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JUNE 03 - JUNE 11, 2014

Lockport Alderman's Dad gets Contract for New Fire House Doors

By Mike Hudson

June 03, 2014

John Lombardi knows a good thing when he sees it: Like garage door openers....

A recent move by the City of Lockport to install garage door openers in city fire trucks and at the Lockport central emergency dispatch station drew down the wrath of the firefighters union, which didn't want to lose the all important job of pressing the button that made the fire station doors go up and down.

A grievance was filed, the matter went to court and literally dozens of newspaper and television stories about the issue appeared in the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, WIVB, the Buffalo News and other media outlets.

What was lost in the frenzied coverage of this tempest in a teapot was the process by which the new garage door opening system was purchased.

Lockport Alderman John Lombardi III was a vociferous proponent of the new system, endorsing the conventional wisdom that it represented both a cost savings and yet another way to throw the sleepy Erie Canal town into the fast lane of the 21st Century replete with high tech gizmos.

John knew a thing or two about opening garage doors. His father, John Lombardi II, had run Overhead Door of Lockport for many years, and often was the day that young John toiled behind the counter or went out on an installation call on behalf of the family business.

And of the two businesses that bid on the contract to install the new garage door openers – Lombardi's Overhead Door and Sunrise Door of Middleport-- which do you think got the contract from the Lockport Common Council?

If you guessed the place owned by the alderman's father, you would be correct. The contract wasn't much, around $7,500, give or take, but the fact that Lombardi's dad got the contract and the family profited from the flap should have been, and is now, reported.





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