Submitted by Don Russell, Lakewood.
Nonfeasance defined – failure to act where action is required by law, willfully or in neglect.
On Monday night Lakewood City Council affirmed its support for City Staff’s nonfeasance by approving an amendment to the agreement with Tetra Tech, Inc. increasing project spending to the amount of $94,086 for the Waughop Lake alum treatment project.
This is a project with a long history of citizens’ attempts to be involved and participate in determining the appropriate, environmentally sound and cost effective approach to restoring the safe beneficial recreational use of aquatic plant infested and filamentous green algae and harmful Cyanobacteria bloom plagued Waughop Lake. City staff has actively thwarted all such citizen involvement with the consent of City Council.
City staff engaged Tetra Tech’s Harry Gibbons, an advocate of alum treatments, to first provide City staff with the rationale to convince City Council members that an alum treatment mentioned as an option in the $200,000 Brown & Caldwell Waughop Lake Management Plan was the preferred option over B&C’s advocacy that removal of nutrient polluted sediment laid down by the illicit discharge of slaughtered animal waste, manure, and human sewage by two State owned institutions into Waughop Lake was the appropriate action.
In this process Harry Gibbons not only inflated B&C’s recommended sediment removal option cost by a factor of 3 he also inflated B&C’s alum cost estimate from $210,000 to $780,000.
City staff then requested that Tetra Tech determine the amount of liquid aluminum sulfate and sodium aluminate to be discharged into Waughop Lake.
This was followed by City staff engaging Tetra Tech to draft the technical specifications for the City’s request for quotation for the alum treatment prescribed by Tetra Tech.
And finally this ever increasing scope of work will involve Tetra Tech providing on site supervision of the selected alum application contractor whose bid is likely to come in at $100,000 or more. Most alum applicators provide all of the services that Tetra Tech is being paid to provide as a regular part of their application services.
Considering all of the above, and what has been previously provided City Council, a case can be made that nonfeasance on the part of City staff has now become misfeasance condoned by City Council. I leave it up to the reader to look up the meaning of misfeasance and judge for themselves the propriety of what has been and is going on here.
Editor’s Note: Read Don’s prior letters on the topic: