OPINION: Lacey Solar Panels

In 2011 there was great debate over the management of the Lacey School District Solar Panel Project.

At that time Regina Discenza, myself and other members of our community warned the School Board that the Solar Panel Project was grossly mismanaged.  Of course the Board of Education and the School Administration denied their mismanagement and numbers were tossed about in a manner that only served to confuse the public.

The debate is now over. The Office of the State Controller – Investigation Division (Mach 2014) determined that the Lacey Board of Education’s lack of District oversight resulted in mismanagement of the Lacey Solar Panel Project. 

Specifically, the Lacey School District awarded a non-competitive contract to an architectural firm that had no prior experience with Solar Panel Projects.  The firm overestimated the cost of the project by $8,240,000.  Approximately 70% of the overestimated project cost was due to a lack of District oversight and 30% was due to a downturn in the economy. The overstated project cost resulted in the unnecessary expenditures of (1) $4,717,576 paid by the State, (2) $3,500,000 paid by the Lacey taxpayer for additional interest and (3) $455,000 paid to the architectural firm.

This criticism of the Boards mismanagement is not hindsight.  The Board was warned of their mismanagement prior to the award of contract.  The State has performed the investigation and the debate is over – at taxpayer expense almost $9,000,000 of tax payer dollars was unnecessarily spent.

 To obtain a copy of the State investigation -  Roy.Palczewski@yahoo.com.

Thomas R. Palczewski

Former Lacey Township Board Member

Franklin Park, NJ

FIMF the ll April 04, 2014 at 01:00 PM
@Tim, your fears are unfounded. In the first place, you are a politician and Tom P was not. That a feather in your cap. Also, you possess a superior intellect and unyielding determination. Another arrow in your quiver. These attributes coupled with your ability to engage an audience, and unparalleled easel skills would make you a shoe in. Toss that tin roof in the ring, Tim. You are needed and wanted.
Clementine April 04, 2014 at 01:15 PM
@Tim: not siding with the BOE here, but doesn't Tom P sort of stand as the poster child of how NOT to create change? I'm not trying to be a jerk (but I'm sure I'll exceed your expectations), but if you're trying to introduce change to a sort of conservative, stubborn set, isn't it best to go in with donuts and coffee, not sledgehammers and pepper spray? Yes, it 'takes two' to have an argument, but if I'm the one trying to instigate changes in the perceptions of others, maybe it's best to start with understanding theirs? An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
FIMF the ll April 04, 2014 at 01:22 PM
@Clem, if still with us, Sammy Davis Jr might disagree with your closing remark.
Clementine April 04, 2014 at 01:39 PM
it could be me April 07, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Responding to all of Tims comments---- For a Man who build a bunker in his front yard, and brags about it, if you have all the answers to all the problems, you should run for public office. Once a wacko always a wacko


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