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Firm offers apology to city for behavior of its representative

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

A letter from Timothy Noles, a partner with engineering firm Hardesty & Hannover, to Cape Coral council members apologizing for the actions of one of its representatives during a meeting earlier this year may be too little, too late to save a contract to build the Chiquita boat lock.

H&H engineer Mike Sileno became combative with council members during an Oct. 20 meeting, admonishing them for wanting to rebid the contract.

“We apologize that Mr. Sileno was not able to satisfy the City Council’s objective to move the (Chiquita Boat Lock project) forward and for any lack of respect shown to the Council Members,” the letter reads in part.

The company’s mea culpa, however, is not likely to reverse the council’s decision not to award the Chiquita boat lock contract to H&H.

“The letter is something I’d certainly expect. I don’t know that it was a very strong apology. Based on (Sileno’s) actions, no apology would make me want to use them again,” Councilmember Jim Burch said.

“They need to pick their people a little better and be more judicial in who they send to represent them at council,” Councilmember Tim Day said.

Sileno may have also cost H&H the prospect of future contracts with the city.

“I think that it was very nice of them to apologize and I wish them well,” Day said.

Mayor Eric Feichthaler and other council members have also said they will not look to H&H for future projects.

Meanwhile, the Chiquita Lock project is stalled. Council members rebid the project but PCL, the company overseeing the project, came back with a figure — $13 million — that was too expensive for the city.

Day said the project’s size must be scaled down to reduce costs.

“We had it rebid because we thought prices would go down substantially,” Day said.

Now the council must decide on a different contractor, which means another bidding process.

“We need to make a decision,” Burch said.