City Council drops the ball on watching out for taxpayers

typewriter So much for the City Council being watchdogs of the public’s money.
On Monday, the City Council unanimously (except for Councilmember Shahab Ahmed, who was absent) voted during a special meeting to fire the city’s contractor who salts and plows the streets and hire the next lowest bidder.
The contractor, Independent Services Group of Warren, was fired over several complaints about not plowing some streets even though DPW Superintendent Martin Ladd has said the company fixed the problems as soon as they were called.
The complaints, quite frankly, sounded overblown and politically-based. The next highest bidder is a company called Platinum, a company that has Hamtramck resident and former DPW superintendent Steve Shaya working for it.
Platinum had provided snow plowing services prior to this year but the company lost the bid for this year because it charges about 75 percent more than what Independent charges. As a result of Monday’s action, taxpayers are now going to be socked with paying tens of thousands of more dollars for snow removal.
Monday’s action also showed how phony some of the pledges certain council candidates made during last year’s election season about looking out for the public’s money and being watchdogs to cut back on expenses.
What a bunch of sanctimonious crap.
Councilmembers Cathie Gordon, Mohammed Hassan and Kazi Miah all said they couldn’t put a price on public safety and risk keeping Independent.
Well, guess what? As city officials in charge of city finances, you better put a price on public safety because otherwise you will end up with a runaway budget that’s out of control.
Ask yourself this readers, did you see a significant difference in the quality of snow service so far this year?
We sure haven’t, at least nothing that justifies spending tens of thousands more of our dollars. Judging by the way Independent handled Tuesday’s snowstorm, the company performed well.
Independent was providing good service, and yes, had some minor flaws that were quickly addressed. What this is about is looking out for the public’s money, especially at a time when the city is looking at a deficit for the next three years.

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