Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 3:59pm

School District’s New Outreach to Local Vendors

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“Hopeful Signs of Change”

It appears Superintendent Dr. Susan Moxley is beginning to push the Lake County School District staff in a direction, which will level the field for local vendors and contractors.  Most importantly, the District is starting to implement structural changes in their policies, personnel and bidding process.

First and foremost, as of June 1, 2013, the position of Director of Facilities, Design and Construction is being frozen, and Gary Parker will no longer be in charge of construction projects for the District.  Parker has been the single biggest obstacle for many local bidders, and his departure ends the worst period in history of waste and overspending by the District in construction projects.  Many local bidders gave up bidding projects for the District because of Parker and his staff and how they stacked the decision-making process.  Removing Parker from this position is one of the best decisions Superintendent Moxley has made.

Next, sources close to the District told us that Superintendent Moxley has instructed all District staff to encourage local participation, and the instructions are simple: “Lake County Schools is diligently working to foster a better relationship with local businesses to assist them in becoming successful in the School District’s procurement process.” This statement represents a huge paradigm shift for local vendors, and we applaud the new direction!

In a real tangible move to promote local participation, Superintendent Moxley recently took another step in the right direction by reopening two continuing contracts for architectural consultant services and civil engineering consultant services. Architectural and civil engineering consultant services for Lake County Schools were approved with six firms on June 13, 2011, for a period of one year with options to renew for one additional year in 2012 and 2013.

A source close to the District told us, “Instead of recommending these contracts be renewed for the final one-year term, Superintendent Moxley is recommending the contracts for these consultant services be re-advertised to increase local competition. In addition, the Procurement Services Department at Lake County Schools is making every effort to contact local businesses to alert them of the opportunity to bid on either of these consultant services.”  This is a change that is long overdue for many talented local professional firms.

The District has also taken two other meaningful steps, which could open the doors for local vendors:

  • The Lake County School District Procurement Services Department has begun the process of reaching out to local vendors to educate them on how to bid the District.  The next scheduled training session will be Tuesday, June 18, 2013.  This session will help local businesses understand how to do business with Lake County Schools.  If you are interested in attending the session please go to www.lake.k12.fl.us/procurement to find out how to register for this training session.
  • The Lake County School District Procurement Services Department is updating its website (www.lake.k12.fl.us/procurement) to provide vendors with information about active bids and contracts and professional service opportunities. Interested businesses can also register online to become a vendor with Lake County Schools. When a business registers as a Lake County Schools’ vendor, the system emails the business with any open bid opportunities the District has issued that may apply to the respective business.

The tangible and proposed actions taken by Superintendent Moxley and the District make us cautiously optimistic that there is going to be a positive change for local vendors.  Local vendors understand that they must earn the District’s business, and having a real opportunity for these companies and their workers who pay local taxes is fair for all.

There are two other aspects of this change that cannot be ignored.  Based on the recent contracts the District has been and continues to be getting ripped off by the out-of-town contractors–they are not getting any special deals.  Secondly, local companies will be invested in District projects with superior workmanship and better warranties.

If the Lake County School District has any hope of passing the local option penny tax in 2016 they must get the support of local businesses.  Many local businesses and their workers have no interest in paying or renewing an extra penny sales tax for tax dollars that are going to be spent on out-of-town companies and frivolously so.

If there is indeed a new positive attitude by the District toward local companies this could be a win-win situation for everyone.  The District will find a willing and outstanding array of local businesses that can take care of all of their needs–if they give them the chance.

Finally, a message to our local businesses:

The District indicates they are going to earnestly make an effort to reach out to local companies to do business.  It is imperative you forget the times when Parker was in charge, because we cannot change the past.  Your quest now is simple:

  • Aggressively bid projects—especially, the local architects and civil engineer consultants who felt they were shut out before.
  • Attend the seminars on how to do business with the District.
  • Check out their website.
  • Hold the District accountable.  Our motto remains the same, “A little bit of showing beats a whole lot of telling.”

It appears that the Lake County School District is trying to change for the positive and we hope they are successful!

