Claremore Daily Progress

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December 12, 2012

Public comments prompt outburst

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

“Anyone of the vendors could have come back and say they were unfairly treated,” he added. 
“You had one here today that was mad about something, I am not sure what,” Thacker said.
Thacker was referring to Lance Tate, sales representative for Vance Brothers.
Vance Brothers had the lowest bid for micro-surfacing, yet the bid was awarded as “closest or first available”.
Vance’s bid was approximately seven percent lower than the middle bid and 11 percent lower then the high bid.
“We should be doing low bids,” Grubowski said. “ With the county being in such a financial issue I think we should be using low bid and make sure we keep a documentation trail.”
Tate questioned the board’s decision during the meeting, but received no explanation for their action.
Thacker later explained that the reason that he prefers closest or first available is because there have been issues in the past with bidders not showing up to do the work or the quality of the work.
“If you go with closest, first available it provides some incentive for the contractor to do the work,” Thacker said.
“If the first available is not in the specifications of the lowest bidder, then how are the costs regulated,” asked Alger Flood, longtime Claremore resident.
The board was asked about the statute that provides the authority to award a bid based on closest or first available. The commissioners could not provide the information.
Flood continued to question and support Grubowski’s suggestion that the county put in place a documentation trail for these transactions.
A paper trail should exist, Flood added.
“You can’t argue with paper, I spent 32 years in public education. I have had legal counsel tell me, if you don’t have it on paper then it did not happen,” Flood said.

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