Some individuals within your organization have informed the Sentinel that in the past, Mayor Acquanetta Warren and her ruling coalition on the council steered a previous energy efficiency project contract to Alliance Building Solutions, using a loophole in California law that suspends the requirement that public agencies and governmental entities use an open bidding process on contracts for capital projects if the project pertains either to increasing energy efficiency or can be demonstrated to have saved the agency/governmental entity on energy costs. According to those at Fontana City Hall, Mayor Warren and her allies on the council deliberately used this loophole so that Alliance Building Solutions could be awarded the contracts in question despite the consideration that there were other companies offering the same energy efficiency upgrades at a lower cost than Alliance Building Solutions. This bypassing of the open bidding requirement was orchestrated, the Sentinel was told, by former San Bernardino County Supervisor Bill Postmus, who has reinvented himself as a lobbyist and political fixer, who is acting as what was variously described as a “cut-out” or go-between to convey money from Alliance Building Solutions principal Brad Chapman to Mayor Warren and the other decision-makers on the Fontana City Council, money intended to “grease” the mayor and council and thus facilitate the provision of the no-bid contract to Alliance Building Solutions. In essence, the Sentinel is told, the monetary installments originating with Mr. Chapman being delivered to the mayor and council members through the laundering process involving Mr. Postmus are quid pro quos, bribes paid in return for the approval of the energy efficientization projects.
The Sentinel is further told that though you are not overjoyed, exactly, at the prospect of having something like this perpetrated on your watch, you don’t have much of a choice in the matter, as you need to stay on the good side of Mayor Warren and you lack the courage and character to stand up to her as some people would prefer you would.
Thus, I am writing to you now.
How does the city intend to use the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant?
Will the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant be used to provide another contract to Alliance Building Solutions?
Will you insist on an open bidding process for any energy efficientization projects that the City of Fontana initiates and which use the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant?
Can you offer a succinct defense of not conducting an open bidding process for the project/projects that are to be undertaken using the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant?
Have you already met with Brad Chapman? If so, who introduced you to him? Was Bill Postmus in attendance when you met Mr. Chapman? Was Mayor Warren there as well?
Do you have any concerns about the city involving itself with Mr. Postmus?
Do you feel that the city should use an open bidding process on its project contracts?
Do you feel the city should use an open bidding process on its project contracts even in those cases where exemptions for energy efficiency and energy savings are involved?
Is there some justification, in your view, to utilizing Alliance Building Solutions for the city’s energy efficientization efforts, even if other companies can provide those services more economically? Can you explicate that justification?
If Congresswoman Torres or other federal officials stipulate a condition to the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant award that the contracts to paid for by the grant must be ones that use an open-bid process, will the city accept this limitation and use an open-bid process?
I am fighting an unforgiving deadline in pursuing this story. If you could get back to me at once, I would like to use your input in the final setting of pen to paper on this.
Thank you, Mr. Ballantyne, for what I anticipate will be your rapid response.
…Mark Gutglueck (951) 567 1936