New Rochelle School District approves invoice for 60 (!) hours of labor to paint a Flag Pole

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Dear Board,

I wanted to express my utter disgust at the lack of financial responsibility displayed by the Head of Buildings and Grounds in the Trinity Flag Pole Painting job from November of 2012 as detailed in the New Rochelle talk.

I hope you had all the opportunity to read that expose.

Who can possibly approve 60 man hours of labor to paint a flag pole?

It supposedly took 30 hrs to scrape the pole, another 8 hrs to prime it, and another 16 hrs to finish coat it. And what I love most, it took 6 hrs to clean up afterwards.

And the best, they managed to do all that with only a one day rental for the boom truck. So clearly, during the Trinity Flag Pole Painting Project, the work day was 30 hrs long!

And what is the sense of a purchase order if the invoice is by far exceeding it; and that without any explanation or questions asked?

We are increasing class sizes and are loosing special programs, just so we can pay $4500 to repaint a flag pole? This is absolutely crazy.

And a few more words on painting. This job was done by a supposedly expert on painting, and still he chose to use paint with manufacture application guidelines of a minimum temperature of 60 degrees, he does the job in one day, when there are minimum drying times of 24 to 36 hrs recommended, and when it is 49 degrees outside on a mid November day. (I looked up the weather)

This it brought me back to all those other contracts we have with outside contractors. You remember my questions about the Snow Removal? I am looking forward to those answers.

I looked at other contracts we have.

There is a contract for “Maintenance Mechanics” from 2012-13

It lists

$300,000 for GRW Plumbing (same company who painted that flagpole),

$320,000 for T&G Electrics Inc, and

$100,000 for Zonzini Pipeline Inc.

This resolution was tabled by the board to just come back the very next month and be approved with a reduction of $50,000 to GRW Plumbing, but all the other numbers stayed the same.

So, I am asking you, what is even the sense of approving or tabling any of these kinds of contracts if there is a large disconnect between the purchase orders and the invoices. And if the amount charged for actual work performed is so absurd?

I was also surprised to see the same few companies come up as bid winners again and again. How can that be?  It seems, these bids are just blanket numbers, they do not specify how much work we would get in return for that money. It only says, contractor gets to send us purchase orders for a maximum of $300.000, no matter how much higher the actual invoices are, and no matter how much work contractor actually does for that money, and no matter if that particular work was truly needed.

Interestingly enough, the same contract for “Maintenance mechanic” for 2013-14 still lists GRW Plumbing as winner for the Carpentry (??) portion this time only for $150,000 for the contract. So it looks like that between last school year and this school year, there is $100,000 less maintenance needed. But, if you read that contract further, for the carpentry portion of this job, contractor gets to charge dumping fees for CONCRETE, BLACKTOP and DIRT.

The District has its own plumbers, masons, electricians and other staff. I would suggest a total moratorium on ALL outside contractors and a full blown examination of relationships between purchase orders received, hrs of labor performed and invoices paid.

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