Bidding Process for Westfield's Mobile Command Center was Properly Done
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 • 10:28am
I felt compelled to address certain aspects of Greg Kasko’s letter that appeared in the Westfield Leader on October 3, 2013, due to his innuendos that employees of the Town and the Town Council did not act properly with respect to the acquisition of the Westfield Police Department command center, and further, due to his statements that his questions/accusations were not addressed at public meetings. In fact, the bidding process had been addressed at public meetings more than once by the Mayor, Council members and the Town Administrator, and I personally addressed Mr. Kasko at the last meeting.
It is important for the public to know that the bidding process was properly done in accordance with the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq. Further, requests for information have been complied with per the provisions of the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 to -13 (“OPRA”). As to the latter, certain information was redacted at my direction, because OPRA provides that “security measures and surveillance techniques” should not be disclosed if they will present a potential public safety risk.
As to the bidding process:
1. As part of its due diligence, two Westfield Police Department employees went to the manufacturer in Utah to look at equipment and obtain information, prior to asking the Town to commit funds for public safety equipment.
2. The Town hosted a statewide display and demonstration of the latest developments in power and communications equipment designed for first responders in February 2013.
3. Publicly advertised bids were received in April 2013.
4. All companies who were making proposals had to file non-collusion affidavits, in which they must certify the prices quoted are fair and proper and not tainted by any collusion, conspiracy or unlawful agreement. This Affidavit is required with regard to all public contracts that the Town intends to enter into.
5. At a tremendous cost savings achieved through the statutory bidding process, the Town purchased the command center which was unanimously approved by the Town Council in April 2013. The Town obtained title to the command center and related equipment in May 2013.
If anyone wishes further clarification, please contact me.
Very truly yours,
Russell M. Finestein