August 14, 2012 · 5 Comments
Does anyone remember the nursery rhyme: ‘Sleep, my little one, sleep, Thy father guards the sheep’. Is the Fox guarding the Hen House?
“The hen-house is based on the American farmer who, like a Pinoy farmer, keeps the hens separated from the roosters so you can have unfertilized eggs for breakfast or recipes. The American farmer long had issues with the red fox as the fox would find its way into snatching a chicken as an easy meal. So the fences went up around the hen-house to both keep the hens in and the roosters and the foxes out. Obviously as any farmer anywhere could easily figure out, you don’t allow the fox into the hen-house or chicken coup as you won’t have any chickens left. If you didn’t guard the hen-house, that would be foolish. Allowing the fox to go in on purpose would just be stupid.”
“Hence the phrase of letting the “fox in the hen-house” means that you are purposefully doing something very stupid and very destructive to your best interests. It still holds that meaning today but sometimes another phrase comes in. Stupid is as stupid does. If people do not look out for themselves and stay on guard or if they get lazy, people willing to do whatever they want or are told to do will make stupid decisions in the place of those they represent.” Fox in the Hen House
“Don’t assign a job to someone who will then be in a position to exploit it for his own ends.” Phrase Finder
While researching bids, contracts, and a massive money trail from both the Clark Edgar Rural Water District and the city of Paris a common denominator kept popping up, Francis Associates and Bob Colvin.
During the last CERWD I asked Mr. Colvin which hat he was wearing during a discussion with a disgruntled water district future customer. He informed me he was the Engineer for the Water District.
Even more interesting is not only have we found contracts signed by Bob Colvin on the line ENGINEER we also have documents signed by the CERWD Chairman, Tom Jones, stating: “Please do not hesitate to contact me, the Water Districts Consulting Engineer Bob Colvin, ….”
How does a man who is not an engineer become a consulting Engineer for a water district and the City of Paris?
This eight e-mail exchange with the City of Paris was rather telling.
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:01 PM
Can you tell me who the Public Works Director is for the City of Paris?
Received: July 05, 2012 7:30 AM
The City no longer has the position of Public Works Director
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2012 3:45 PM
Can you tell me who it was when you did have the position?
Received: Friday, July 06, 2012 4:22 PM
David Trowbridge was the Director of Public Property.
(Note that Director of Public Property IS NOT Public Works Director!)
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2012 1:19 PM
Who is in charge of engineering and technical decisions on behalf of the city of Paris?
Received: Monday, July 09, 2012 2:32 PM
All decisions are made by the City Council based on recommendations/advice of the City Engineer and/or project engineer.
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2012 2:44 PM
Who is the City Engineer and/or project engineer?
Received: Monday, July 09, 2012 3:41 PM
The City Consulting Engineer is Bob Colvin. The Project Engineer would be the firm that was awarded the bid for any infrastructure project for the City.
Whose interest does he represent, the City of Paris or his company Francis Associates who has received $3,223,526.74 from the City of Paris over the last 10 years? We know based on our FOIA they have never had to compete for a bid to earn that opportunity? He advises the board on what they need to do, and then he is in charge of getting it done as their Consulting Engineer, of which they pay him quite nicely for. An average of $322, 352.67 dollars a year! (Copy of Payments from the City of Paris to Francis Associates)
So whose interest does he represent, the water district or his company, Francis Associates, who has received $2,185,977.40 from the CERWD over the last 10 years, which again we know from the records in hand has never had to compete for a bid to earn that opportunity? This averages out to $218,597.74 dollars a year!
Francis Associates annual average based on ten years of payments:
$540,950.41 Dollars Annually!
How does a person keep the best interest of the public body in check when they are advising the public body on what to do which directly puts more money in their own pocket?
Everyone remember the work camp north of town? Commonly called the Ed-Plex? You know, that complex north of the City that cost millions to build and then they used Grant money (our tax dollars) to tear it down?
Any idea what the people of Paris paid Francis Associates for projects around that facility, to include ENGINEERING plans for DEMOLITION?
Why wouldn’t the city hire a full-time Public Works Director (Engineer) and pay them a reasonable salary ($75,000.00 a year) and save the City tax Payers $247,000.00 dollars a year on average. What could the city do with an extra $247,000.00?
Fix some “other” roads?
Why would the CERWD not hire a full-time Engineer and pay them a reasonable salary ($75,000.00 a year) and save the people of the water district $143,597.00 dollars a year on average. What could they do with that extra cash?
Pay off some of the $22,000,000.00 in Debt?
Lower Water Rates?
Connect some customers who have been waiting 20 years for water?
Another interesting common denominator in our research is B&T Drainage, who just happens to show up as pretty much the exclusive business used by the City of Paris and the CERWD. We are still gathering info from CERWD but we do know the City of Paris has paid them $9,016,327.90 over the last 10 years! Stay tuned for more on this later. (COPY OF PAYMENTS TO B&T Drainage)
Is the Fox Guarding the Hen House, or
Eating the Hens?
By Kirk Allen