Town manager fields queries about dad’s work

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — For the second time this month, Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak explained to the public the town jobs performed by his father, Rick Paraschak.

“My father is not going to get work from the town anymore. His work is wrapped up,” Paraschak said.

His father’s business, Earth Solutions, had been hired to do a ditch-work job on Cooks Mills Road when Derik Goodine was still the town manager. The transition from Goodine to Ephrem Paraschak happened at the turn of the fiscal year. Paraschak stepped into the position on July 1, 2014, after last year’s town meeting.

Town Manager Paraschak made the comments during the Naples Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting on Monday, June 15.

Ephrem Paraschak said that his father’s business, Earth Solutions, was in the process of completing the work on projects already started. Earth Solutions would no longer be used by the town for contracted jobs, he said.

His comments followed those made by the public during the meeting.

Resident Jim Grattelo said, “The town needs a conflict-of-interest policy and bidding policy or ordinance.”

“It is your job to eliminate suspicion,” he said. “There is a lot of buzz going around town about conflict of interest, and work going out that didn’t go out to bid,” he said.

Paraschak said that the town did have a nepotism policy in place. “This town is not giving unsolicited work,” he said.

It was then that Paraschak stated that going forward the town would not hire Earth Solutions.

During a phone conversation on Wednesday morning, the town manager said the only other work that Earth Solution did was putting gravel behind the town office.

Typically, the town rotates through a list of local contractors for small jobs, he said.

As part of his town manager duties, Ephrem Paraschak also acts as road commissioner.

In July 2014, then selectman Rick Paraschak said, for the sake of disclosure, that he had been one of the local businesses in the “tool box used by Derek” Goodine. Sometimes, Earth Solutions was contracted for small jobs that did not require the bid process.

At that time, last summer, the board asked if Earth Solutions had already invested time into the work, which was supposed to be wrapped up that autumn.

That was the ditch work job on the Cooks Mills Road, and it was not completed before it snowed, Ephrem Paraschak said.

Also, during the annual Town Meeting on June 1, Paraschak explained why Earth Solutions had been listed in the past budget as receiving money for work from the town.

The question was asked by resident Jim Turpin when Article 10, the roads and highways expenditures, was being discussed. He asked how much money a project must cost before it goes out to bid.

Paraschak answered that ditch work or the lining of a ditch is often contracted out and paid as an hourly wage because, during the summer months, most contractors are busy with other jobs.

Turpin said Earth Solutions had some bids, and asked about the local company.

“Earth Solutions is owned by Rick Paraschak, who is my father,” he said. Earth Solutions “was wrapping up projects that were assigned by the previous town manager,” he said.

 

 

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