Mr.'s Andras and Ammon of the Hazleton City Authority, I have a question.
From Steve Mocarsky's article dated Monday,July 28, 2003:
FREE MEALS PROVIDE BONE OF CONTENTION TWO HAZLETON CITY AUTHORITY MEMBERS SAY WATER SYSTEM MANAGER'S CUSTOM NO BIG DEAL.
Some Hazleton City Authority board members who approved a five-year, $13-million contract with a company to manage the area's water system say there's nothing wrong with accepting free meals from the company.
The Times Leader received a tip that American Water Systems - a subsidiary of American Water Works - has been regularly buying meals for Hazleton City Authority board members Richard Ammon and Phil Andras.
Matthew Brouillette, president of the Commonwealth Foundation, says his organization advocates the practice of municipal entities contracting management work to private companies to provide the "best possible service" to the public.
"But the only way taxpayers benefit is if there's a regular review of the services and contract," Brouillette said.
Brouillette said the authority should send out requests for proposals from management companies when the management company's contract is set to expire to make sure the authority is getting the best service at the best price.
The authority pays American approximately $2.7 million per year to manage water department operations. Cahalan of American Water Systems said the authority board did not send out requests for proposals before American's contract was renewed three years ago.
Did you receive gifts from American Water Systems in exchange for the awarding of a no-bid contract in the amount of $13 million dollars? Are you willing to disclose to the public the exact amount of meals or other perks that may have been provided by American Water Systems to you as members of the board of the Hazleton City Authority?
Is the Hazleton City Authority and ratepayers currently paying for your meals??? There are more questions to come.
Standard disclaimer. No crime is alleged just question on ethics.