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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Bids never suggested
To the editor:
Regarding the article about “Artist withdraws picnic table bid,” I would like to clarify the procedures taken for placing picnic tables at Phil Simon Park in Langley.
Commissioners extracted the picnic tables from the construction bid because the cost was too high, particularly the shipping charges. It was agreed that other options should be explored.
As one of those options, I contacted Mark Fessler, a sculptor with whom I served on the Island Arts Council, about creating a design in a more reasonable price range. He submitted the plans to the port just in time for consideration.
This was not a unilaterally chosen “commission” nor was it intended to be the only alternative considered.
No one had seen Mark’s plans prior to the meeting.
After some discussion about using local businesses, durability, expediency and less cost than the original specified tables, Commissioner Rolf Seitle made a motion to approve the proposal.
He and I voted for it.
The concept of putting the project out to bid to other artists was not suggested at the meeting, and “off the shelf” tables were discussed but never approved at that or any other meeting.
Whether you agree or disagree with the choice, there was no impropriety in the procedure.