Posted: Monday, June 9th 2014 at 6:42pm
Public invited to comment on Hall County financial plans
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – May and June are months when finances take front stage for Hall County government: budgets are prepared, numerous annual contracts are awarded, tax assessments are calculated, etcetera.
This week is no exception; even the seemingly innocuous process of letting and awarding bids gets closer scrutiny.
Monday afternoon’s work session saw Commissioners asking for clarification on the legal requirement governing how the County decides which bidder is awarded a contract.
“Bill,” Chairman Dick Mecum asked County Attorney Bill Blalock, “if we have a legal bid can we base our opinion on…our personal feelings?”
“No,” Blalock answered. “Your bid (award) is supposed to be to the lowest responsible bidder. The question here is whether the bidder is responsible based upon a past history of performance.”
The low bidder in question had begun to generate more complaints and questions than Commissioners liked so the matter of “responsible bidder” status would be examined.
Tim Sims, Purchasing Manager for Hall County, was presenting fourteen bid results to the Commissioners for inclusion on the agenda for Thursday night’s voting session.
Those bids covered a wide variety of items ranging from a new floor at the Health Department to commercial kitchen equipment for the jail to annual contracts for such items as inmate medical supplies, elevator repairs, and printing services, et al.
One bid received by Sims’ department even included a math error, made by the vendor, significantly understating the amount they wanted for performing a specified service.
“If their bid was ($xx.xx) can’t you just take it?” Commissioner Craig Lutz asked.
“We’ve done that in the past with some companies,” Sims said with a smile, “and it’s better to correct it now than to correct it after it’s been awarded.”
“An unhappy bidder makes everybody’s life unhappy, not just the bidder,” Commissioner Scott Gibbs added. “I have been on that end of it.”
This week is also the time of the year for the voters of Hall County to make their examination of Hall County’s financial strategies and share their comments.
To that end public comment opportunities are scheduled to begin this week as listed below.
Public comment for the proposed 2015 Hall County budget will happen three times at the Hall County Government Center:
June 12th, 6PM .....June 23rd, 3PM .....and June 26th, 6PM.
Community presentations about the proposed SPLOST VII initiative:
June 10th, 6PM at the Spouts Springs Library
June 17th, 6PM at the Clermont Chattahoochee Center
June 19th, 6PM at the Gainesville Civic Center
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