Letters to the Editor, Sept. 3
Scratching my head
Having recently moved to Medford after working 31 years in capacities such as fire chief and local elected official in county and state government including managing hundreds of millions of dollars, the $6 million police/fire station “surprise” comes as a shock.
I’m scratching my head as I observe how city elected officials and administration operate. And the spinning by city councilors on this issue was breathtaking.
Remember back at the planning for the police and fire stations, the city “fired” a more than capable architect and a bidding process. Turns out his objections were correct. The city sold the community on a design/build plan that threw bids out the window for a “trust-us-and-a-wink” good-old-boy process that didn’t vet numerous contractors and architects for the best prices.
Now, unfortunately for the taxpayers, the results are obvious that in order to cover up the incompetence, we may get one less fire station and still have to pay for it. The results speak volumes. I’m surprised Medford residents just sit back and settle for this ineptness.
MT got it right
Your Aug. 30 editorial asked, "Why should the city suddenly have to scramble to find $6 million when apparently its contractor failed to do its homework?"
Bingo! The Mail Tribune got it right. If there is a negotiated cost overrun as part of the contract, then the city official that signed off on that should be fired. If there is no subcontractor overrun clause, then the contractor, being experienced in the business of hiring subcontractors, should have understood their risks and should now pay the overrun costs.
This is not rocket science. No wonder government is widely disrespected.
After reading the article about the huge cost overruns on the new fire and police stations, what occurred to me was, why not import subcontractors from areas that are not experiencing a boom?
Even setting up temporary housing and paying travel expenses would most likely cost less than paying the local guys, who must be jacking up their prices like crazy due to demand. It sounds like there is work enough for everyone, locals and "imports." Just a thought ...
Hiking the pipe
A group of our fellow Oregonians is hiking the 232-mile proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline route from Malin to Jordan Cove on Coos Bay. Their goal is to raise awareness about the impacts of a proposed $7.5 billion gas export project. The public affairs director for Williamson Pipeline says, "though there are some in Southern Oregon who don't like the project, there is certainly an overwhelming majority who are looking forward to the project being built."
Not so. Here is what we look forward to:
A future for our children on a life-supporting planet, not one that is further damaged by the transport and burning of highly polluting fracked gas.
Tree-shaded streams where salmon and trout thrive and there are opportunities for business and recreation, not a 90-foot wide 232-mile long clearcut bleeding suffocating silt in to our creeks.
Jobs that generate pride as well as money, that insulate homes, build roads and schools, and protect the water producing functions of forests, not dead-end destructive projects.
Changing our forest plans to accommodate their pipeline has no appeal. Neither does their intrusion into private property.
We do not want their dangerous polluting pipeline, power plant and export terminal.