa in his first term. And that's how County assets deteriorate. So my answer to Ken is that it's never too late to do the right thing. John Stoffa is the Executive until the end of the year.
Scott Parsons took issue with Ken as well. "Are we supposed to sit here on our hands, waiting for a new Executive?" he asked.
When that happens, things don't get done. Buildings deteriorate. The Gracedale parking lot looks more and more like a moon crater.