Call the whaaaaabulance. Contractors are crying over the proposed changes to contract approval.

I am all for this change;

The council’s fiscal committee has recommended that the council approve all contracts worth $25,000 or more. The contracts would be included on the council’s regular consent agenda. The consent agenda routinely is approved by vote at the beginning of regular council meetings, although items can be removed and debated.

In other words, it is much like the approval of malt beverage licenses. They group it all together, and approve it all at once unless they have questions or concerns about a certain item. Not a big deal. Fast and usually painless.

Councilor Kenny Anderson Jr. and others say that including a list of contracts on the council’s agenda will increase transparency for the public. The public will see which entities are getting contracts and for what services.

Exactly. The public has a right to know who is getting these contracts. But that hasn’t stopped city directors and contractors from crying about the issue.

But department heads and other employees resist the idea. They say it will cause delays in awarding contracts and will stall projects. City Engineer Chad Huwe told the fiscal committee that council approval of contracts could delay projects by weeks. Contractors already complain that it takes too long, and City Council approval will add another step in the process.

Chad, quick question for you. Who is in charge of running the city? You and private contractors or the taxpayer and elected officials? It’s our money, the council is SUPPOSED to be watchful of how it is being spent. If contractors are upset about the time it takes, maybe they should get their bids in early, maybe they should work faster, or better yet let them go scrape and scrap for work in the private sector if government is so hard to deal with. IMO, city work has been a gravy train to some contractors in this city, and they are afraid the train is finally gonna come to a halt. Can’t wait to see some of the names that pop up if this change gets approved.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 l3wis on 07.25.11 at 6:03 pm

I ‘sent’ this comment to Holsen’s blog;

“The city charter is just that, a charter. The state constitution and the US constitution trump it. The city council can make ANY changes they want to it. Several lawsuits against the city have proven that the city charter is unconstitutional on many levels. So while I appreciate Jen’s knowledge of the city charter, I must remind her it is not written in stone, and not always legal or right.

This really isn’t about approval, this is about transparency. The public should have a weekly / monthly update of WHO is getting city contracts, big and small. There is some favoritism going on. This became all to clear when the city put out a RFP for the new windows at the Pavilion. The company originally selected to do the job was $200,000 above the company that got awarded the contract in the long run. This only came about because the Pavilion screwed up on presenting the numbers and the public became aware of it and it went to re-bid. TRANSPARENCY SAVED TAXPAYERS $200,000! And this is just one example.

Sorry. Secrecy sucks. This is a welcome change, and I don’t think this will fade away into the night. A majority of the council approves of this change.”

Thought I would post it here first, in case she loses it.