July 23rd, Public Works Director Carl Quiram informed
selectmen that his previous estimate of $600,000 for the
Rosemont neighborhood drainage project had suddenly
risen to nearly $900,000.
In explaining the discrepancy, Quiram stated that he had
he had never shown his
original plan to the city of Manchester (which would be involved in the project) prior to submitting his
estimate, and that after he did, Manchester pointed out numerous issues (gas lines, water lines, existing
sewer composition, required digging depth, and more) that suddenly would add $300,000 to the cost of the
Selectmen were dismayed at the sudden change in the
estimated cost. Eventually
Quiram was asked if the project might be done in stages
to help spread the cost. Quiram stated that indeed
the project could be done in various phases, and then
mentioned a 2004
study that outlined a five-phase plan for the
What 2004 study?
Selectmen (except, of course, Phil D'Avanza) had never
heard of, or been told of, a 2004 study conducted by
McFarland-Johnson, Inc. of Concord, N.H., which
recommended a 5 phase approach to the project, as
Phase 1 -
Phase 2 -
Phase 3 - $
Phase 4 - $
Phase 5 -
The study also "highly recommends" phases 1
and 3 as priority portions of the study, as those two
phases "...would alleviate the majority of the
primary stormwater ponding near the Rosemont/Mast Road
intersection and the properties adjacent to the
Why weren't selectmen told of this before? Why is
it that Quiram never volunteered the existence of the
study, and only did so after being asked about
multi-phasing the project?
And what about D'Avanza? He was on the board at the
time the study was released - why did he remain silent
about it as well?
Perhaps D'Avanza simply assumed that Quiram intended to
multi-phase the project as outlined in the 2004 study
all along. Or perhaps D'Avanza, an adamant
opponent of change, and a staunch supporter of all
things past, simply decided to keep the information to
himself so as not to upset the DPW applecart.
But Quiram's reasons for withholding the information
seem clear to us. He certainly wanted his $600,000 back
in the road plan, and coming in with a higher estimate
almost insured his success at getting it, to wit:
The Rosemont project was originally included in the
proposed 2007 operating budget. But late last
year, the Budget Committee voted to move the project to
the town warrant as a special article for voters to
But in January, the project was moved back into the
operating budget for fear the much-needed project would
fail at the March 13, 2007 town vote. The
committee also recommended to selectmen that Quiram's
Road Plan budget be reduced by $600,000 to compensate
for the additional expense.
Selectmen agreed. And thereafter, with his road plan budget cut by $600,000, Quiram
was not a happy camper.
Lie by omission?
So how could Quiram get his $600,000 back? Here's
what we think...
While being chastised by selectman Nick Campasano on
June 18th for having spent excavator purchase savings
without authorization, Quiram was told that had the cost
exceeded the allotted amount, the purchase would not
have been made and the monies would have been returned
to the budget.
Armed with this information, it is apparent to us that
Quiram now believed that if the Rosemont project
estimate came in higher than the allotted $600,000, the
monies would go back in the budget and the project would
be cancelled - at least for now. And if cancelled,
he'd get his road plan money back.
Sweet, he must have thought.
So now Quiram had two choices: 1) Inform selectmen of
the optional approach of multi-phasing the project, or
2) keep his mouth shut, see the project cancelled or
postponed and, most importantly (to him), get his $600,000 back
for his road plan.
So what did Quiram do? He approached selectmen and
gave them his "bad news" $900,000
"revised" estimate, then kept his mouth shut,
never volunteering anything about the 2004 multi-phase
study. Notably, D'Avanza kept quiet about it as
Oh well, too bad, right? Looks like the project is
too expensive, so the $600K will just have to go back
into the road plan...
Sound far fetched? Read on.
On July 19th, a week before his "bad news"
presentation to selectmen, Quiram had already appeared before the CIP committee
to request that the $600,000 be returned to the Road Plan in 2008.
And he did so before ever informing selectmen about his
"new" doomsday estimate. His apparent
plan was already in place long before he informed
Obviously, Quiram certainly wanted
his $600,000 back, and keeping selectmen in the dark
about a multi-phase option would certainly have served
towards that end.
Fortunately for taxpayers, selectmen were finally made
aware of the study (only after asking), and as a result,
the bulk of the project, no thanks to Quiram, will be
completed this year - and for far less than the budgeted
So why did Quiram keep selectmen in the dark about it?
We think the reason is obvious.
Quiram wanted the
$600K back in his road plan, no matter what.
Quiram, during the long-gone days of the Bob Wheeler-led
"Good Old Boys" network, always pretty much
had a free hand to do whatever he wanted, so long as
Goffstown never again received a "worst roads in
the state" award as it did years ago (currently,
Quiram's only remaining ally from that group is D'Avanza).
evidenced by Quiram's recent expenditure of town resources to
accommodate a local developer (see Developer
works with - and against - town
), his unauthorized
expenditure of savings realized by DPW's excavator
purchase (see Selectmen
again question DPW spending), his subsequent
rental of a second excavator, negating the
savings he himself professed the town would realize by buying
the first one (see Selectmen
reel in DPW), the fact that the Grasmere
roundabout is behind schedule and over budget, and Quiram's continuing habit of
quoting inaccurate figures to selectmen when questioned
as to whether or not his department can complete
projects at a lower cost to taxpayers than contracting
the work out (see Have
you stopped and smelled the asphalt?).
In short, we believe Quiram is out of control. Worse,
it appears he has been withholding information from selectmen to
further his own agenda, and has done so at the expense
of Goffstown's taxpayers.
As local resident Ray Johannet asked selectmen during
public comment on July 16th, "Why is that man still
on the payroll?"
Frankly, we have no idea.
And as for D'Avanza? Well, he's the last of the
"Good Old Boys", and fortunately for all of
us, his term expires in March.
project to go forward
Rosemont Area Drainage Study
reel in DPW
again question DPW spending
round of construction proceeds in Grasmere