Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Supervisors refuse to bid out Airwave contracts or.. $6.5 million deficit, whats $2.2 million? (Video)

Note: Watch the video. Start at 29:20 on Part 1. The debate gets rather lively. There is a nice exchange as well a few minutes before in Part 1 where Smith substitutes his motion for Fisher's. Synopsis of Airwave is available at the bottom of the post.

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to keep two contracts with Airwave LLC. District 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher moved to terminate the contracts and open the contracts up for bidding from other parties as he claimed doing so will save money. Hinds County paid Airwav $2.2. million since 2008 for three contracts (See synopsis below for the contracts). The contract for siren maintenance was terminated earlier this year.

Mr. Fisher said the both remaining contracts stated the contracts will automatically renew every year "on the start date". Mr. Fisher stated the anniversary date was in November to the Board would have to move to not renew the agreements this month. Mr. Fisher argued the county could save money if the contracts were opened for bidding. The contracts were awarded to Airwave as professional services contracts, which do not require the vendors go through the bidding process. Graham looked straight ahead and was silent during the entire discussion. Ironic since he is the one who made very motion to hire Airwave yet when the subject of Airwave came up, he strangely could not defend his earlier actions.

Board President George Smith told Mr. Fisher "in all fairness" he would allow Airwave and its attorney to speak to the board. Mr. Stowers was absent. Attorney Jamie Travis of Page, Kruger, & Holland and Nathan Hargrove of Northstar Wireless appeared in his place. Mr. Hargrove told the board "those agreements have saved the county money."

Mr. Travis then said "Mr. Stowers and Mr. Hargrove have been unfairly portrayed in the media." Mr. Travis claimed Motorola had the previous contract and Airwave saved the county over $300,000 and there were "no complaints". Mr. Travis argued the termination clause required the county to give Airwave a chance to cure all defects and problems.

Supervisor Peggy Hobson-Calhoun asked "where is Mr. Stowers?" Mr. Travis replied "I don't know" while Mr. Hargrove said "He's out working on the radio system" (after doing volunteer work at the Stewpot, of course.). Mr. Fisher said "I don't know why Northstar is up here as the two contracts I'm talking about is Airwave... I don't understand what their presence here is." Mr. Fisher then told Mr. Travis there had indeed been complaints and "I think you're not representing fully what has gone on the past three years with these contracts. The owner of Airwave did not show up at the meeting today, which is indicative of his attitude."

Mr. Travis flippantly replied "Is that it. Mr. Fisher, you and I will obviously agree to disagree." Travis then said Northstar is the service shop for Airwave (subcontractor) and Hargrove "did have standing to be here."

Mr. Fisher had none of it and said "I would suggest you go back and reread the minutes so that you can have your proper information." Travis shot back "I suggest you go back and read the contracts because these allegations and complaints and stuff have not been made available to my client."

Well, Mr. Travis, perhaps YOU should read the contracts. I had to listen to your repeated assertions and threats to sue the board yesterday if it terminated the contracts. Your main point of contention is the board can not terminate the contract without cause but it first has to make any complaints available to Airwave. Airwave then has to have the opportunity to address the problem.

Either Mr. Travis is a sloppy lawyer, which is entirely possible, or he is lying. Period. The contracts indeed state Hinds County has to give Airwave a chance to resolve any problems if the contract is terminated. The only problems is that clause is under the section dealing with default/termination on page 16, Section 10:

"If either party defaults in the performance of this Agreement, the other party will give to the non-performing party a written and detailed notice of default. The non-performing party will have thirty days therafter to provide a written plan to cure the default that is acceptable to the other party and begin implementing the cure plan immediately after plan approval. If the non-performing party fails to provide or implement the cure plan, then the injured party, in addition to any other rights available under the law, may immediately terminate this Agreement effective upon giving a written notice of termination to the defaulting party."

HOWEVER, on page 17, Section 14.6, in CAPITAL LETTERS RIGHT ABOVE THE SIGNATURES, the contract deals with renewal (Contract is posted below):

"THIS AGREEMENT WILL RENEW, FOR AN ADDITIONAL ONE YEAR TERM, ON EVERY ANNIVERSARY OF THE START DATE UNLESS EITHER THE COVER PAGE SPECIFICALLY STATES A TERMINATION DATE OR ONE PARTY NOTIFIES THE OTHER IN WRITING OF ITS INTENTION TO DISCONTINUE THE AGREEMENT NOT LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS OF THAT ANNIVERSARY DATE. At the Anniversary date, Airwave may adjust the price of the Services to reflect its current rates."

Looks like Mr. Travis was full of hot air and empty on facts as he completely misrepresented the contract to the board with his threats and his complaining about complaints. It also looks like the board was more interesting in helping their cronies make millions than in saving the county some money.

Synopsis of Airwave : Airwave is owned by Stacy Stowers. Airwave has been the subject of some controversy this year after WLBT, the Northside Sun, and this website reported on the cozy deals Airwave has with Hinds County. Airwave obtained the following contracts:

* Contract to maintain weather sirens even though the sirens are brand new and covered by a five-year warranty. JJ estimates the payments for the siren contracts are $149,194.

