By Grace Cangemi
John Curley’s at it again.
“If I’ve got to sign these things, they better be right.”
That’s Curley’s position on the medium-duty trucks the county is purchasing.
What’s the problem? Curley’s not sure if it’s just administrative or if it might be something more, and that’s why he sat down with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Curley’s been looking at the bid specs for medium duty trucks and a couple of things are bothering him.
Curley says the specs are overly specific and the 30 day delivery period is too short to allow for fair competition. He says that the specs are so specific and the time frame so short that a dealer would have to have the vehicle on the lot to meet the spec, and that violates the spirit of the state statute.
“The intent of the state statute is not being met and that is to be inclusive to everybody,” Curley said in a call this afternoon. He said he worries about collusion, maybe more than anyone acting for profit, but he’s concerned about the process.
Curley’s not sure what the motivation is behind issuing these specs and that’s why he has gone to the prosecutor’s office. He says he wants the motive behind these specs checked out by law enforcement, and until then, he won’t sign off on them.
In the interim, Curley says he’s working with county employees to address the administrative part of the problem to make sure that future bids follow the intent of the state statute.
And, he was quick to remind me, “in case anybody says anything about me being in the car and truck business, you can let them know that we haven’t done business with Monmouth County in ten years, and GMC doesn’t make medium duty trucks. We have nothing to sell the county.” He says he’s been working with the other Freeholders on this and answers are on the way.
Freeholder Director Lillian Burry says she’s been involved and that a report is forthcoming. She says she’s more than fine with the prosecutor’s office’s involvement. Open bidding and confidence in the process are what the public deserves.
Is she afraid of another Bid Rig?
“Absolutely not,” says the Freeholder Director who gained her seat after the Bid Rig scandal. “We have worked hard to get past that terrible time. We have been very careful. There are questions and it’s our job to get answers, but I’m confident that we’re doing things correctly.”
Freeholder Burry, like Curley, feels that his is mostly an administrative issue that can and will be solved by writing broader bid specs, so that “bids don’t appear to be being steered.” Still, she says she thinks it’s a good idea to have it looked into and awaits the report.
Still, trucks, prosecutors, bidding processes are sure to bring a shiver down the spine if any Monmouth County Republican with a memory.