The city of Lake Geneva proudly displays a sailboat on its city’s flag and uses a sailboat as the city’s unofficial symbol to greet visitors entering on Hwy 50. The sailboat is an appropriate symbol for the city not just because of the lake, but because Lake Geneva is dependent on tourists as a sailboat is dependent on wind, and both lay dead in the water without these driving forces.
The analogy does not end there, because rigging is used to direct the course of the sailboat and the course of the city. On sailboats the rigging (system of ropes used to support the mast and direct the sails) is used to maneuver and control the direction of the sailboat.
In a similar fashion the city, through its management, has a system of rigging that enables issues and projects to be maneuvered from initial bidding through final city council approval.
The guidelines for rigging are simple.
- The first step is to specify a product or condition that determines who can bid or cannot bid on the project. Specifying an aluminum ladder (not steel) for the fire truck effectively determined the firm that would get the fire truck or specifying washed or unwashed gravel for a concrete project will likewise determine quoting and whose bid will be accepted for the concrete project.
- The second step is in the quotes themselves. It costs firms money to quote projects and those that never get projects either quit bidding or just quote very high. Which in turn enables the lower bidder to bid higher and higher and still be the low bid, because there are fewer bids and the ones that the city does receive are exceptionally high bids.
- A third step once the bid has been approved by the city council are change orders and cost overruns. Change orders which normally increase the cost of the project are done without competitive bidding and are burdened with a 10% surcharge over and above the actual cost of the change request. A change order that decrease the cost can incur that same extra 10% surcharge for not doing the work.
The following Cartoon
is from one of our Favorite reporters and former Alderman