Monday, January 9, 2012
The Million Dollar mystery
Million-dollar mystery in Wilkes-Barre
Well, I wasn't going to put my two cents in on this, just yet, but obviously I changed my mind. I'm still trying to get some facts, but here is some of what I have so far.
1. Leighton lied. Why? I have no idea why he would, except for nefarious reasons. If it was a gift to the city for the purpose of purchasing Fire Engines, even I could write that speech, "A generous anonymous donor has seen the bright future the city now has and funded the purchase of ......". He had permission to do just that. But instead he lied.
2. And council DIDN'T KNOW??!! "Some city officials, including Councilman Bill Barrett, said they learned of the donation only recently."
Wait, isn't their job to go over the budget? And to do that shouldn't they know where the money went last year? Didn't the question where the money for the new engines was in the '06 budget? Did they just rubber stamp what was put in front of them?
3. "The city's deputy controller, Raymond McHugh, sent Ceppa an email Tuesday indicating there had been little activity in the fund in recent years, but he noted the city used a $1 million "public safety grant" to buy fire equipment in 2006."
What? Was it a grant or was it a donation? Did we receive a grant? If so did it buy the Engines? And if it did, where did the donation money go? If we didn't get the grant, then shouldn't the city's deputy controller know? This REALLY sounds like things McGroarty did financially.
4. "Council normally must approve expenditures of $10,000 or more and, at its public meetings, routinely authorizes the purchase of emergency vehicles through the state piggyback program. Because the donor specifically earmarked the $1 million for three fire engines, that protocol was likely unnecessary when buying the vehicles, Barrett said.
"If they say, 'Here's $1 million, put it in the general fund and spend it the way you want,' it's a little different, I guess," Barrett said."
"Likely" and "I guess"??!! Does our council know their jobs?! Or are they 'guessing'?
5. "The city purchased the fire trucks through COSTARS, a state "piggyback" purchasing program that eliminated the need for a public bidding process, McLaughlin said Friday."
Sorry Drew, That isn't how COSTARS works. With COSTARS Engines are made to a exact specifications and can NOT be altered. Our Engines are not to those standards. So they weren't COSTARS purchased.
On a different note. Is everyone as sick of the way people run elections today? They spend MOST of their time telling us how they aren't as bad as the 'other guy' and not enough time telling us what they hope to achieve.
Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote