Monday, June 05, 2017

Should Barron Sue Over No-Bid Contract?

I told you last week that NorCo Executive John Brown has issued a no-bid contract to architectural firm DLR Group to study a new jail. Council Solicitor Phil Lauer has rued that Brown sidestepped two requirements in the county' administrative code. First, he ignored the law's preference for competitive bidding. Second he filed to use competitive bidding for a professional services contract.

Brown has done this before. He hired PR firm Sahl Communications without seeking competitive proposals. In that matter, Brown only relented and agreed to do things the right way after Controller Steve Barron sued.

Should Barron sue again? It's unlikely that Council will take Brown, a fellow Republican, to court. Also, the public loses confidence in our government when one branch sues another.

But when an Executive makes a mockery of our bidding process, which is designed to prevent insider dealing, does Barron have a choice?

Both arguments have merit.

What do you think?

Updated 10:15 am, McClure Condemns No-Bid Contract: "John Brown is once again violating Northampton County law. This continues a years long, disturbing pattern that we had hoped would end. It's County Council's job to block this law breaking. Unfortunately, the Republican majority does not have the courage of its convictions. It's time for a change of the corrupt, callous and crony-filled Brown Administration."

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

If this county council could do anything other than raise taxes, they would start the court ball rolling. They are impotent and really have been meaningless in most of the county issues.

Anonymous said...

Sue him. Brown/Allen/Trapp think they are untouchable.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Bernie. County Council should take the abuse of power head on, however, the spineless, useless council will not take on a fellow republican, especially in an election year, in front of the public and voters. Therefore, Mr. Barron, the controller, has a fiduciary right and mandate to sue this Dictator of NC.

Brown, [who should be sent packing by the electorate in November], cannot justify this ghastly use of power to benefit one vendor over another. That is the principle behind competitive bidding! If council wants to look the other way in this illegal action, they are just as complicit as Brown and they should be shown the door on election day.

E Mest said...

Vote the spineless council members in November. Brown knows better but does what he wants. He needs to pay out of his own pocket for what is clearly an abuse of power.

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect opportunity for Barron to sue Brown over this no-bid contract. His pal, Lamont has been running a campaign against Brown's corrupt, incompetent, and non-transferable administration. The courts will b-slap Brown for violating the HRC, thus proving McClure's point. Brown and his "high performance team" of unlovable losers have got to go!

Anonymous said...

Non-transparent. Dang this auto-correct!

Anonymous said...

Oh the hypocrisy. Not a peep when your mancrush Stoffa gave the no-bid west easton facility to his buddy Atiyeh.

LVL had a fair and balanced report on this over the weekend. Makes good sense that DLR is chosen to provide the same plans as the Kentucky site that Dan Keen has decided will be the best layout.

Of course we could always waste time and money bidding it, when the DLR group already has the plans we need.

Your hatred and bias is out in full form again. This is why you are not regarded as a credible news source by anyone. The locals won't hire you...but maybe CNN? Lies by ommission, daily hatred, lack of sources, bias all day...seems like you would fit in great there as a beat reported since your hatred of Trump has no boundaries either.

What a sad life you live.

Anonymous said...

@8:49 am... then why should plans they already have created cost $72,000?

Anonymous said...

I like that Brown got the best in the business to get the jail done right. Can't accuse him of getting one of his buddies the job. You get what you pay for, tired of sub par services by lowest bidders. Ask anybody who has military experience about the lowest bidder...

Anonymous said...

No-bid contract for the West Easton facility? Are you serious? That is a leased facility. Not owned or built by the county. Didn't require bidding. Your hatred of Bernie and Stoffa has clouded your thinking.

Anonymous said...

@9:08 Council is not saying they want the lowest bidder, but they want Brown to shop his options and have people submit proposals so that there is some sort of competitive position. His Director of Corrections traveled the country seeing what is best. Maybe he was also fattening his pockets and DLR provided the most money if they were not forced to compete for the work. I don't think the director would do this, but a competitive process open to public scrutiny would prevent this from happening. Plus the county has rules against this that allow the county not to pick the best offer that might not necessarily be the cheapest.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, This is not about the lowest price.This is about competition and making a choice based on a number of factors. Price is only one consideration.

And 9:08, how do you know there is no connection between Brown or Keen,who seems to travel a lot, and this bidder? You don't.

Anonymous said...

It always boils down to the price. Look at the pieced together turd the county is stuck with. ultimately this is about the rules being broken so I'll concede to that point.

Anonymous said...

The construction of a new jail will be the largest county-funded project to come along since the new courthouse. It deserves additional scrutiny. Butterbean Keen is not God. His opinion is valued, but in the end it should be the taxpayer's representatives, the spineless members of county council, who should make the decision on who to hire to build the prison. There should be an RFP with a committee representing the administration, council, and the courts. A facility that will cost at least $100 million in taxpayer's money to build deserves that level of analysis and endorsement.

Barbara Diamond said...

He should be accountable to the law. If it is necessary to sue him to do so then so be it. The public loses confidence when public officials break the rules and abuse their power. Doesn't Mr. Barron have a fiduciary responsibility to do so?

Anonymous said...

You should give John Stoffa credit. He made sure he gave his pal Mohr a number of sub $25K contracts so as not to be showy with his gifts, right? Brown doesn't understand how it is done.

Anonymous said...

Oh, let's bring up the "straw man" Ken Mohr again. Mr. Mohr was a highly qualified consultant and project manager who successfully piloted the county through several important projects including the Wayne Grube Park, Old Courthouse renovations and the Human Services Building. His hours were carefully scrutinized. The county got more than their money's worth from the use of his services. He helped to complete all of the above projects on time and at or under budget. John Stoffa owed him nothing. This was not "pay to play." Comparing Mohr to the useless cronies that Brown has hired under "sole source" authority is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:34, keep selling that old line. By now you appear to have it saved on 'copy and paste".lol

Northampton County been very, very good to me

Anonymous said...

3:29 you are obviously a fool. No cut and paste. The contracts to Mohr were no "gifts." They were earned. You obviously work for the crooked Brown regime. Hope you are proud of yourself.

Anonymous said...

4:06, you protest too much. How many contracts did Mr. Stoffa's old Lehigh County workplace pal have with Northampton County?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are going off topic as usual with your undisguised hatred for Stoffa and I start deleting you now.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to see her. Every county executive has been sure to give county contracts to their guys. Why pick out this guy? He is in no way the only one.