#1 2010-10-22 21:48:26




#2 2010-10-23 00:34:44

I read the entire report. I don't see anything except a "slap on the wrist" from the IG.

It looks like the blame is spread pretty far and wide. The WTF site is making much ado about nothing.

Where is the audit report?



#3 2010-10-23 09:21:27

Ham of Peace here.

I think in a way the report actually clears Gifford.  Bobo and his tin hat buddies have been falsely accusing him of criminal actions for over a year, but as this report shows, anything that happened was more in the nature of a mistake than purposeful wrongdoing.

Having people take away scrap metal to get rid of it seems like a smart idea to me.  When you figure in the wages of employees, and taking away from other work in town that needs to get done (you have to remember, municipal maintenance is down from 40 to 5 workers due to the incompetence of the previous BOS), they don't have time to be worrying about scrap metal and it seems like a good idea to get rid of it by letting someone haul it away and taking the recycle fee as their payment.

As for approval of $39,000...hey, wouldn't that be something that the TA would need to be involved in?  Oh right, we didn't have a permanent TA for four years.   Where were Interim Butt Monkey and the Previous Board during this?

Anyway, if anything happened, it was more in the nature of a mistake than criminal activity...here's hoping that Bobo's false accusations of criminality lead to the pants getting sued off of him.

Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-10-23 09:23:30)



#4 2010-10-23 09:46:39

I agree with Ham...accusing people of criminal activities without any basis is WTF's M.O....
Municipal Maintenance personnel... Military personnel...you know...



#5 2010-10-23 09:56:24

I also read the whole report which can be found on the IG’s web site under publications. Dan’s right not exactly a scathing report. I’m sure the IG is just thrilled that they had to spend all that time investigating how Mr. Gifford chose to clean up the maintenance yard and oh my god he lent a contractor who was doing some work for the fire district borrow some risers which were later returned. Stupid face also said the last fiasco with the asphalt was a “scathing” report.

If the TA simply asked Mr. Gifford for an explanation of the decisions he made it would have saved the tax payers a lot of money...

There is one section of the findings that is interesting and it would be great if the town adopted the IG's recommendations listed below for ALL dept heads and the TA even if they don’t fall under the IG’s jurisdiction. It should be the new standard of conduct for ALL department heads in town as well as the TA.

" 7. Town officials, including the Maintenance Director, are urged to consider the impact of their decisions upon the employees that work for them in terms of the appearance of impropriety that those decisions may have. When appearance of impropriety issues are foreseen, it is suggested that clear explanations for what is occurring be made."

Wow "clear explanations" something the dept heads and the TA should strive to achieve.



#6 2010-10-23 10:00:05

Ham - you make a very valid point.  I thought this was going to some ground breaking revelation.  I basically got from the report was that there was impropriaties NOT criminal activity.  Infact, the IGs reccomendations were more to do with possible ill conceived imporpriaties that outside people could come to, not criminal allegations.  Huge difference than dealing with Martin and the Water Dept.
The IG did not "tear" him apart.  He pointed out that Giffords actions were, although geniune in nature, not ok as to not give future contractors any reason to believe they would not have to do all the work. 
Clearly, Gifford was not given the appropriate training for dealing with outside vendors.  The IGs office suggested he be given the oppurtunity to utilize those resources to help him.
I believe Giffords actions were those of a dept. head who has had his work force cut on him profoundly and was trying to save the Town money.  He didn't gain anything by his actions.  IMO, I think it is pretty clear there are people trying to set Gifford up.  Let's cut his work force and still demand that everything get done.  This guy went from 40 people doing the work and now expecting only 5 to do the same work.
  If this is what Bobo and his cult consider ground breaking, life changing investigations, then wow, do they have boring lives! 

More importantly is where is the damn audit report?????



#7 2010-10-23 10:10:19

On the scrap metal - you have to realize that since there are only 5 MM workers, putting them on scrap metal clean up and haul away duty for a few days would mean that nothing else in town would have gotten done for those few days.

Maybe this could have been done when there were 40 MM workers, but with 5, that would have tied up the whole workforce.



#8 2010-10-23 10:34:02

Ham - that was exactly the point I was trying to make.  Anyone who has worked, not even in a leadership role, can tell you to work smarter not harder.  Had Gifford put all of his employees (5) on scrap metal clean up duty, can you imagine the backlash from the public?  It would be irresponsible to do that to begin with.  Gifford had the mindset to understand that.  If this is all people can come up with to try and diminish and tar Giffords reputation then they are just true morons.  This guy is keeping the town going with only 5 employees.  Maybe we can give him Silva's raise?  Better yet, how about we hire more MM employees?

