DANVILLE, IL. (ECWd) -
Remember that GIS bid?
Well, we spoke up because the price was TOO HIGH! and it was a NO BID contract!
"Incredulous" says that we are keeping down this GIS contract because the provider is not licensed? NO WAY! We are pointing out that GIS services are not exempt from competitive bidding. The person who complained (Hartke Engineering President in Ogden) started and repeated each presentation with: "My company does not do this work.....I am not interested in this contract." It was not about him, except the part that he was paying too much into his taxes to let it go to waste on fiscal irresponsibility.
Surveyors don't even respect GIS data and its products because the quality is pretty bad and not a legally accepted product for use in their line of work.
The "good ole boy network" here consists of:
Bill Donahue: Age about 55 or so
Gary Weinard: Age about low 60's or so.
Bruce Harris: Age unknown,
The "newbies" here would include the whistleblower, Ted Hartke, who was 36 when he had the guts to question authority. Hartke has repeated numerous times, he has no business interest in GIS applications, but for $637,500 just about any person could maintain/update Vermilion County's GIS system. Wow, that's the income of 8 full time land surveyors working for you for a year. Since this is a 5.25 year contract to update/maintain the GIS system, surely this cannot possibly be a full time job for a person.
I think we may have overlooked this huge mistake if the contract was more like a hundred thousand per year.....but we're pretty sure this is about $235k more than needed to be spent without ANY competition to keep this price in line where it should be.
Look at it this way: If you were purchasing GIS services for your family, and there were no license or minimum standard qualifications for you to go after in case the vendor botched the deal, would you spend your own $637,500 without any fiscally responsible double verification that this was the right price to pay?
Repeat after me: "FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY "
Ok, try this one: "VERMILION COUNTY ILLEGALLY AWARDED A NO BID CONTRACT WHICH IS WAY, WAY OVER THE ALLOWED LIMIT"
and: "THE LAWS WERE PUT IN PLACE TO PROTECT CITIZENS FROM GETTING SCREWED BY THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS"
and: "NOW YOU HAVE OUR ATTENTION AND YOU NEED TO FIX THIS PROBLEM."
We know there are bad engineers and bad surveyors out there. Go look them up on the Illinois Department of Professional Registration Website... Click on "License Look-up" Type in your favorite surveyor's name, and see if they have been disciplined. That's as good (or better than) looking up your plumber or roofer in the Better Business Bureau or Angie's List.
Hope that cleared things up for you.