Update: Yeah, copying the board members really seems to help. Charley Toppino & Sons has a subcontract with Gianetti worth $2.9 million. According to the information provided, they are doing no work on the wastewater treatment facility. The Toppino companies will be doing a total of $12.4 million on the Cudjoe Regional project. Glad I finally got the info, just wish it weren’t such an unnecessarily difficult and prolonged process.
Update #2: I said in this post that Toppino ran into his first voting conflict last week. Turns out it’s not the first. The first voting conflict I can find occurred at the February meeting. This would have been two months after Toppino was appointed. It looks like that situation was managed properly. Not sure why the wheels fell off in this latest situation. Post has been corrected to reflect this new-to-me information.
Remember when I submitted a public records request regarding subcontractors on the Cudjoe Regional Outer Islands project? Remember how it took a long time and a lot of back-and-forth? Remember how they pretended they don’t keep any such records even though their contract documents require it?
Well, I submitted a similar public records request for the Inner Islands and the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Same games. Same back-and-forth. The FKAA knows very well what I’m looking for, they’re just very slow to give it up. Why? What could be so terrible? Is it worse than Toppino’s $9.5 million worth of business on the Outer Islands? I focused on the Outer Islands first because it’s the highest dollar project of the three. I figured the other two would be anti-climactic. Now I’m dying to know what they’re trying to hide. (The Streisand Effect – it’s real.)
Let’s not forget about that Big Coppitt bid tabulation that was so hard to track down. It sure would be nice if the FKAA were more forthcoming, in general. Maybe they could have avoided all those lawsuits from Cudjoe Regional customers.
Toppino ran into his second voting conflict just last week. The FKAA did not handle it well. At all. This bumbling combined with the ongoing secrecy surrounding Toppino’s business dealings does not inspire confidence.
If the FKAA actually wanted to demonstrate that they were acting in good faith, there are a few things they could do:
- Get their business dealings with the Toppino companies out on the table. Just put it all out there. How much? How frequent? Contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders – all of it. Don’t force folks like me to wrestle it out of them.
- Have a real, fact-based, public discussion about whether these business dealings are likely to result in ongoing, recurring voting conflicts going forward.
- If it becomes apparent that there is a strong possibility of recurring conflicts, then Mr. Toppino has a few choices. He can resign. Or his family businesses can scale back on the work they do with the FKAA. Or he can try to make the situation work within the limits set by law.
- If Mr. Toppino continues serving on the board, then the FKAA is going to have to get their act together. Not only do they have to get serious about complying with the law regarding voting conflicts and disclosures, but I hope they would go beyond that and do whatever it takes to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
I copied the FKAA board members on the last round of communication. That seemed to help in securing the missing Big Coppitt bid tab. Maybe it’ll work on this one, too.
I’ll keep you posted.