The Times Leader is reporting that political signs are being used to cover a publicly funded bench advertisement in Pittston. The political sign is one of Democrat State Representative Mike Carroll’s. Carroll claims that he paid for the sign and had no idea the vendor had already sold the space to Luzerne County.
When reached for comment via email, the owner of the sign company stated that there was damage to the Luzerne County sign that was a safety hazard. Instead of repairing the sign, the vendor apparently re-sold it to a political candidate.
When you dig a little deeper, we find yet another Luzerne County contract in question. “The county locked in two five-year agreements with the company on September 2006. The contracts total $200,525 – $159,400 for the Pittston billboard and $41,125 for four advertisements on benches.
That goes against the county’s purchasing policy approved in 2004 that says the county must bid out purchases of more than $7,500. State law requires bidding for purchases that exceed $10,000”
Competitive bidding is a must. The story goes on to point out a very clear reason why. “The downtown Pittston billboard costs the county up to $2,800 per month in addition to a $2,600 annual production charge. In comparison, Lamar Advertising rents the same-sized billboard along busier major highways in the area for about $2,400 per month, according to company publications.”