Jan 132022

Your intrepid blogger received a copy of  letter from Eric Eisenhammer and the Gold Country Taxpayer’s Association.

What I find stunning is that the staff of the WPWMA DID NOT DO A TECHNICAL ANALYSIS/REVIEW OF THE BIDS!!! In something so highly regulated, what competent staff would make such a glaring mistake?

Date: January 13, 2022

To: WPWMA Board Members

From: Gold Country Taxpayers’ Association

RE: Agenda Item 9(a) – MRF and WRSL Operations Procurement

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Honorable Board Members,

The Gold Country Taxpayers Association supports ethical and accountable leadership for our communities, lower taxes, and smarter regulations. It is in support of our core mission that we are writing to you today regarding the MRF and WRSL Operations Procurement this evening’s agenda.

We have been following this issue on your agenda for several months and have read with interest several media and other online reports related to this process. These reports leave us with serious concerns related to the recommended actions staff has asked you to take. This procurement will impact local residents and ratepayers for over a decade; therefore, it is imperative that as board members representing taxpayers throughout our region, you are thoughtful, analytical, and deliberate in your actions.

First and foremost, we believe that it is fiscally imprudent to award a procurement of such a complex and technical nature without an independent fiscal and technical analysis. This contract involves the investment of well over $100 million of taxpayer dollars for necessary infrastructure. As one of the region’s largest capital investments of the coming years it is absolutely necessary that you protect the taxpayers’ investment by fully analyzing the proposals to ensure that these investments allow you to fully comply with the onerous regulatory requirements of SB1383 and ensure the selected vendor can deliver on the lofty promises contained in their respective bids.

Our understanding of staff’s fiscal analysis is that it was limited to only the early years of the contract, rather than the full term of the potential agreement. We believe it is fiscally irresponsible on a contract of this duration to not consider the costs over the full term of the agreement. This is especially true when the agreement requires such a large amount of capital equipment investment.

We are confident that you are well aware of these technical, regulatory, and fiscal issues. You demonstrated that when you approved a significant contract with a qualified company to fully
analyze the 30% design submissions. We are completely baffled, however, that staff never utilized this expertise to protect the authority and the taxpayers.

Additionally, we are deeply troubled by a number of issues that have been brought to light in regard to one of the companies submitting a proposal. More troubling is the appearance that the authority made no efforts to substantiate or disprove the allegations prior to making a recommendation. We understand that this company afforded an opportunity at the last meeting for staff or board members to ask questions related to these allegations – that opportunity was met with silence. Quite frankly, our members and the general public deserve, and demand, better.

With the length of this contract, we can ill afford to be victims of unanticipated rate increases or complete disruption of service that has been reported in other localities in relation to their waste services.

For these reasons, the Gold County Taxpayers Association asks you to not award a contract unless and until an independent full technical and fiscal analysis is completed. It is the only way
that taxpayers can be protected.

Eric Eisenhammer
Gold Country Taxpayers Association


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