*Contract to maintain professional services for the emergency communications system.
The contract price is $122,000 per year to maintain six tower sites.

*Maintenance contract for the 800 Mhz radio system. $4 million contract for six years.
Year one: $374,860 ($93,715 per quarter), Year two: $521,885 ($130,463 per quarter), Year three: $736,918 ($184,229 per quarter), Year four: $770,035 ($192,508 per quarter), Year five: $804,908 ($201,227 per quarter), Year six: $845,153 ($211,288 per quarter)

Two of the contracts were awarded in 2008 even though Airwave LLC did not exist as a company until 2009.


Original post last night: I'll post my write-up in the morning but here is the video of today's Hinds County Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Phil Fisher moved to open up Airwave's contracts with Hinds County for bidding next month when they are up for renewal. Supervisor Peggy Hobson-Calhoun seconded the motion. Robert Graham, Doug Anderson, and George Smith voted against opening up the contract for bidding. Fun starts at 29:20 on Part 1. Airwave's attorney had a few things to say in Part 2. Pour a drink and enjoy.










17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Veiled threat re: termination which was not on the table. Poor move.

Anonymous said...

Could they be really saying "...well we tried citizen but the money they give back to our personal bank accounts far out weigh your interests."

Anonymous said...

Hinds BOS, Smith, Anderson, and ringleader Graham, are totally incompetent and are obviously profiting from Airwaves, Stowers and Hargrove. And did he really say "no complaints?"

Anonymous said...

Next time you see him thank Roger Davis for Graham. Elections have consequences and Davis' inept campaign guaranteed them.

Anonymous said...

Really there's only one smart person on the board Peggy says that no one has there own Radio system what does she think that the other counties are doing speaking thru tin cans does she really think that the Hinds County is so smart and every one else is country bumkins!!! Also the game they running is so apparent that a Blind person can see some body is getting paid. First the laywer says there are no Complaints then he says all complaints have been resovled well which one is there are no complaints or the complaints (that do not exist) have been fixed.

Anonymous said...

The FBI has told me on more than one occasion that they only investigate matters relating to public corruption or civil rights. It should be interesting to see how (or rather, IF) they respond to a situation that involves BOTH!

Anonymous said...

8:35 - I would disagree. I didn't see you putting your name on the ballot to run for Supervisor. And if you don't live in the district, what did you do to help Roger defeat Graham?

Better question - more timely, is what have you done to help John Dennery defeat Graham? Contribute? Make phone calls? Sign in your yard?

Instead of bitching at Davis because in your opinion he 'ran a bad campaign' (which he may have done, but Monday morning quarterbacking is always easy) get into the game today and do something about solving the problem now!

Anonymous said...

1:40 PM how do you know whether or not 8:35 AM is or is not in the game?

what did you do to defeat robert graham?

how 'bout leading by answering your own questions first.

short of that you look like another anonymous messenger shooter.

p.s. roger did run a terrible campaign.

losing by 48 votes is weak.

Anonymous said...

1:40 & 8:35 if you have never run for supervisor or any office keep your complaints to yourself

Anonymous said...

2:44
Yeah, that's right.
Only someone who has run for any office should have the right to complain about those that have.
What a dick.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what an audit of equipment for inventory and condition by a disinterested party would reveal? How would a private citizen go about getting that done?

Anonymous said...

Go Sup Fisher... WHY is Northstar there and allowed to talk? I wish KF you would compare when Motorola had the service agreement and to now when Airwaves/Northstar has it. Look at the quality of the system then and now. Look at how fast work was done then and now. Those in this meeting are not the ones using the Hinds Co radio system... talk and LISTEN to the actual users... the law enforcement officers, fire fighters, etc.
Rankin Co operates their OWN system and it works just fine... KF dont let this die... keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

GO DENNERY! Graham would appear to be risking time in the pokey with all these shenanigans!

Anonymous said...

I believe that it is a disgrace the way that 3 members of the current BOS have represented the citizens. I understand that there don't have to be an bids for personal services, but, there is something called right and wrong. They seem to have the notion that they are not anserable to the citizens of Hinds County. I hope and pray everyday that John Dennery defeats Graham. I believe that they have let greed and power take over and they think they can do whatever they please. Please keep this going KF.

Anonymous said...

My, my, my how the worm has turned.

No longer able to look past the extensive documentary evidence presented here at JJ regarding the corrupt "Lieutenant" Robert Graham even the JFP has now turned on this two-bit huckster.

Better late than never DonnerKay but you're still getting your ass kicked by Kingfish.

To wit: TCI.

No, No, NO DonnerKay said...

"Lieutenant" Robert Graham is a former CIVILIAN employee of JPD. He was never a sworn officer. Why can't you get that right?

@JxnFreePress 11:28 AM Oct 5th
Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham, a former police officer, faces an investigation

Anonymous said...

losing by more votes to Graham would have "strong"? what's wrong with the campaign he ran?

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