To the Editor:

At the 05/13/20 Watertown Housing Authority meeting, Executive Director Philip Mahler’s spending was castrated “to limit spending to $2,000 and anything above would be with board approval...”

Another Freedom of lnformation Act request demonstrates this directive is not being followed. Remember, public records that are not disclosed and must be equal what?

A contractor was paid $2,650 for masonry work. Mahler stated this was for “emergency slip and fall hazards.” No records were provided to corroborated anything, including the mandated WHA scope of work.

A paint vendor was paid $4,694, who Mahler stated “is currently our painting vendor where we purchase our paint for interior and exterior.” No records were provided where paint vendors went out to competitive bidding and were vetted, as required, by the WHA.

I now suggest all Town Times readers change into their farm-tested manure proof boots prior to continuing. Ready? A landscaping contractor was paid $9,742. Mahler stated this no bid, open-ended contract was for “emergency work due to the natural disaster on 08/04/20.”

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is relevant here. Mahler provided an invoice and three total pictures of two branches in the woods and a twig on the sidewalk regarding this “emergency work due to the natural disaster” that had to be done immediately with a no bid open-ended contract. That’s it. The following records and more were not disclosed: WHA required scope of work, communication to/from the contractor, communication to/from Mahler’s employer the WHA Commission/Chairman.

This $10,000 no bid gift, on a deceptive charge of a natural disaster, was not an emergency as Mahler presented and should have went out to mandatory competitive bidding.

 

Dave LeBlanc

Watertown

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