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Cruise 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, 2002 Chevrolet Silverado similar to one just purchased by Monterey DPW.and used mainly by DPW's newly-appointed director, Maynard Forbes.  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 package 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 $29,614 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 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 meeting.)

Luxury Add-ons

According to the General Motors Web site (, 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 truck. 

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.

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