On Monday I made a prediction that the West Vincent Public Bid
for a certain piece of a equipment was probably a setup and the
equipment already existed. That e-mail has the specifications
for the equipment listed. I sent the e-mail out 8 minutes before
the meeting. According to the official Township video, I was
correct on my entire prediction except for one thing, the
DEALER! Everything else I said was true. The Roadmaster and
Chairman of the West Vincent Board of Supervisors Ken Miller set
the specifications for the "Open" bid to a specific piece of
used equipment that was for sale. A copy of the ad is at the end
of this e-mail. That way, the requirements were so precise that
it would be next to impossible for anyone to compete. It is
possible only if another dealer had the exact same piece of
equipment outfitted the exact same way. This pretty well removes
any competition in the bid process - and the idea of this
process is that there should be competition to get the best
For example, if the bid states (and it did):
1. John Deere Model 6430 Tractor...."or the equivalent"
that means that whatever the competition is must be an exact
match to the specifications of the model. No two manufacturers
make EXACTLY the same equipment.
Here is the transcript of what was said at that meeting:
Ken Miller: Call this meeting to order. The first order of
business is to open bids for a John Deere 6430 Tractor. I have
one bid from the Lindsey Equipment of Honesdale, Pennsylvania. I
was just going to say Brian must be here.
(laughter in audience)
Ken Miller: K. It's from Douglas Stimmel, the company is Lindsey
Equipment from Honesdale Pennsylvania and the bids for a John
Deere 6430 Premium Tractor with Tractor with 317 hours on it and
lower attachment is Eighty five thousand, Eightyfive thousand
five hundred dollars. I think the way that the advertisement
read Jim was that in two weeks we'll award the bid. There's no
reason, this one meets the specifications that's advertised?
Jim Wendelgass (Manager): Yes.
Ken Miller: So then no action is necessary tonight.
Jim Wendelgass (Manager): That is correct.
Ken Miller: Sara.
Sara: I think that that's a good price, isn't it? I think that's
way below what you budgeted.
Ken Miller: Yeah, let's see if it meets specifications first.
Sara: OK. (garbled) little celebration.
Ken Miller: OK.
Sara: Thank you.
Ken Miller: Suzanne? You had a question?
Suzanne: Um, yeah, I know you've asked for a bid but do you guys
go looking for the type of tractor you like to have and see if
somebody else has one either in Virginia or New Jersey that
meets your specifications?
Ken Miller: Well, the eventuality that led to this bid was that
we were in the process of bidding a new machine....
Ken Miller: from the, Stevenson Equipment who's a dealer, has a
bid on state bid for a tractors with mowers and we were working
on that since last summer I guess and we got, we saw in
Lancaster Farming Magazine an ad for a 6430 with a mower with
300 hours on it...
Ken Miller: and we went and took a look at it and it was in
excellent condition and thought we had the chance to save a
couple bucks so that's why we did the (garbled).
Suzanne : Perfect. No. That's good because I know in, I don't
personally buy farm machinery but I help men that do that kind
of thing they do exactly what you are doing so its perfect.
Solicitor Alan Greenwood: Mr. Chairman, let me just say that the
bid indicates that this piece of machinery or the equivalent.
It's not just limited to this. I think the minutes should also
reflect that this'll be reviewed and go in the 25th.
Ken Miller: Yes
Solicitor Alan Greenwood: At which time it will be awarded or
there will be an announcement if it isn't that night, the night
at which it will be further reviewed and awarded.
Here is the link to the video. You will find my representation
to be exactly what was said. Start at the beginning. It is only
about the first 4 minutes:
What a setup! Several weeks ago when a bid was announced, Ken
Miller was asked how much they would expect to pay for the
tractor and he responded "$100,000". As it turns out by that
point in time, by his own admission the Chairman of the Board of
Supervisors and Roadmaster Ken Miller knew the price of the
tractor, he already looked at the tractor, he made a deal with
the vendor to write a bid specific to that tractor. Yet Ken
Miller still gave a false price to stage it look like he was
diligent at saving the township money when this preset bid came
In this February 11, 2013 meeting, someone compliments him on
saving money and she was apparently at the last meeting.
Immediately after her question, he readily admits the entire bid
was a set-up and says it was to done save money. Really? How do
we know that? How can the public be sure that Miller didn't make
a deal with the vendor for a kickback and throw the vendor an
"exact spec bid" so that the sale was a guarantee? We don't.
Only Ken Miller and the dealer know. The price listed in the ad,
like all dealer ads, is a point to start negotiations. Dealers
typically build in at least a 10% overage into the price for
potential bargaining so there is plenty of room for a payoff and
there is plenty of reason to do so. There is lots of used
equipment out on the market and not many buyers in this economy.
That is why this type of action is and always will be suspect.
Miller created a set up at a township meeting weeks prior to the
opening of the bid so the audience would expect the bill to be
higher. That makes him a hero to the township. Ken Miller states
he is saving the township money, yet seconds later admits he
already knew everything about this specific piece of equipment
and wrote the bid to match it? I especially love that he states
to the one audience member (Sara) “let's see if it meets the
specifications first?" He already knew it met the specs, he saw
the winning equipment AND he wrote the bid to match!
Below is a copy of the advertisement for
this specific tractor. It was sent to me yesterday. I notice it
has a 'loaded interior'
with heated seats, refrigerator etc. Wow! (I wonder
if that is the best use of your tax
see my previous mailings please click on http://tinyurl.com/westvincentinfos
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