By: Diane Benjamin
Follow-up to this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/03/07/normal-buy-local-is-immaterial/
At the March 6, 2023 Council meeting the Water Director, John Burkhart, wanted to start buying parts from a company in Washington Il instead of the local supplier they have used for decades.
Here’s the problem: Normal doesn’t stock a lot of parts because they claim they don’t have room. If an emergency occurs, how often did staff run and pick up the required parts locally?
A FOIA answered that question. From March of 2022 through February of 2023 Normal was billed 162 times.
143 of those were marked Customer Pickup
The minute and half video of John Burkhart below makes it sound like getting parts from Washington is no big deal. He claims they can deliver. I seriously doubt this company will emergency deliver parts 143 times in one year. That’s almost 3 times a week,
Will taxpayers have to pay staff to pickup parts 143 times a year in Washington when they have been available for decades locally? The Washington company didn’t stock what Normal used. Are they going to stock everything Normal has picked up here or will parts need to be ordered? Will repairs be delayed because Burkhart changed suppliers?
Of course only 1 Council member bothered to ask questions. Guess which one!
Taxpayers deserve better than Burkhart, Pam Reece who allowed this, and a Council that rubberstamped it. This is a perfect example of “professional staff” in action.
Did a Burkhart buddy change from the local company to Washington? Just asking!