Thursday, September 3, 2015

City Loses No Time Asking for Bids On Electric Fleet

Today's paper reports that just yesterday, Mayor Ballard and Council President Lewis signed an agreement over the new electric car fleet.  The 212 electric cars already delivered by Vision Fleet would continue to be subject to maintenance through Vision Fleet, but the remaining 213 would be put out for public bid.

Yesterday afternoon, the Purchasing Division put out RFP14-DPW-598
Four (4) Year Term Contract to provide an Electric Vehicle Program to the Consolidated City of Indianapolis - Marion County, through the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, Fleet Services Division
They wasted no time.

I have to ask, though, where is the public discussion on how many electric cars we should have, what attributes those cars should have and to whom they should be assigned?

Most certainly, the $45,000 lifetime cost per car was outrageous, and I am quite glad that the Council took a hard stance against the deal, if for that reason only.   Equally outrageous was the way the Mayor's office yet again circumvented the proper procedures - whether simply to avoid scrutiny by the Council and the public or to assure the award went to the favored company, or both.  Both of these have been stopped in their tracks, which is half a loaf.

Council discussions over filing the lawsuit against the Mayor have divulged other issues including problems with charging the cars overnight in the homes of those assigned the cars and lack of truck space for heavy arms that police officers want to carry.  The last one I still don't get - the cars were supposed to be assigned to administrators who don't really need a peppy car to get them to the scene.  So, whether more than this category of officers got the electric cars or these administrators just want to carry assault rifles, I don't know.

For me, it is not just about the Mayor's office circumventing proper procedures, and probably the law, its about them doing it so often that Vision Fleet has simply become a poster child for "The Ballard Way".  It is shocking to see how Ballard's time in office has devolved from him being a champion of transparency to being a manager of insider deals kept from the light of day, surreptitiously funded with moneys not appropriated for the purpose, and protected by a 'just say no' attitude to releasing public documents.

In any case, if you are interested in leasing the City 213 electric cars and taking care of them for 4 years, get your proposal in by October 2.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are correct. The Mayor's office, represented by unethical attorneys such as Andrew Seiwert [Feiwell & Hannoy, P.C. since July 2015] and Alex Beatty [Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, since August 2015], has intentionally circumvented the law with such frequency that Vision Fleet has become a poster child for "The Ballard Way." Mayor Ballard has evolved from being a champion of transparency to being a self-proclaimed, omnipotent manager of insider deals, concealed from the public and surreptitiously funded with moneys not legally appropriated, the contracts for which deals are protected by a Public Access Counselor who refuses to release these public documents.