Tuesday, August 18, 2009

COUNCIL MEETING POTPOURRI AUG 17,2009

More notes on Council meeting;

On the consent agenda were 7 Resolutions (382-09:388-09) from the DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE awarding contracts to various vendors. I requested that they be place don the Non-Consent status which every citizen has the right to do so. Usually when that is done the resolution is still approved but now by a vote indicating that the Council has considered it individually.

Why did I make that request? This was the first time to my knowledge and I could be wrong, that a resolution of this type involving routine purchases in amounts below $100,000.00 was on the agenda without the dollar amount of the contract being specified in the resolution.

My concern was the wording -lack of cost of contract was a blank check. Apparently the Council did not see that to be a problem. They accepted Dashield's explanation that the State Act limited exceeding the cost of the contract( at least that is what I thought he said and will have to do until the meeting tapes are posted) . That may be so and the contract costs may have been provided to the Council in "correspondence previous submitted" but the public is not privy to that information. All these contracts are awarded according " with certain state approved contract vendors pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-12A. Non need to be out for bid.

Perhaps this is where "Transparency in Government" need not exist.

There is no suggestion that there is any impropriety involved but Councilman Storch raised the issue of awarding engineering contacts to one company without competitive bidding. later on there was on the "Transient Oriented Development" resolution a spirited interchange between he and Councilor Reid on a similar issue of awarding a contract.

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