LINCOLN, NE – Earlier today, Mayoral candidate Cyndi Lamm provided commentary in response to today’s Lincoln Journal Star report that a recent ESCO (Energy Service Company) contract for the $12.2 million LED streetlight conversion project for the City of Lincoln did not require the primary contractor to use an open bid process.
“There is no doubt in my mind that more transparency is needed at City Hall,” said Lamm.
On June 4, 2018, Lamm voted no on the ESCO agreement to do the LED conversion all at once, stating primarily her concern was that the $12.2 million cost of the project was being borrowed from the people’s reserve funds.
“Even before that, I was concerned with the proposed lack of transparency of this mayor’s proposed process,” Lamm said. “That that concern was apparently well-founded.”
When the use of ESCOs was originally presented to the City Council by the Mayor, it provided that the Mayor alone could execute ESCO agreements without further council oversight. Lamm worked to amend the legislation so the Mayor’s office would have to present ESCO projects to the City Council before they could be finalized.
“In amending the process, I expected that the Council would receive full disclosure from this mayor about the Nebraska law surrounding municipal use of ESCOs, including information that when used, the Energy Services Company would be able to bypass the city’s open bid process for the work to be done in our city,” said Lamm.
“The Energy Service Company used for the streetlight conversion project was certainly following the rules and has a vested interest in performing quality service at the best cost available,” Lamm stated.
Lamm learned through further investigation today that the project will involve many Lincoln-based employees. “Had the ability to bypass the city’s process been disclosed by the Mayor’s office from the beginning, I would have asked this and other questions regarding the company’s intended bid process at the public hearing regarding the matter before the Agreement was voted on by the Council,” Lamm further said.
“It is time for a change in how business is done at City Hall,” stated Lamm. “As Mayor of Lincoln, I will be committed to True Transparency in city government – providing full disclosure when working with businesses, taxpayers, and the City Council.”