Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wootton's Patriots Go French


Thomas Sprigg Wootton must be rolling over in his grave. Dr. Wootton was a famous for the role he played in the Revolutionary War, and is credited for founding Montgomery County.  You can read about his background here, from the website of the high school in Rockville that bears his name.   From the article in Wootton's Common Sense:

Wootton was an ardent Revolutionary during the war against the British Crown. When George III of the British Empire tightened his control over Boston after the Boston Tea Party, Wootton was one of the ten men to present a resolution to Annapolis to cut off all commercial ties with Britain.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, he collaborated with Colonel Zadok Magruder in organizing neighborhoods for the war effort. Magruder High School in Rockville is named after the Revolutionary Magruder.
Beyond his contributions to the fight for independence, Wootton continued to play an active role in the development of the new country, helping to draft Maryland’s Constitution and the state’s Bill of Rights.
The school is so proud of its historical connection.  Wootton students pride themselves on being called "Patriots," and proudly wear the school colors of red, white, and blue.

So - what would Dr. Wootton think of his Patriots pending installation of  a Field Turf Tarkett athletic field?

He would be very sad, and not simply because his school did a no bid contract and thus likely spent more money than necessary for the plastic grass.  Field Turf Tarkett is a member of the Tarkett group, a French company.  From their website:

Headquartered in Nanterre, France, Tarkett is owned by two shareholders – the Deconinck family (heirs of the Allibert family) and active in the Group for many generations and private equity funds affiliated with KKR (50%) since January 2007.

So, not only is the company privately owned, its not even American.

The French TricolourHow ironic that a school in the heart of the Nations Capital, named for a revolutionary war hero, doesn't buy American.

C'est dommage.  What's next?  Will the Wootton Marching Band play La Marseillaise at football games too?




  1. Wouldn't he be happy that our allies in the Revolution were getting a bit of a payback?

  2. I've seen some great things on this blog and some embarrassing things as well. This post is firmly in the category of the latter. As my kids would derisively say; "seriously?"

    1. You should be embarrassed that MCPS fails to follow Maryland law. And, your kids could do with a lesson in competitive bidding.

      This post makes light of a very, very serious issue called procurement fraud. By not following Maryland law, USA companies that make artificial turf are not permitted to bid on MCPS and MNCPPC artificial turf purchases. This blog hears from competitor companies on a regular basis. They want the opportunity to bid on these projects. Give us your name and number and we will have them give you a call. You can explain to them how embarrassed you are by the failure of MCPS to allow for open competition.

  3. Please keep in mind the European synthetic turf market is actually larger than the U.S. synthetic turf market. Approximately 900 full sized fields will be built in the U.S. in 2012 and over 1000 will be built in Europe. European-based companies control about 50% of the U.S. synthetic turf market. On the flip side - guess what percentage of the European market American turf companies capture. The answer is a big fat ZERO. Yes - you read that right. Americans send their tax dollars to Europe for plastic grass but the European customers are smart enough to support Euro based and owned turf companies. This is disgraceful and disgusting.

  4. How do you know that the school didn't do it's research? Maybe European turf is better quality turf than one made in America? I have no idea what constitutes a "better" field, but maybe that's why they bought European. You certainly must want a better quality field to be installed for the benefit of the community down the road, no?

    1. Anony: This is America. Here we have Open Government. Government decisions are public. Please point us to the public process our County government and school system used to select artificial turf. We'll wait.

      Oh, and here's a big oops for you. We know, and even FieldTurf knows, that the fields that have been installed are defective. That's why FieldTurf is suing their supplier.

      That sort of blows your old "better quality" for the "benefit of the community down the road" thing.

  5. Janis,
    How much of the money to pay for this came from county funds? It is my understanding that Wootton along with a private soccer league are footing the bill for this.


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