Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Stoffa Does End Run Around Council on Ambulance Bid

Last October, Northampton County Council rejected a bid that would have transferred nonemergency medical transport services for its nursing home from Nazareth Ambulance Corps to Lifestar. In an exercise of déjà vu, Council repeated itself two weeks ago. Once again, it rejected a bid from Lifestar that was $86,556 cheaper than Nazareth's proposal. Council President John Cusick,  after the last vote, suggested to Executive John Stoffa that it was time to face "political reality." He has. Instead of diving through Council a third time with no yards gained, he's planning an end run.

In his first two downs, Stoffa employed the Request For Proposal (RFP) Process, in which proposals are solicited and rated by a committee, which then makes a recommendation to Council. Anything costing the County more than $100,000 requires a green light from Council, under the Administrative Code.

But there's another way. Instead of going the RFP route, Stoffa can also seek sealed bids, under which the County would be obligated to take the lowest offer. That's what he intends to do. Last night, Stoffa insisted he could not ignore the $260,000 in savings that would be realized from using Lifestar.

Council member Ken Kraft is concerned that Lifestar is "lowballing" the County. His colleague, Barb Tierry, is worried that the quality of care for residents will suffer if the County switches to Lifestar.    

Three members of Council - John Cusick, Bob Werner and Scott Parsons - support a switch to Lifestar. Nazareth Ambulance is the current provider both emergency and nonemergency transport at Gracedale, the County's nursing home.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Can you explain why this vote was brought up two times within 6 months? Did something change from the October vote that the process needed to be revisited in March?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, After the initial rejection, it went out for RFP again, this time with a few change to the services that would be required. The rejection of Lifestar did not mean that the administration had to contract with Nazareth. Lifestar came in cheaper than it did in its first bid, as did Nazareth. After the second rejection it became apparent that the Council will only accept the Nazareth bid. But Stoffa feels this is too costly. He can't do a third RFP, so he is going the sealed bid route. This cuts Council out.

Anonymous said...

Sanity. Finally. Peg Ferraro should do the right thing and commit hari kari.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is an expert on going around the will of the people. The county will be a better place when he is finally gone.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Agree or disagree with the decision, but your constant slams at Stoffa, always made at this time, are getting tiresone. Do I have to start deleting you again?

You are a bitter person whose hatred of Stoffa is unhealthy for you. Several of my readers thing you are Glenn Reibman. I don't know but can only think of one or two people that would have reason to be that bitter.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, do you agree with Stoffa's actions?

Anonymous said...

Council decided this issue. I don't think he can chang etheir decision.

Also, just because Stoffa is a bigtime mancrush of yours Bernie, not everyone is willing to kiss his azz on his way of doing things.

As far as deleting the real questions, it wouldn't be the first time.

Anonymous said...

Why is Ken Kraft so passionate about making sure the County taxpayers pay the most for this service? John Stoffa is doing the right thing. The rule of law should prevail.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. Stoffa is in for a fight. Council now freezes the funds for this service and stoffa himself can drive the patients to the hospital or doctors appointments, etc, etc. Council will set up a budget line item for this service that only Council will control. Council has spoken on this issue. Council controls the purse strings not Stoffa. Council will have the final say. As usual, Stoffa is wrong. Had Council gone the route of a bidding process instead of RFP's, he could have had his way. Yea well, what else is new.

Anonymous said...

good for stoffa. glad to see he has a set.

Anonymous said...

What will the price be in 3 years when Lifestar has no competition??,? Get real. Also they are based out of this country. So much for American made. The money is a drop on the bucket for Gracedales budget. There are better places to cut. Hope you naysayers to Nazareth get to meet them on the unemployment line. What will that cost is. Hope they are your neighbors and when they are foreclosed on the value. Of your home will suffer. This is bad on all levels but stupid people only see the few dollars it will save GD. For now anyway....

Anonymous said...

He has a set but no scruples!

Anonymous said...

I don't want my tax dollars supplementing some private business, especially one that can't keep its costs under control. That is no capitalism or supply and demand. We have to deal with is in front of us; not some hypothetical what-if b.s. about businesses closing. If their business is so good, why don't they have other customers? Why do they rely on the government's teat? Cut them loose now and fast before this gets drawn out anymore. Pretty soon we are going to make excuses for other contracts and bidding policies. This is cut and dry and shouldn't be thought about one minute longer.

You want to do good? Then give them your business or feed them yourselves. I have enough problems feeding my family and no one subsidizes me.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there is only one naysayer in O'Hares world that is "bitter". He should ask the hundreds of people who wish Stoffa would just go away.
He has made a mess of things. the worse county executive in history. Don't have to be bitter to relaize that. It is good that there our some people who are willing to give the other side of the Stoffa love poems we have endured for the past seven years.

To the O'Hare "bitter" person, I can only say on behalf of many, many peiople. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:57 AM you obviously do not understand the charter or administrative code. The county executive is well within his rights to take this service to bid and council can only cry crocodile tears. They voted in favor of Nazareth for political cover. They are now immunized against political backlash and can blame Stoffa. They cannot undo a budget they have already approved or freeze line items. Stoffa is doing the right thing to save over a quarter million dollars in three years. That is serious money. Lifestar will provide the same level of service as Nazareth and in a year no one will remember this battle. But the taxpayers will appreciate the savings.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa may be a lame duck but this is not a lame move at all. It's gutsy and let's all of council off the political hook. Genius. Gotta love the bravado.

Anonymous said...

JUST ANOTHER SHADY DEAL BY STOFFA. JUST LIKE NEW BETHLEHEM BUILDING BEING BUILD. ALL THAT MONEY AND IT WON'T EVEN BE OURS. THE BUILDING THEY ARE GETTING IS ONLY A SHELL AND ONCE UP MORE MONEY TO BE SPENT TO DO INSIDE ,WALLS,CARPET HEATING AND AIR COND,TOILETS, ECT LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE INSIDE.WHY DID NOT COUNCIL ASK MORE QUESTION ABOUT THIS, BUILD IT ON GRACEDALE PROPERTY AND IT WOULD BE OURS RIGHT IN THE BEGINING NOT AN FIVE YEAR OPITION TO BUY IF FOR MORE THEN WHATS IT'S WORTH. ALL MONEY SPEND IN LEASING WOULD OF BEEN PAYING BUILDING OFF IF ON GRACEDALE PROPERTY.IF WOLF AND BECTHEL BUILD WOULD OF BEEN KEPT UP OVER THE YEARS WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE AT NOW.WHEN ARE PEOPLE AND COUNCIL GOING TO FIGURE THE SHADY DEALS BEING MADE ALL THE TIME WITH OUR TAX PAYERS MONEY.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You're very clever to ask questions that were already answered several times. And I must compliment you on the ALL CAPs. That's a great way to make even the most intelligent message seem stupid.

Anonymous said...

Bill Wallace has a Secret?????????

Anonymous said...

ALL CAPS = small wang

Anonymous said...

Yeah, all caps really make your point even MORE IMPRESSIVE. What a buffoon.

Anonymous said...

What is Bill Wallace's secret? Is it the one that has been circulating?