After a short presentation from salesperson Bob Carson of Stadium International Trucks, and a lengthy, often heated discussion, the Lysander Town Board approved the purchase of an International truck costing $94,786 at its Sept 23 board meeting.
Councilor Russ Johnson, whose failed motion, seconded and backed only by Councilor Art Levy, to table a decision in order to allow other vendors the opportunity to present their respective trucks as Carson did, abstained from voting, calling the process “flawed” and “tainted.” Levy voted against the purchase. “Parts of this process have the appearance of impropriety and I’ll be voting no for that reason,” he said.
Though the purchase of a highway truck was on the agenda for that evening, a presentation by Carson was not listed.
“This flies in the face of appropriate procurement,” Johnson said. “We have had one vendor come in and give a sales pitch and I do appreciate that ... no offense to the vendor, but we’ve got other vehicles, other makes, and I just think that if we’re going to be doing this with one vendor, then I want to hear more.”
Supervisor John Salisbury and councilors Andy Reeves and Melinda Shimer argued that the highway superintendent had more than enough time to present the board with analyses of his recommendation, Western Star.
“I have exhausted my ability to get what I need to make an intelligent decision about this,” Salisbury said. “When Bob called and said he would be glad to come to the meeting, I wanted to hear about this. We have exhausted our ability to get the information from our highway superintendent.”
Levy countered that, “there was a recommendation to this board by the highway committee of which truck to purchase, which was not accepted, “ he said. “In my experience, those recommendations usually are.”