Playing the lottery

Special to The TelegraphNovember 22, 2012 

People in “proper business attire” often laugh at the gullibility of the average Joe or Jill when they play the lottery at the local drive-up mart. These same smug persons play the lottery at a more sophisticated level, often with someone else’s money, thinking that they are “the smartest ones in the room.”

This is exactly what I thought when I read the Telegraph article about Bibb County Board of Education member Gary Bechtel’s objection to the BOE lighting contract approved by the board majority to be paid for from savings of energy as the result of lighting replacement in schools. He was very correct to be concerned, mostly for reasons not cited in the article. I question the thoroughness of the BOE’s due diligence of this type contract, pay from savings, based on their less than stellar performance from the hiring of Romain Dallemand going forward.

Project payment from savings based on reduction of energy costs because of project work performed with companies specializing with these type projects has a poor record of success based upon my observations over decades of engineering and construction experience. The opportunities for “gotcha” situations are almost endless, especially after entering into a contract drafted or suggested by the vendor, many ending up in legal disputes and wondering of how did we get into this briar patch.

I do not question the contractor, a huge Indian firm, because I have no experience with them, but size does not guarantee excellence or success. I would be concerned with the capability of Dallemand’s legal team to adequately protect the client. Many of these type contracts end up in the legal arena. The answer regarding success will be available about the time report cards are due on the Macon Miracle, possibly by referencing the local courts docket. Maybe one more miracle?

Arthur D. Brook is a resident of Macon.

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