Well, Martin Paredes must be a little miffed today. His conspiracy narrative that hinged on my parents getting a construction project today fell apart when council voted to start over from scratch on the project. So much for Paredes’ conspiracy theory becoming a conspiracy reality. We may never know who actually ordered the hit on Kennedy, but we surely now know that I’m not entered into some kind of deal with the city to blog in exchange for construction projects. Or, if I am involved in some kind of quid pro quo blogging for contracts deal, I got screwed.
I know many of you are just devastated by that news. Someone having an opinion that doesn’t match yours is an impossibility short of it being a conspiracy… we’ve all been there and thought that before. My mild opposition to the ballpark deal is hard to swallow. Anybody who isn’t “on the take” should be saying that the ballpark deal is against the law and a crime against humanity. I mean, that’s what it meant to vote for Oscar Leeser over Steve Ortega, right?
What’s worse is that my fellow secret double agent for the shadow government, Representative Cortney Niland, is the one who orchestrated my nonpayment in government contracts. She’s the one who suggested that the project be rebid! Is possible that she’s not just a double agent, but a triple agent? It boggles the mind!
Seriously, the worst possible outcome for my parent’s company happened – a rebid. We aren’t going to change our price because the project isn’t going to change. We gave a fair price that allows us to service the contract with a quality effort and leave a little left over for profit. If we were to go lower we’d be sacrificing one or the other and that’s not how you stay in business. If you get cheap on your construction you’ll get a reputation for it and nobody will do business with you. If you start working for no profit you’ll soon be out of business.
When a project gets rebid everyone gets to see what everyone else was charging and then it becomes a race to the bottom. Construction companies that are desperate for work will “buy the job,” which means in the end they’ll be paying for the pleasure of doing the work (this sounds good, but it is not). They will pray that the stream of income from the job they bought will keep the doors open long enough for new work to come in. Or they hope that a change order will fix their profit problem. The customer, which is essentially YOU the taxpayer, is slated to lose out in this situation. You don’t want desperate people doing desperate things on your public works projects.
I guess the funniest thing here is that my parents are the ones who get punished the most here. They didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, they did it right. Council’s bullshit claim that this “is a problem” and “keeps happening” is laughable. There is no “problem” given that almost every bid features at least a couple of bidders who screw up. Now, they aren’t always the lowest bidder, but it happens every single time. Council has the option of evaluating the screw up in order to see if they can live with it and get a better deal. Nothing the staff does will keep disqualified bidders from pleading their case to council. If it’s not mobilization costs next time, it will be something else. That’s the nature of bidding government work – there’s an appeals process that does not exist in any other business arena.
Lisa Turner made the point we would have made if we were in a position to make it (we were not in a position to lobby council on this issue and did not do so) – why punish the firm that did it right? Nobody could explain to her why all the bids were being thrown out because one of them didn’t comply. I would have liked to have heard that explanation.
Turner suggested that we could pursue the city in court because they threw out our legal bid and voted to rebid the project. That’s not entirely true. Council has the discretion to award these contracts any way they see fit. I guess we could file a protest, but I think that would be useless at this point. She was right in suggesting that rebidding this project for the stated (non)issues would create a distrust with prospective bidders. Even worse, it shows that the process can be interrupted quite easily and council will take something that is routine and blow it up to the point of killing the entire process and starting over.
Even in the future the same question would remain – give it to the lowest guy with a small problem or give it to the second lowest with no problem. Council would have saved themselves a future headache by simply awarding the project to either my parents or the lowest bidder today. I thought the lowest bidder, Saab, made a good presentation and made some important points. He did, at a minimum, enough to deserve an up or down vote.
Bottom line – my blogging is obviously not something that has a positive effect on my parents doing business with the city. I’m sorry if this kills your dream of a top level conspiracy aimed at brainwashing the public through micro-media platforms such as this blog. You’ll have to go back to the old “they’re putting drugs in our drinking water” theory on mind control for the time being.