Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Here is the letter Freightliner sent to Joe Hester, President of the Glendale Fire Union. Note that it was copied to the City Manager, the City Attorney, the Mayor and all Councilmembers and the Glendale Star. I apologize if the formatting is a little wonky. I am still not an expert on all things blog.

Image2

February 17, 2014

Joe Hester
Captain, Glendale Fire Department
Vice President, United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association
Glendale, AZ 

 Dear Mr. Joe Hester.

I am shocked that you are attacking Freightliner Arizona with baseless facts and trying to characterize our organization as not wanting to support the safety of the Firefighters in Glendale.

In your opinion piece, “Fire Truck Manufacturers Should stick to the Facts”, you point out that Freightliner of Arizona was offering an inferior product that lacked the Extruded Body and Cab, the Telma Auxiliary Brake in our proposal.  Maybe you never got a chance to look at our proposal, but it included those items at a price of $422,838, plus tax.

We spent a great deal of time trying to get specific information in written form so we could verify we were providing exactly what Glendale Fire wanted.  What we received were a couple of verbal “Must Haves”: Extruded Body and Cab, Telma Brake and Electronic Valves.  These items were all supplied in our proposal.  We even went as far as going to a Glendale Fire Station to measure the body and compartment dimensions so we could have Rosenbauer duplicate them and draw up the apparatus to best match the equipment being used by the department today.

It is insulting that you or any Fire Fighter might feel that Freightliner of Arizona would condone providing inferior or unsafe Fire Apparatus to any community, least of all Glendale Fire.  We know that there are severe budget issues facing the community and some of the “must have options” are very expensive and not widely used throughout the industry. Freightliner of Arizona’s proposal included all of these items, but communicated to the Department that there were less expensive more widely used options that could be provided; Thus, saving the Department and Glendale money so that these funds could be used for other purposes in the Department.

You claim that all of the communities around Arizona have these options.  I would ask that you investigate this claim, because you will find that 80% do not have Extruded Bodies and that 90% do not have Telma  Brake and about 90% do not have electronic valves.  These items are available on Fire Trucks and fit certain purposes, but the cost versus the benefit has been reviewed by most of your fellow fire fighters and they chose not to have these items on their apparatus.  I am sure that you feel that these are needed in Glendale, but the majority of fire fighters do not. There is no data that would indicate that these items improve safety for a fire fighter. If there was, the National Fire Protection Association, which provides governance over Fire Fighter Safety, would require these devices on all fire apparatus.

Freightliner of Arizona has been providing Fire Apparatus and parts, service and warranty to Arizona Fire Departments since 1998, and did not just return to selling Fire Trucks as you said.  We have participated with most of the major Fire Departments in bids and RFP’s.  We have never had to approach a City Council about how we were treated in the procurement process.  We have never suggested that Fire Fighters should ever be put in unsafe apparatus or conditions.  We believe quite the opposite!  We understand, probably better then most, the importance of fire fighter safety and how vehicle specification and design can insure it.

Joe, it is extremely unfortunate that you have been misinformed about what we provided to the Glendale Fire.  I am providing you a copy of what we submitted to Glendale so you can confirm what I am telling you is the truth.  I hope you realize that our objection on the way the procurement process was handled was not an attack on Glendale Fire Fighters, but on the people who were responsible to conduct themselves as professionals and fiduciaries of the community. 

I think that when all the facts weigh in you will see that Freightliner of Arizona was mislead and provided inaccurate information on which we provided a proposal.  The apparatus our competitor proposed to Glendale Fire was not the same design and more expensive resulting in the Council being asked to approve $484,000 plus dollars instead of the $422,838 we bid.  With tax that only comes to $ 57,934.  That leaves over $26,000 unaccounted for!  Doesn’t that concern you?  It sure did us!  Especially when we knew we included the “Must Have” components and told that our bid was high bid!  It just doesn’t add up!

Freightliner of Arizona is not the enemy of Glendale Fire Fighters.  That is not why we brought this issue to the Council.  We did it because the procurement process to purchase this new Fire Truck was broken. We want to participate in a fair and transparent process where the most competitive and responsible bidder wins the award! We look forward to participating in the new RFP that Glendale Fire will be issuing.  We hope the process will be fair so if we can provide the best, safest and most competitive Fire Truck, we hope Glendale Fire will want to do business with us.

Respectfully,

Timothy Noeding
General Sales Manager
9899 W Roosevelt   St.
Tolleson,AZ85353                                                                                                                       
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cc: Mayor Jerry Weiers
Manny Martinez
Yvonne Knaack
Gary Sherwood
Sam Chavira
Ian Hugh
Norma Alvarez
Brenda Fischer
Michael Bailey
Glendale Star

Here is the Freightliner bid document. Freightliner represents Rosenbauer in Arizona:

Image3

Bid Price and Delivery Schedule For 

************ City of Glendale ***********

 Rosenbauer America, LLC is pleased to provide this bid proposal. The proposed apparatus has been tailored around the requirements of the fire service industry and we are confident that our proposal will meet and exceed the needs of the department. The proposed apparatus will be constructed utilizing only the highest quality materials and workmanship available in the industry.  The apparatus will provide the upmost firefighter safety and efficiency on the fire ground along with extended life and lower maintenance cost throughout the life of the vehicle.

