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May 25, 2024

Joliet Township – Supervisor Vera – Master of no bid contracts and disregard for board set limitations – Part VI

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 13, 2019

Will Co. (ECWd)-

For those new to the series on Joliet Township, we encourage you to start reading from the beginning to grasp the magnitude of malfeasance taking place in the Joliet Township government.   CBS coverage, Carefully chosen words, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V.

Please read the law for Township purchases, then read it again.

60 ILCS 1/85-30)
Sec. 85-30. Purchases; bids. Any purchase by a township for services, materials, equipment, or supplies in excess of $20,000 (other than professional services) shall be contracted for in one of the following ways:
(1) By a contract let to the lowest responsible bidder after advertising for bids at least once (i) in a newspaper published within the township, or (ii) if no newspaper is published within the township, then in one published within the county, or (iii) if no newspaper is published within the county, then in a newspaper having general circulation within the township.
(2) By a contract let without advertising for bids in the case of an emergency if authorized by the township board. This Section does not apply to contracts by a township with the federal government.(Source: P.A. 94-435, eff. 8-2-05.)

Does anyone see anything in the law that says you don’t have to bid based on limited qualified companies?  For example, let’s assume there are only two qualified companies that can do the work that the Township needs to have done. Is that a legal justification to not bid out the project?

Note the word “companies”.  It is plural.  That means more than one (explaining that for the Township officials).  The law says nothing about the number of qualified companies being a reason for not bidding.  It appears laws don’t matter in Joliet Township and to our surprise, their legal counsel at the time is instrumental in assisting in the fabricated rule for not bidding.

October 10, 2017 Township minutes:

“Attorney Burkey requested the recommendations be presented in writing which will allow the Board to waive the need to bid based on the limited qualified companies..”

So yes, according to the Township Attorney at the time, limited qualified companies is a justification to not bid out the project. Sadly for him and the Township, that is not true as no such express authority is given by statute.

October 24, 2017 minutes:

Approve/Waiver of Bid Requirement/Mound Cemetery
“The Supervisor directed the Board to review the letter of recommendation from Business Agent Tim Rossborough with the Bricklayers. There are only 2 local companies which have the right expertise necessary to restore the historic stone wall on the east (front) and north sides of Mound Cemetery. The Supervisor is asking to waive the need to go to bid due to the limited number of qualified vendors. Trustee Slattery moved to waive the need to bid the restoration work at Mound Cemetery, due to the limited number of vendors with the right expertise to complete the work efficiently. Seconded by Trustee Gavin. A roll call vote was taken. Ayes (5), Nays (0).”

Note the language in the minutes.   They imply they know they ‘need‘ to bid it out but justify not doing so based on the limited number of companies.  What they fail to realize is their actions are not in compliance with the law and they actually open themselves up for further litigation from vendors who were not provided the opportunity to compete for the business.

More telling in this clear violation of law is the fact the Supervisor has already talked with vendors and has received a price, all without bidding.

Approve/Mound Cemetery Wall Restoration Project Vendor
“Supervisor Vera reported he has been in contact with the 2 recommended vendors, Gilkerson from Lockport and Bruno from Hazel Crest. An estimate has been received from Gilkerson of $83,983.00. He has not yet received the estimate from Bruno. Accountant Witt commented this project was budgeted for $75,000.00; however, additional funds can be transferred if the need is there. No quote estimates were provided for review. Trustee Verdin moved to allow the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with the lowest, responsible, vendor at a price not to exceed $84,000.00 for the purposes of restoring the stone wall at Mound Cemetery. Seconded by Trustee Slattery. A roll call vote was taken. Ayes (5), Nays (0)”.

“not to exceed $84,000.00”

Is there anyone that does not understand what not to exceed $84,000.00 means?  Sadly, the answer is Yes, The Township Supervisor Danial Vera and all the Board members.

Gilerkreson recieved this no-bid business and sure enough, they were paid more than $84,000.00. ,

According to records recieved, they were paid two payments of $41,990.00 ($83,980.00) and another $500.00 payment.  That brings the total paid to $84,480.00, which those familiar with 2nd-grade math, exceeds the $84,000.00 limit imposed on the Supervisor by all the board members.  Now we understand that many will try to defend the action by saying it’s only $480.00 over the set limit, let us remind everyone this was a no-bid transaction in violation of the Township Code.

We understand there will be defenders who focus on the $480.00 figure over the set limit as being no big deal on an $84,000.00 project.  All we can say to those people is show us in the law where it’s OK to do things in violation of the law and in violation of what the Board voted on.

Once again, we call for the resignation of Supervisor Vera as well as the entire board of trustees as it is clear they are not doing their job.  We would also call for the termination of the attorney, however, he has already resigned.



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1 Comment
  • Mary Jo Barbosa
    Posted at 15:08h, 13 November Reply

    I worked for a sand & gravel company in another state and we bid for municipal contracts all the time. Sometimes we were the only bidder when the bids were opened. We were awarded some of those one bid contracts and other times the municipality decided to rebid those same contracts to see if they could stimulate more bidders. We won some we lost some, but all the municipalities followed the laws to a T.

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