Sub-contractors not listed on tender

Dear Editor,

Regarding the press release titled ‘Stettler Council seeks legal advice’, Nov. 16 issue of the ECA Review.
I am greatly disappointed for those who choose this excuse to discredit Coun. Ernie Gendre.
I feel the reason for this accusation had nothing to do with his alleged misconduct but more to discredit Coun. Gendre because of his efforts to try and stop the building of the new County Shop facility.
The County of Stettler Administration put out a tender to install another section of the regional waterline (approx. 3500 metres) terminating at the new shop facility to which my company and four others tendered.
After reviewing the tenders on Sept. 14, Councillor Les Stulberg motioned to accept the lowest tender. The vote was unanimous to award the contract to my company, Wally’s Backhoe Services Ltd., as we were $20,450 less than the next closest tender.
I understand Coun. Gendre did vote as part of the unanimous decision to award ourselves the contract being we were the lowest tender.
Coun. Gendre, as did all other councillors, not know who any of our sub-contractors were going to be as it is not part of the tender process to submit who we are going to use.
I had initially used by brother-in-laws quote from Tru-Marq Horizontal Directional Drilling to bid this project as he has completed all our drilling work over the past years.
It was not until after the tender was awarded to our firm that I found out Tru-Marq would not be able to meet our time frame so I made a decision to hire Diablo Directional owned by Ryan Gendre of Red Deer who is the son of Coun. Ernie Gendre.
You or I may not necessarily agree with some of the opinions or decisions of Coun. Gendre, but in my experience as a businessman in Stettler for over 35 years, his honesty or integrity does not come into question.
I strongly feel that Coun. Gendre would not use his position of authority to manipulate any decision for personal gain or any other agenda.
We want all our councillor’s to have a voice. Let’s not allow misconception or personal feelings cloud our judgement of others.
I do not want to believe this accusation of misconduct is because of Coun. Gendre’s stand on the construction of the new shop facility.  I do understand he strongly opposed this venture from the beginning and knowing Coun. Gendre, I believe he felt it was his responsibility to respect the majority of his rate payer’s opinions.
My concern is: If this would have been any other councillor in a similar situation and voted as part of an unanimous decision to accept the lowest tender for any project, would we have heard about it?
Would we be spending MORE taxpayer’s dollars on legal advice?
Life is full of many bigger issues. Let’s not spend our time and energy and taxpayer’s dollars on a motion in which ALL councillors voted the same!
How can we expect anyone in the community to let their name stand to represent us if we chastise them for something like this.
Wallace McComish
Stettler, Ab.

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