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 price.

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....

Suzanne: Um-hmm

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...

Suzanne: Right.

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. Thank you.

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 through!

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 dollars?)

To see my previous mailings please click on http://tinyurl.com/westvincentinfos  As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don't want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me, it will be done.  Just hit reply to this email or write to chestercountynews@gmail.com

Best wishes