My point in my prior post was more thinking aloud.  I really don't understand what the "big deal" that is being made out of the IG report?  They were not illegal actions.  They were not done with any malice.  Gifford was getting the job done.  Inflation happens.  Again, at this point it is ensuring that future contracts have absolutes written into them.  If I'm not mistaken, didn't Gifford acknowledge he went to the TA over it as well?  It just seems like such a futile witch hunt to me.



#9 2010-10-23 10:34:40

If you want to sell newspapers, you make it look sensational. I've said this from the very start, if no one is facing criminal charges, it isn't CORRUPTION! Whatever.....don't spend your time debating an idiot...if you win (and you will), the best you can say is you beat an idiot.



#10 2010-10-23 13:31:27

to paraphrase my childhood friend, Wm. Shakespeare (we called him "shaky")

Much Ado About Not Very Much.



#11 2010-10-25 14:25:11

I have broken down the findings and recommendations.  This entire thing is just a joke.  Read more, and I'll tell you why point-by-point.

Investigative Findings
(1. WMMD workers performed certain tasks regarding the repaving of town roads by T. L. Edwards (TLE), a private paving contractor, that were not covered by the terms of the contract between the Town and TLE. These tasks were appropriate and involved such things as picking up and laying down hay bales at the job locations. TLE did not bill the town for this work.)  So nothing henke here.  The workers did work they were supposed to do and we did not pay someone who did not do the work.  Vindication #1.
(2. WMMD workers performed certain tasks regarding the repaving of town roads by TLE that were covered by the contract between the town and TLE. These tasks included the break up and removal of sidewalks and the cutting of private driveways. Cutting private driveways often occurs when a municipal entity repaves public streets in residential neighborhoods. It involves removing small portions of private driveways, resurfacing the area removed and connecting them with the newly paved public streets. This ensures that there is a smooth connection between the private driveways and the newly repaved public streets. The work performed by WMMD workers was inappropriate and should have been performed by TLE as required by the contract. TLE did not bill the town for the work done by WMMD employees.) 
Gifford directed, as has always been his discretion, that town employees who we are already paying, do some work which we were going to pay an outside contractor to do at a higher cost.  He saved money and the town did not get billed by the contractor for the work.  If there is some stupid bid rule that was "violated" noone was harmed and the taxpayers were helped.  Seems like another win for the taxpayers.  Vindication #2
(3. The contract between the town and TLE required that bid prices offered by the winning bidder be fixed for the term of the contract. Nonetheless, a review of TLE invoices disclosed that TLE inappropriately raised the price for bituminous concrete in the second and third years of the contract and because of poor contract administration, the town paid TLE over $39,000 more than it should have for TLE’s repaving work in 2007 and 2008.)  Poor contract administration by the town, including the town accountant, procurement officer, administrator and board of selectmen (all of whom had a hand in funding the higher rates).  The town paid more than they should have under the terms of the contract, BUT this money is Chapter 90 money which gets reimbursed by the STATE - so Wareham got the $39,000 reimbursed from the state.  Probably because the state recognized that towns didn't build escalation clauses into their contracts and the price of materials (oil-based) became VERY expensive during a time when gas prices were over $4 a gallon . . . so then the state created a law in 2008 to legalize the higher reimbursements, giving validation to the practice they had been employing for more than a year.  The IG fails to say that this problem was widespread and the state bore the increased costs, not the town.  Gifford 3, IG 0.
(4. The Maintenance Director, without any documentation indicating the value of the scrap metal, authorized two private individuals to enter upon WMMD property and remove several truck loads of accumulated scrap metal in the summer of 2008 without compensating the town for the material removed. The Maintenance Director advised that he permitted this to happen in order to save the Town removal costs. Taxpayers are unable to determine whether this barter arrangement accrued to their benefit because the WMMD did not estimate the value of the scrap metal prior to its removal.)  Gifford got scrap metal cleaned up.  By scrap metal, it is better described as piles of shit that have been picked up on the side of the road because it has no value.  So, copper tubing, etc has all been stripped out.  They have to pick this crap up and put it somewhere, so they accumulate it at the WMMD property.  If you had a pile of shit in your backyard and someone said, I will take that away from nothing OR you could spent weeks of your time pulling it out to make $5,000 which would you do.  Time/value of money, getting rid of it for no cost was a blessing.  Can you imagine the flipping outcry if roads didn't get maintained, fixed, cleared, etc. for two weeks while the entire WMMD department cleared that land to make a few lousy bucks?  If Gifford had unlimited staff, then this is the wrong decision, but he has to prioritize the use of his limited resources.  Noone would have paid him to take it away, because that would have made it unprofitable.  So clear it themselves OR have it taken away for free.  No freakin brainer.  The fact that he got his bosses OK makes this yet another VINDICATION.
(5. The Maintenance Director authorized a private individual to enter upon WMMD property and remove several truck loads of accumulated wood with the assistance of a WMMD employee. The private individual did not compensate the WMMD for the wood removed. The Maintenance Director advised that he believed that this was appropriate because he was trying to clean up the area. Once again, taxpayers are unable to determine whether this action accrued to their benefit because no effort was made to determine the value of the wood removed.)  By law this crap cannot sit too long or it becomes a fire hazard.  See last answer to see what makes sense for the removal of a bunch of stumps and crap.  This is not chopped wood sitting in a nice pile, this is crap.  And as they say someone's trash is another's treasure.  Getting rid of this, which had to be done, for no cost is a win for the taxpayers, which is again why he got the blessing of his bosses for this.  Gifford is on a roll!  It is worth noting that these findings include that there is no evidence of Gifford taking money or getting favors from these vendors - and the IG turned Gifford upside down on this.
(6. The Maintenance Director authorized Tiffany Construction Company, a private contractor, to borrow several drainage risers and catch basins owned by the WMMD for use on a construction job in the town. The Maintenance Director advised that Tiffany later provided replacements for the borrowed items. He also provided paperwork as evidence that the replacement of the borrowed items actually occurred.)  So let me get this straight.  Gifford let Tiffany take old risers for their project, which were then replaced with new product from Tiffany . . . so again, nothing wrong. . . . everything above board.  What a let down for Gifford detractors.

Now, their recommendations:
(1. In the future, all WMMD contracts must be strictly adhered to regarding agreed upon prices for the entire duration of the contract.)  Board of Selectman should adopt a policy that says that their department heads cannot, under any circumstances - including the ability to save significant money for the taxpayers - depart from the letter of their contracts.  This policy is stupid and my guess is that the Selectmen will not adopt such a policy.
(2. In the event that price increases are anticipated before the contract is agreed to and signed by the parties, an appropriate price adjustment clause should be inserted into the contract language which makes clear the exact circumstances in which a price increase will be allowed.)  This says that the town needs to build an escalation clause into ALL of its contracts to address whether increases mid contract are allowed and if so, under what circumstances.  This is not a WMMD issue, it is a procurement issue for the TA.
(3. According to Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) officials, pursuant to Chapter 303 of the Acts of 2008, asphalt contracts funded by Chapter 90 money must contain price adjustment clauses. WMMD employees involved in contracting for future road paving services should contact MASSDOT officials for guidance on how to include appropriate price adjustment clauses in asphalt contracts covered by the 2008 law.)  This is #2, only specific to WMMD matters with Chapter 90.  My guess is they already comply with this 2 year old law.
(4. The Town should consult with their Legal Counsel to ascertain whether it is appropriate for the Town to seek reimbursement from TLE for the over $39,000.00 that was paid to TLE in violation of the paving contract.)  My guess here is that the town is not out the $39,000 since it was reimbursed by the STATE, so the town has no standing to legally go after TLE.  They should reach out to the state to see if they want the money back - to which the state will say NO - every town did this and we approved the practice as a matter of operational policy!!
(5. In the future, the WMMD should require contractors to fulfill all required aspects of contracts that they have been awarded. Under normal circumstances, the WMMD should not perform work that is required by the contract to be done by the contractor. )  See #1.  WMMD Director cannot save the taxpayers money - good idea.  Stupid recommendation because of stupid and overly burdensome state bid rules.
(6. All Town employees involved in purchasing supplies, services, and seeking bids for vertical or horizontal construction should receive appropriate training in fundamental purchasing procedures, laws and regulations such as that which is offered by this office’s Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official (MCPPO) Program. Additionally the office will be offering in the near future, an online training, Bidding Basics; M.G.L. c. 30B on our website, www.mass.gov/ig. The training schedule and other pertinent information is available through our website or by calling 617-722-8800. )  I wonder if the IGs office will make you pay to take the training they recommend?
(7. Town officials, including the Maintenance Director, are urged to consider the impact of their decisions upon the employees that work for them in terms of the appearance of impropriety that those decisions may have. When appearance of impropriety issues are foreseen, it is suggested that clear explanations for what is occurring be made.) Don't do anything without checking with all of your employees first to see if they are ok with it.  No department head should get flowers for their secretaries on Secretary's Day or their employees will think they are doinking the admins.  Don't play golf with a co-worker or you will be in collusion.  Don't say hello to the TA or you will be his snivelling pet . . . another STUPID recommendation.  How about don't do anything illegal.  If an employee has a problem with their boss, why not ask why they made the decision so it can be a learning experience, rather than running to the IG. . . jesus act like adults!
(8. Town officials, including the Maintenance Director, should seek written approval from appropriate superiors for any decisions that may reasonably be expected to lead to controversy later on.)  This is the only damn finding in the entire report which makes sense.  The town has done a crappy job documenting things - see missing selectmen's minutes, etc.  They need to put decisions on paper.  Yes - you must cover your ass, along as we have this assmonkey from Halifax trying to ruin this town.  He doesn't care, and will still write lies, but at least it is easy to counter his lies when you can lift up the piece of paper.  Managerial documentation . . . do it better.  Should have been the one-line recommendation from the IG.
(9. In the future, prior to disposing of scrap metal and other recyclable or compostable materials, the WMMD Maintenance Director should attempt to obtain the market value of those materials and ensure that the Town receives adequate compensation for them.)  In other words, spend money to determine whether you can save money.  It is not enough that the guy has been doing this for 20 years and knows a pile of shit when he sees it, he needs to get a third party in to say "yup. that's shit". 