   [1] Rosenbauer Commander pumper w/EXT body:      $422,838.00 plus tax and HCAC fees

    * See page 2 for prepayment discounts and page 3 for additional options

The specifications herein contained shall form a part of the final contract, and are subject to changes desired by the purchaser, provided such alterations are interlined prior to the acceptance by the company of the order to purchase, and are provided such alterations do not materially affect the cost of the construction of the apparatus. 

The proposal for fire apparatus conforms to all Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) rules and regulations in effect at the time of bid, and with all National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines for automotive fire apparatus as published at the time of bid, except as modified by customer specifications. Any increased costs incurred by the first party because of future changes in or additions to said DOT or NFPA standards will be passed along to the customers as an addition to the price set forth above.

Contract Terms

Delivery:

The proposed truck will be completed in no more than:   330-360 Days ARO

Price Terms:

This offer shall remain valid for thirty, (30) calendar days from the quotation submittal date of November  22, 2013

Payment:

Contract payment of one-hundred percent (100%) of the purchase price shall be paid upon delivery and acceptance of the completed unit.

Prepayment options:

As an option Rosenbauer is offering a prepayment discount should the City wish to 100% prepay for the apparatus at the time of order. This option will include a 100% performance to guarantee the production of the unit. The prepayment discount would be $5,707.00 and would drop the sale price to $417,131.00 plus tax and HGAC fees. The tax rate would drop from 8.3% to 5.6%.

 Original price                    $422,828.00 + $35,096.00 (8.3%) = $457,934.00 plus HGAC fees

Prepayment price               $417,131.00 + $23,359.00 (5.6%) = $440,490.00 plus HGAC fees

The prepayment option would save the City over $17,000.00.

I want to thank the City of Glendale for the opportunity to serve the needs of the department.       

Sincerely,

Chad Horne
 
Rosenbauer America

 

It has come to my attention that Freightliner has sent a response letter to Joe Hester, President of the Glendale Fire Union. Included in the letter is Freightliner’s assertion that the extended cab and Thelma brake system were indeed included in their bid at a cost far less ($422,000) than the $484,000 E-One truck for which the fire department was seeking approval from the city council.

So what’s going on? Hester said the following in his op-ed piece, “The truck Freightliner submitted to GFD for evaluation was not the extruded body cab used by our city and every other Valley fire department.” He went on to say, “The other key difference? The vehicle’s braking system.” Apparently these items were indeed included in Freightliner’s bid.

Was Joe Hester misinformed by one of his own people about the Freightliner bid? Did he not check Freightliner’s bid himself before he wrote his op-ed piece? Or is he deliberately attempting to confuse the issue and the apparent fact that the bid process was flawed?

As soon as I obtain the documents from Freightliner I will post them here for all to see – I suspect they will not be difficult to get.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

This is a follow up to my recent blog of February 5, 2014, “Here come da Chief.” New information has become available, most specifically, a letter from Freightliner distributed to all councilmembers which is now a public record. It raises some very interesting questions.

Apparently the fire union chose E-One as the successful bidder. The process was handled internally by the fire department, not the city and not its Procurement Division. Perhaps Procurement would have been more appropriate to handle this transaction.  You will remember that questions were raised by Freightliner the night of the council meeting during the Public Comment when this item was on the agenda for council approval. It was pulled by the City Manager and it looks like the process will be repeated with a formal RFP process this time. It seems someone’s hand was caught in the cookie jar.

Freightliner has been around for quite some time and has been the successful bidder on multiple occasions throughout the state. E-One not so much. The City has previously used E-One to supply some of its equipment.  Apparently Wayne Smith (who handled the current process), Don Jesse and others have had a close relationship with E-One since it began operation. Some of these gentlemen appeared to have either ownership interests or were employed by E-One. If true, that alone, is sufficient for their recusal from the process.

The city received an excellent bid from E-One but how?  Apparently Wayne Smith was frantically calling Freightliner representatives at 4:30 one morning to secure specific information on their bid. Did Smith provide this information to E-One so that it could tailor its bid to come in $3,000 lower than Freightliner’s bid?

We know the E-One bid was higher than the grant monies provided for the fire truck’s purchase. It appears the purchase can be made for less money. Why is a department which is sorely in need of revenue with many other needs, such a new firefighter gear, wasting money by asking for fire truck options that are outdated and frankly overkill? According to Wayne Smith’s conversation with Freightliner representatives, it appears that the fire union was requiring these options. Why?

The city has historically used a traditional pumper. The E-One bid was for a rescue pumper with a different design from that which Glendale currently uses. It would require extra training for its use. How much would that have cost the city?

E-One is a company that seems to be struggling. It is currently owned by a hedge fund and has had a succession of presidents lately.  Apparently their ability to offer maintenance and support for this bid is dwindling and in doubt.

This particular bid process seems to reek of favoritism and may very well be unethical. Apparently Glendale continues to have problems in practicing ethical behavior, even under its new senior management.  The universal hope was that there would be a new era of leadership. Yet all signs point to a continuation of previous behavior. How disappointing.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

%d bloggers like this: