Monday, February 27, 2006

Cheap shot: MCPS blames Seven Locks principal

MCPS has stooped to a new low by passing the buck to Seven Locks Elementary School Principal Rebecca Gordon and her staff.

In justifying what the Inspector General calls an improper (perhaps illegal) non-competitive contract to design the controversial Kendale school, MCPS says the SLES principal and her staff suggested the firm because they were pleased with its work.

Montgomery County Civic Federation First Vice President Wayne Goldstein writes in the Sentinel, "SLES is but one of 125 elementary schools in the county. What makes this worse is that MCPS does not follow its own regulations that require competitive bids for contracts valued at more than $25,000. According to the report, MCPS officials not only did not follow their own procedures in awarding an initial $28,000 contractg to evaluate the original SLES site, but then awarded what amounted to an additional $890,000 no-bid contract to the same architect to design the replacement school."

Goldstein shows how county officials are passing the buck and blaming it on Principal Gordon, quoting an MCPS statement as follows: "The feasibility architect for Seven Locks has a proven track record on previous school projects for us and other jurisdictions and did a good job on the feasibility study. The principal and staff were pleased with their performance and recommended that they be retained for design services."