Why the holdup with school lunch contract?

Why the holdup with school lunch contract?

On Oct. 7, the Smithfield School Committee agenda listed "Approval of School Lunch Contract for 2013-2014." Vice Chairperson Kellie-Ann Heenan asked the vendor many important questions concerning the contract.

It is clear that Heenan read the contract thoroughly word for word. Since school started in September - I asked if they were working without a contract. The answer was "Yes." Why this contract was not finalized before the start of the school year defies logic.

So much for competitive bidding. The Cumberland School system does not have the same school vendor. Why do we need competitive bidding, the taxpayers will just pay. No matter what!

It was disclosed that this was a multiyear contract with options. I had several questions, some of a legal nature. After listening to the questions of the vice chair and stating my questions I suggested that since the vendor is working for six weeks without a contract, table the decision for two weeks until the next School Committee meeting in order to have all questions answered.

I question whether Chair Richard Iannitelli listened to what was said.

Next, came a vote to approve the contract. The majority of the School Committee ignored the request and approved the contract.

This careless action is not a very good example for the Smithfield High School Finance Academy.

Sign first, ask questions later. Why should have Supt. Robert O'Brien stayed on top of this matter after June 30?

His inaction is in line with the ranking of our high school - 25th from the top.

Al Costantino

Smithfield