Manchester mayor, manager lambaste computer deal

March 24, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

Manchester's mayor and town manager continue to be dissatisfied with the Hampstead company that was hired to update the town's computer system two years ago.

In a sometimes sharp exchange with Councilwoman Kathryn L. Riley last night, Manager Terry L. Short and Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. blasted the no-bid contract awarded to Municipal Services Group in September 1992.

The contract, awarded after closed-door council sessions, totals about $18,000.

The contract was considered by some town officials at the time to be in violation of Manchester's charter, which requires any contract totaling more than $5,000 to be put out for competitive bids.

"It has taken us over a year to get what we've got," Mr. Short said after last night's meeting.

"We don't even know everything we've bought."

Ms. Riley, who justified the contract by saying it was an extension of the town's original computer contract with Municipal Services Group's predecessor, said last night that she thought the contract was being handled "in good faith" by the Hampstead company.

"He does what we've asked, we did buy it, we did order it, he provided us with the training," Ms. Riley said.

"He did it in good faith."

"He doesn't have any good faith left right now," Mr. Warehime said.

The "he" to whom they were referring is Paul Cross, owner of MSG. Mr. Cross' company is to provide the town with new real estate billing software and a new office management program.

Mr. Short and Mr. Warehime say they are unhappy with the work so far.

"He'll replace it until we're satisfied," Mr. Short said at the meeting. "No one has ever seen a single piece of literature [about the real estate program]; no one knows what it does; no one knows what it will provide us."

Mr. Cross could not be reached for comment last night.

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