Not issuing a tender: an insult to our intelligence

Dear Editor:

Mayor Jakubiet declared once again, flashing his famous grin, that a mistake had been made.

City staff awarded a substantial contract to one of two bidders, Lumalex Canada, without first going to public tender (Herald, March 4).

My first question to the mayor is  how did the bidders know that the City was interested in converting the three arenas to LED lighting if there was never a formal RFP (request for proposal) posted on the City’s website and in newspaper advertisements?

Mr. Rob Campbell , who was a director, part owner and official spokesman of  Trio Marine Group at the time and who has since resigned from Trio, prepared and signed the tender to the City.

Around the same time the City was negotiating the Skaha Lake Park contract with Trio.

I have been a member and a chairman of the South Okanagan Contractors Association and have bid on contracts through their bid depository and  have been present at many bid openings both at SICA and at City Hall.

In 45 years in the contracting business I have never experienced a bigger fiasco than this one.

Is Jakubeit trying to tell us that he himself, six councillors, the city administrator, the director of operations, the purchasing agent, and the head of the electrical department, that none of these people had any idea that a substantial contract was being handed to Mr. Campbell without first going to public tender?

This is an insult to our intelligence. According to the mayor the two individuals that made the decision have “moved on” and are not any longer employed here in Penticton.

I suggest that the above mentioned individuals do the same.

Bernie Strohmann

Penticton