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4 Responses to “School District’s New Outreach to Local Vendors”

  1. Debbie,

    We agree “This article is written in a positive light” and we pray it is an awakening to bring about honesty and integrity in the LCSB. Perhaps Gary Parker leaving will bring about a flood of others who need to go such as Moxley, Davis and McLeod as well. Maybe it is simply a sign that the blood suckers who have followed the orders of Bob McKee can see that the pressure is on and the money is running out. After all the antics of Bob McKee with his schemes, four dates of birth and lying resumes have been well exposed now for more than a year. That alone should have exposed him for the fraud he is.

    The problem is the Gary Parkers, Bob Mckee’s and all the other who have robbed the kitty blind will simply move on. Even the Right Side says ” It is imperative you forget the times when Parker was in charge, because we cannot change the past.”

    No can not change the past but we can damn well demand accountability for the crimes committed; we set around and let these two bit thugs rob us blind and labeled it stupidity on their part when in realaity it was stupidity on our part, if we forget these times, just like everyone has forgotten the WW2 times, we will soon be reliving them again.

    We should never “forget the times” when we are victimized and abused. The only way to stop this is to send the message the people of Lake County won’t set back and be victims. We should demand justice for these organized crimes that have been committed against we the taxpayers and voters. There should be investigations into all the contracts, kickbacks and such since at least 2000 at both the LCSB and the LCBCC as well. Let’s not forget the millions of dollars per month in questionable expenses at the lake Sheriff’s Office. More than enough probable cause exists to call for this major investigation by ethical authorities, if you can find any. Maybe a new head of the justice department with Holder and some of his cronies in jail will bring about an awakening in our sleeping justiceless system as well.

    Debbie, There is a lot of people around here that would like nothing better than to “work with you” and not against you. Everyone in their right mind should always be on board “when it’s for the kids” and not just use that as an excuse when under pressure to vote for things that are obviously of a questional nature.

    However, it is you the peoples employee who sets the scale; not we the people that follow that scale. Why should we follow the blind when we have no idea what direction you are going. All we have to judge you and each politician (employee) on is the standard employee evaluation. We must judge you on your actions and not your lip service as a career politiian.

    Contrary to political training tactics actions speak louder than words to the people!

    This is not the USSR. Why can’t we all just be honest and support total transparency? You should not have to move in “the direction I have been working toward behind the scenes.” How can we “approve of your hard work” when it is ” behind the scenes?” After all we are not physic! Has our local politics become so corrupt that our politicians now must become “undercover agents?” You don’t have to answer that – we have long known it is.

    In 2008 in order to garner support of many who were questioning whether to support your move to the LCSB you told several people you would show them where the bones is buried from the old LCBCC days; then when it come time to perform you got amnesia. Career political move!

    Oh and by the way great job you guys did on the gay-straight alliance project. You set right there and allowed that Columbia lawyer behind the scenes pulling the strings for that poor little confused girl; with a supreme court justice on speed dial manipulate the federal judge into ruling in their favor permanently without allowing any input from the thousands of moral upright parents to take exception to an alternative lifestyle recruitment club being present in their childs public school system.

    Even the ultra-liberal State of New York ruled against this man and his clubs being allowed in public schools in New York and stated that was only allowed in private schools! But not the ultra liberal RINO gay friendly movers and shakers who run Lake County “behind the scenes.”

  2. That wasn’t a comment, but a shameless piece of self-promotion. I’m surprised you didn’t end your post by thanking all the little people who have made you so successful.

  3. Tom McCray says:

    Debbie Stivender you used so many “I” and “my” in your comments that this reader wonders if the article is incorrect and it is “you” not Dr Moxley that is pushing for change. Congrats you even single handed convinced the other four members to follow you; this may come as a surprise to the board chair Ms Fisher. Regardless of who claims credit, it is refreshing that the school system is reaching out to partner with the community it serves. I disagree that government has to move at a snails pace. It only moves slowly if its leaders allow it.

    Remember “hard” working does not always mean effective working.

  4. Name says:

    There have been many times that I have wanted to comment on the articles posted, but have wisely chosen not to. This article is written in a positive light; therefore, I wanted to let you know that I am glad to see that you approve of my hard work, and the direction I have been working toward behind the scenes. The district has hardworking employees who truly care about our students, their families, and the community! As I have said many times publicly, government moves at a snails pace, but we are changing the culture little by little! Please work with us, not against us! Thank you! Debbie

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