By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
During Tuesday evening’s city commission meeting, it was much ado about – chairs.
Finance Director Chris Ford prepared four quotes regarding chairs to be purchased by the city as a part of the City Hall Relocation Project.
“We have a process of our remodeling efforts for this room, which also in the daytime does serve as our municipal court room,” Ford said. “As we go forward with this project, everything we do, we try to include the best options for the dual use of both functions, as well as the other groups that do meet here.
“Previously, we did order some technology and upgrades, but we are in the final phase of learning how to use the equipment,” he explained. “We hope to see it to completion soon. With that said, we do now wish to address the seating, which was a budgeted item in our remodeling project – the City Hall Relocation Project.”
Ford received quotes from four companies: Compsource.com, SPC, Southern Office Supply and Liberal Office Machines.
“I went out for quotes on seating, high-back chairs which would incorporate eight chairs on the commission bench and six chairs for the executive room, then we did six mid-back swivel chairs for the staff tables,” he said. “As well as updating chairs for the guest room, we did do six of those. I obtained four different quotes for your consideration.”
Commissioner Bob Carlile quickly asked Ford why the chairs were even needed.
“What is the necessity for this?” he asked. “There is nothing wrong with the chairs we are sitting in.”
“These were purchased back in 1990,” City Clerk Debbie Giskie responded.
“I’m going to vote ‘no’ on it, but if you are going to buy, buy local,” Carlile said.
City Manager Mark Hall explained the City Hall Relocation Project was approved two commissions ago and allowed for funding for the remodeling of the commission chambers.
“Chris, this was not a bid process, you just called them and got quotes?” Denoyer asked Ford.
“I got an online quote from Compsource.com and a fax was sent out to the other three,” Ford responded.
Commissioner Dave Harrison made a motion to purchase the chairs from Southern Office Supply in the amount of $6,260 due to the local nature of the company. SPC, located in Guymon, Okla., quoted a price of $6,103. Compsource.com quoted a price of $5,369. Not one commissioner agreed purchasing the chairs from an online company would be the correct decision for the community. Vice mayor Joe Denoyer seconded Harrison’s motion.
Commissioners Bob Carlile and Larry Koochel voted against the purchase of the chairs altogether. Mayor Tim Long, Denoyer and Harrison voted in favor of the purchase, which passed the motion.
“I’m not voting against Southern Office Supply,” Carlile said. “I’m voting against the fact that we don’t need it.”
3 commissioners respond to differences in approving expenditures
By JESSICA CRAWFORD and LARRY PHILLIPS
• Daily Leader
Exactly two weeks after Liberal Mayor Tim Long, vice mayor Joe Denoyer and commissioner Dave Harrison publicly extolled the importance of accepting low bids to protect the taxpayer, the same three supported a higher quote for office furniture stating that the chosen company was “locally owned.”
When asked about the difference, here is how the three responded:
Tim Long — “I think you ought to just leave this thing alone. It wasn’t a bid, it was a quote. It was a quote, we went with a local person on the quote. It was all within reason, and it was just a quote on a project that was budgeted years ago – a remodel deal that money was allotted for then and we are under budget quite a ways. It is just a remodelling project.”
Joe Denoyer — “They were not bids, they were quotes. If it would have been a bid, I’m sure the pencils would have been sharpened just a little bit tighter. It is just like if anyone was to call around and get a quote on tires. But, if you tell them we are bidding this, they will do a little bit better. That was the reason, they were quotes, not bids.”
Dave Harrison — “It wasn’t a bid process, it was a quote. That is a difference in itself. The difference is one was local and one was not. In the deal with the paper, both are local, both have a presence here, both have employees here. The online deal obviously does not have a presence here.”