News of the Department of Public Works
Control -- Here?
How your tax dollars are really spent:
Monterey DPW buys 'loaded' truck for its new boss
High-end purchase may set new equipment standard for
all town departments
MONTEREY -- January 12, 2002 -- At a special town meeting this past
December, Monterey voters thought they were giving approval for the town
Dept. of Public Works to buy a basic 3/4-ton pick-up truck equipped with
snow plow and air-conditioning.
What the voters were never told at the time was that the truck was also
going to be loaded' with luxury accessories, and
used mainly by DPW's newly-appointed director,
Mr. Forbes is former proprietor of the Monterey General Store.
Hidden Bid Specs
The actual wording of the Town's bid advertisement, approved by the
Selectmen and published in early December, seeks bids on a new 3/4-ton
truck with extended warranty, equipped with air-conditioning, snow plow
package, 'interior package upgrade', plus other extras.
That arcane car-dealer language dealing with an optional interior accessories
upgrade is just a sly way of hiding extra bid specifications and of
thinly disguising Monterey DPW's spending for a package of fancy, luxury
add-ons to go with its shiny new truck. A stripped-down, base model
truck-with-plow apparently just will not do for the dirt roads maintained
by Monterey's DPW (formerly known as the Highway Department).
Anthony Porcell, general manager for Condor
Chevrolet in Great Barrington, confirmed that Condor
did indeed submit the winning bid of
to supply the Town
with a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado.
Condor's winning bid, offering a truck with extended warranty,
snow plow, air-conditioning, 'LS' optional accessories package
upgrade, plus extras (like deep-tinted windows), met the specifications
written by Monterey DPW.
Mr. Porcell nonetheless expressed reluctance in giving MontereyNews.org
a list of actual options and accessories included with the Town's specific
purchase. Mr. Porcell claimed that that information should be obtained
from the Town. (Bids were opened December 17th at the weekly Selectmen's
According to the General Motors Web site (www.gmbuypower.com),
the optional LS package upgrade available for Silverado
models includes: AM/FM stereo with CD player, tilt steering, cruise
control, power windows, power door locks, chrome electric outside rearview
mirrors, chrome alloy wheels, deluxe seats, plus a long list of other amenities.
The LS package alone can add almost $2,400 to the
base price of the vehicle (depending upon which style Silverado ordered).
After delivery, Monterey DPW has budgeted an additional $6,202
to spend on further accessories, modifications, and add-ons to the new
The final cost to taxpayers for the DPW director's truck is slated to
be not more than $35,816 (that was the maximum approved by voters
at December's town meeting). Delivery of the new vehicle is scheduled for
later this month.