In short, this is a true vindication for the town, the WMMD and Gifford.  They found no wrong-doing.  They made a couple of administrative recommendations and their most headline grabbing item, the $39,000, they fail to follow through to the end and state that the Wareham taxpayers were never actually out that money.  If the Selectmen try to make anything of this report, it simply means they are out to get rid of Gifford and that would be too bad.



#12 2010-10-25 14:38:18

Larry, I see that the cult is now claiming you said if you don't get caught it is not corruption.   Clearly you did not.  They also suggested that if you should run for selectman (hopefully you do), you could use that as your campaign slogan.  There are so many slogans that come to mind, I will have to share some with you at a later time. 

There are so many claims going on at that websites that are out right lies, to omissions to twisting the truths.  Bottom line dealing with Gifford is this:  Where in the IG report did it state that Gifford did anything illegal???????  I did not see it.  Regardless of how many years Gifford has been employed if he has not been given the proper training to deal with contract vendors and has not been reprimanded in the past for "common practices" for actions with past vendors than you can not seek resignation or firing.  Again, the IG's report was not "ripping" him apart.  The IG's report did not claim any illegal actions.  It only dealt with (IMO) of possible ill concieved ideas that could be percieved.  Ah, the key word percieved!  I can't imagine I am looking at this the wrong way.  So from what I can tell this is another witch hunt because Johnny and Brucey didn't like someone.

Let's focus on serious issues this town is dealing with rather than acting like school aged children looking to be bullies or involving the town in some dispute because of personality conflicts.



#13 2010-10-25 14:55:24

Intheno.....bravo! what a comprehensive analysis & discussion, which mirrored my view on the whole thing.

Regarding the $39,000, you make a very salient point, that the money may have come from Chp. 90 funds. remember, it was over two fiscal years, so the money could have come from within the MMD budget, via line item transfers. By the way, that is less than 20K per year. What is the total budget for the Town, again? 20 K per year is pretty small potatoes; hardly justification for the vuvuzelas blaring from the harlot of Halifax.

Here is a question for you all: Does the IG charge back all, some or any of its costs to the Town after an investigation? You may have read my posting that there is cherry sheet (local aid) and what I termed a 'lime' sheet (local charges). does the State include all or part if the IG's cost on the 'lime' sheet. I don't know the answer to that one.

Here's what makes sense: the IG cost WAY exceeded $39,000. there, don't you feel better, now?

Last edited by notalawyer (2010-10-25 14:56:18)



#14 2010-10-25 15:15:11

IF I run for Selectmen, I will make sure to give Robert Slager an interview at my house :) As far as the registered PAC or the TFHC, I guess that is 15 votes I will not get??? Personally, the only people that matter are the ones who actually invite open and meaningful dialogue and truly care about a bright future for Wareham. From my past experiences with the sunday night chatters, that simply isn't that case for any of them. By the way, who said I was running for Selectman???



#15 2010-10-25 15:38:21

Many are wishing you would Larry..



#16 2010-10-25 17:10:45

Ham of Peace here.

Remember, according to Bobo-ian logic (an oxymoron if I ever saw one):


You clean up the town barn at no cost to the town by having someone haul away some scrap metal, then you should be tarred and feathered.


If you are an air force base inspector with the duty of overseeing workers and those workers drop off truckloads of material to your house and hydro-seed and grade your lawn, then you should run for selectman and get a free pass.

Last edited by Hamatron5000 (2010-10-25 17:11:29)



#17 2010-10-25 17:50:48

I am Hamatron5000.



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