I watched an unusual vendor selection process on April 3 as the Falmouth Town Council sought to narrow the number of possible choices for Woods Road “workforce housing” from four to two vendors. (A link to proposals is on falmouthme.org.) This was based on the need to select a vendor by May 29. Could this be because two Town Council members will be leaving the council?

The council plans to hold a May 1 meeting to “let town residents comment” before decision on May 29. It was obvious that a decision had already been made and resident comments are superfluous.

A normal selection process would consider factors like:

1. Project design – consistency with surrounding homes, varying sizes of homes for different family needs, community facilities for recreation and children’s playground.

2. Environmental impact – water flow design, traffic impact, landscaping, underground or above-ground electrical design, impact on CMP service.

3. Vendor financial strength – financing approach, price of homes, cash flow forecast, vendor ability to withstand downturn in economy.


4. Vendor experience with similar size projects – length of other projects, number of homes, references from previous projects.

5. Match of housing to town employee needs – are town employees interested?

6. Impact of project on surrounding home values.

7. Financial/operational organization that will be necessary to manage the development after it starts operation – who will manage sinking and operational funds for building repairs, road repairs, ground maintenance, collection of homeowner dues, management of investments?

None of these factors was used to narrow the selection and two vendors were dismissed with minimal discussion. Vendors were asked if they could make changes to their proposals; however, no formal request for revised proposals was made. What changes will the Town Council be voting on? More importantly, this project does not help town employees with affordable workforce housing.

Jim Solley

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