By Jane Hobson
Carleton Place resident David Somppi was granted permission to address councillors at the Dec. 13 council meeting regarding his concern that the town did not follow the procurement of goods and services policy when the work in Roy Brown Park was awarded without using a formal tendering process.
Somppi said the issue raises questions about how often this happens, and more broadly, how it happens.
Last week, Carleton Place councillors acknowledged Somppi’s formal complaint and decided that seeking legal advice was the best next-step. At that time, council did not comment on the nature of the concern.
At last night’s meeting (Dec. 20) after receiving legal advice, council referenced bylaw 01-2013, which states that “exception to this bylaw will be permitted but must be approved by council.” In the case of Roy Brown Park, council did approve an exception to the bylaw, meaning council followed the code of conduct and is in the clear.
Along with this clarification, council also gave three statements as to why council awarded Stantec and Cavanagh Construction the Roy Brown Park contract, where construction started in August, 2016. They are as follows:
- Stantec had already completed considerable work that was available at no cost to the town for the project;
- preparing a tender document, advertising, evaluating and then awarding the tender would have added considerable time and the project could not have been completed this fall; and
- the town is not actually paying cash for the project, instead Cavanagh will perform work for the town for a negotiated price that is equivalent to the area occupied by the sewer waste management pond valued at $192,000 per hectare.
While some may consider it a citizen’s responsibility and duty to hold all levels of government accountable, Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos called last week’s comments from Somppi “inappropriate”.
“Our actions, and council, has kept with our code of conduct,” said Antonakos.
“I’m glad we researched this. Due diligence was taken on our behalf,” said Councillor Theresa Fritz.
Photo by Jane Hobson: Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos review notes as the Dec. 20 council meeting comes to an end. Council hosted a special meeting before taking a temporary break for the holiday season.