School board gets legal advice on Port contract

  • Sep. 3, 2003 8:00 p.m.

The school distirct was seeking legal advice Tuesday concerning the awarding of the janitorial contract for the Port Clements school.
The board awarded the contract to Eric Thibodeau of Queen Charlotte, who submitted the lowest bid, but took a second look when the previous contract holder Lauretta Littley of Tlell appealed.
The issue generated considerable public interest, with an outpouring of support for Ms Littley including phone calls to the school board and a petition circulating in Port and Tlell in her favour.
School board chair Andreas Uttendorfer told the Observer that getting the advice of a lawyer has to do with the fact that some people in the community feel the contract may not be valid, since the board has a policy of not necessarily accepting the lowest bidder.
“The intent is to be fair and to have the process open and transparent and to let people know what we are doing,” Mr. Uttendorfer said. “We are hoping to be fair.”
Ms Littley has had the janitorial contract for fifteen years, and has done an excellent job, according to school district officials. They would not confirm the difference between the two bidders, but it’s said to be about $500.
Despite the controversy, Mr. Thibodeau was scheduled to start working cleaning the school on Tuesday evening.