City of Glen Rose not opening sealed bids in public (Local Government Code Violation)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas
City of Glen Rose not opening sealed bids in public (Local Government Code Violation)
27 May 2010 at 2:14:15 PM
At the City Council meeting dated 5/24 there had to be a rescind of a bid and the City Council did not really get into the details of why or what the real problem was:
The real reason why is that they did not advertise the bid in the paper. Since no ad was taken out the sealed bidding process had to be redone. The City Council agenda said "re-advertise" but since they never advertised it to start with that was inaccurate.
A little background helps so I take you back to February 18th of this year where I had email correspondence with the Mayor Pam Miller on sealed bidding procedures and executive session items. My question to the Mayor on this particular topic was:
Paul Harper: Are the sealed bids the city advertises for opened in regular session as the County Commissioners court does?
Mayor Pam Miller: bids are usually opened by the City Supt. and then all the information is gathered, listed on paper and presented to the Council for the Council to to discuss and take action on it. We like having everything listed on paper so that the comparison is easier to see. If several bids are presented, then that prevents confusion as to what each one is offered.
When I pointed out to the Mayor Pam Miller, soon after that email conversation, on the phone that they were not following what the law dictates she assured me that they were and I told her I looked forward to seeing an ad in the paper from the City so I could go film the opening of the sealed bids.
Fast forward to May, there is a vote on a bid during this city council meeting and Ricky Villa very wisely asks TWICE about the City running an ad in the paper. Ronald Bruce tells the City Council that they had run the ad for two weeks when in fact that had not happened:
After that meeting I went home and did an Open Records request to the City of Glen Rose asking for a copy of the ad that was taken out for the bid, the dates they were published in the paper, and a copy of the "sealed bid". The City then asked the paper of record, The Glen Rose Reporter, for a copy of their ad and there was no ad that was taken out for the bid. At that point it was put on the agenda that they had to rescind the bid and do it again. The City had to request to the Office of Attorney General to keep the bid from the public because they had to redo their process and it was confirmed to me by the City that the ad in fact had NOT been taken out.
Now a few weeks later we have this ad that is in the paper, signed by Mayor Pam Miller who told me they were following the law in Feb:
and the ad signed by Mayor Pam Miller is STILL NOT COMPLIANT with the law as detailed in my formal complaint to County Attorney Ron Hankins:
Paul Harper: The city took out an ad in the paper for a bid request, it does NOT state the date/time they will open and read allowed the sealed bids to the public. You can look and see the ad yourself in the Glen Rose Reporter. The County always specifies when and where the sealed bids will be opened so the public can attend. This is a habit for the City…Pam tells me they have Ronald Bruce open them in advance so the City Council members can have them in their packets. My understanding with sealed bids is that they have to be announced in the paper for two weeks and it has to state when and where they will be opened. They also have to be read aloud when opened and none of this is happening with the City of Glen Rose. I tried to head this off at the pass with an email to Peggy/Andy but no response and the ad is not in compliance.
County Attorney Ron Hankins: I have contacted Andy Lucas and made him aware of this. After receiving your e-mail, I checked the Glen Rose Reporter and found the ad to which I assume you are referring. (By the way, when I spoke with Andy, he told me he had been sick for the last 2 - 3 days and was just back in the office today --- I don't think he had received your e-mail). You are correct that the ad does not include the place and time at which the bids are to be opened, which is required under Section 252.041. Andy is checking into this and will get back to me. Since he is the City Attorney, I am deferring to him at this time to try to get this situation corrected.
The section of the law that County Attorney Ron Hankins references, Section 252.041, it clearly states:
Sec. 252.041. NOTICE REQUIREMENT. (a) If the competitive sealed bidding requirement applies to the contract, notice of the time and place at which the bids will be publicly opened and read aloud must be published at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the municipality. The date of the first publication must be before the 14th day before the date set to publicly open the bids and read them aloud. If no newspaper is published in the municipality, the notice must be posted at the city hall for 14 days before the date set to publicly open the bids and read them aloud.
(b) If the competitive sealed proposals requirement applies to the contract, notice of the request for proposals must be given in the same manner as that prescribed by Subsection (a) for the notice for competitive sealed bids.
(c) If the contract is for the purchase of machinery for the construction or maintenance of roads or streets, the notice for bids and the order for purchase must include a general specification of the machinery desired.
(d) If the governing body of the municipality intends to issue time warrants for the payment of any part of the contract, the notice must include a statement of:
(1) the governing body's intention;
(2) the maximum amount of the proposed time warrant indebtedness;
(3) the rate of interest the time warrants will bear; and
(4) the maximum maturity date of the time warrants.
Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 109, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 749, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 757, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
Now the City will have to do this AGAIN because they have still not followed the correct procedures. When Chris Bryant asked Ronald Bruce about this process it was not clear to me that this has been fixed moving forward since the current ad is still not in compliance with the law. Maybe the question should be, would this have happened if there had been a City Administrator? Should the City just hire one to prevent them from being embarrased time and time again by the City not following the basic laws of local government?
Another question that comes to mind that I have not explored yet is how did Jimmy Gosdin know what to bid on or the deadline since the rest of us did not know due to it NOT being published in the paper? He was the sole bidder...does he have special information from the City that they are not sharing with everyone else?
Such a common practice in Glen Rose. Work goes on all the time without ever a peep about it in the paper for bids. Sad that you have to know someone special to get a shot at any work in the city you live in and support. Thanks for all the hard work you do to bring honesty and transperancy to local government.
New poster comments are moderated,
meaning they won't show up until approved... or not. Be patient-we
have lives outside this blog, so it might take awhile You want to be rude?
totally stupid? inappropriate? Racist? Bigoted? Flame war baiter? Your
post may be deleted. Spammers or people posting pretend interest comments
but really wanting to hawk their latest book or sell stuff or govt
propaganda flacks won't see their posts published. Comments do not
necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the site owner(salon).
If you have a problem with logging in or registering, please speak up
right away. Love your comments. Oh, except spammersMore on commenting
Been awhile. Send me an email at email@example.com with the names of who you're talking about, above. Also, the newspaper editor is no longer local, ie officed here, but the paper is run....
(What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )
I'd love to see the Hotel Guest books and see if Jacene's name shows up long before he officially *found* the tracks. I'd like to know if the Visitor's Bureau has emails wit....
(What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )
I see the land or that part of it is now in the hands of Glen Rose's own Corky Underwood.
Is Jacene still involved? I had already informed the Visitor Bureau manager (who's....
(What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )