District 300 Board President Joe Stevens Wants More Competition

Call this little paragraph from the Daily Herald about District 300 Board President Joe Stevens “refreshing.”

Here’s the paragraph, broken up to make it easier to read:

“District 300 school board President Joe Stevens wants to find out why the district receives so few bids for some lucrative contracts.

“The district often receives only one or two bids after soliciting bids from several vendors, he said.

“‘I don’t understand why people would turn down that size of business,’ Stevens said. The board president wants administrators to contact vendors that withdrew bids or declined to bid and report back on why this is the case.

“The dearth of bidders is even more curious to Stevens because he is a former purchasing manager for a hospital.

“‘I didn’t ever have a lack of vendors,'” Stevens said. ‘There were more than I knew what to do with.'”

Of course, potential District 300 vendors may believe–whether it is true or not–that those who have made campaign contributions to tax hike committees have the inside track. (Check out the over 30 comments on the linked article.)

A strong conflict of interest policy, forbidding something sometimes known as a “pay-to-play”

And, in the case of professional services, if you don’t ask for competition, you don’t get it.

I notice that District 300 is bragging about saving $1 million in its energy conservation program. The Daily Herald ran a story August 31st.

Had the district been bold enough to construct its new buildings and additions with Solarcrete walls and roofs, the savings would be many times that much over the life of the buildings, as I pointed out in this August 21st story.

60% energy savings could be projected if this building system were used in District 300’s (or any other public building).

And, amazingly enough, it is cost effective with brick and mortar.

School architects are notoriously conservative. A building system that has been around for almost 40 years probably isn’t proven enough to be worth their investigation. (That’s meant to be sarcasm.)

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The winter picture of the outside of the Fitch Company in Huntley, Illinois, and the thermal image were found on the Solarcrete web site. It says that energy savings can be from 60% to 100%. (The 100% is possible in warehouses where the lighting can provide the heat. For an example, take a look at the building on the Northwest Tollway that is to the right going into the Elgin Toll Plaza. It’s the one with the bluish glass corner. Because of the sinking of the Solarcrete walls below the frost line, the building actual warms over time as the just below 60 degree temperature of the soil warms up.)

Below the Fitch Company building is a thermal shot of a Solarcrete building constructed for the Crocker Company in Huntley.

The difference in heat loss is simply stunning.

All of the photos may be enlarged to see the detail.

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