Town could have released documents

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Dear Editor:

In the Aug. 10 Ponoka News, there are some rather interesting statements made by the Town of Ponoka’s CAO, Brad Watson. We have tried for more than two years, and four requests to have the release of the cost breakdown documents on the 38th Street local improvement. Mr. Watson used every means possible to avoid providing the requested cost breakdown.

Why did this have to go to a FOIP ruling, before this information was released? The contractors who bid on public projects are fully aware that these tender documents may be viewed by all the other contractors, as well any town taxpayer, if they wish to. Mr. Watson’s last statement in the article: “I said what have we got to hide? Release it.” How profound, after over two years and four requests.

In an article in the Red Deer Advocate, Mayor Henkelman makes the statement that contractors would not bid on municipal projects if these tender documents were made public. Does Mayor Henkelman not realize the contractors who tender on public projects are well aware of the rule? Contractors are not stupid people, they understand these tender documents will be made to a public body and any taxpayer may request to view them. The public tendering process has specific rules that allow anyone to be present when bid documents are opened.

Tillie Lloyd and William Kuncio