Tuesday, September 29, 2020
73.6 F
The Villages

Sumter County Commission’s $5.8 million no bid contract should be investigated

To the Editor:

In response to Susan Ridgeway’s Letter to The Editor on the same subject, it appears that Susan is somewhat knowledgeable on the subject of “no bid” contracts.
I have some limited knowledge of this same issue as it related to work that my structural engineering firm did for several municipalities in the Chicago Area.  When we were asked to submit a proposal for work, it came after we submitted a response to a request for qualifications, since professional services were usually negotiated with the successful engineer. In Illinois, it is considered somewhat unethical for engineers or architects to “bid” for services on the basis of cost alone. Winning approval based upon qualifications did not guarantee that a contract for services would be awarded, since a fee estimate (either lump sum or hourly with a guaranteed maximum) had to be provided by the engineer and approved by the municipality. Final approval of the contract with the engineer occurred after an open meeting with audience participation.  Generally speaking, these contracts were for fees that did not often exceed $100,000 and were often even less.
When it came to the award of a contract for construction, very specific construction documents prepared by the selected engineer for open bidding. Most of the time, the contracts for construction were awarded to the lowest QUALIFIED bidder, which allowed the municipality to reject a bid if the bidder was deemed to be incapable of performing the contract.
The entire process included scrutiny from beginning to end by the municipality overseeing both the engineer and the contractor. None of that appears to be present in the matter discussed – IT services in particular. Other comments I have read seem to indicate that the company that got the no bid contract is not using up to date IT systems. In my opinion, the golf tee time system could use much updating and that is only a part of what this company is supposed to be taking care of.
If Susan is correct that the “no bid” process violates state laws, the incoming commissioners should be given the responsibility to investigate if indeed a violation occurred; and if it did occur, that alone should be enough to void the contract and put the work out for proper open bidding, which should include a request for proposals based upon specific criteria for scope of work and subsequent performance of services. A contract of the size indicated warrants open bidding, especially in view of the fact that Sumter County’s taxes went up significantly. Hopefully, the new commissioners can find a way to stop this waste of our money.

Stuart Jacobson
Village of Lake Deaton

More Headlines

Mission BBQ opens with salute to military and first responders

The new Mission BBQ restaurant opened at Lady Lake Commons with a salute to military and law enforcement.

Maryland snowbird arrested after intoxicated outburst at Brownwood

A Maryland snowbird was arrested after an intoxicated outburst at a restaurant at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Photos

Lightning Strike In The Village Of Amelia

Check out this lightning strike photographed from the Village of Amelia. Thanks to Abe Gzad for sharing!

Red Saddlebag Skimmer Dragonfly Taking A Break

Check out this red saddlebag skimmer dragonfly taking a break on a windy first day of fall. Thanks to Garry Kolb for sharing!

Roseate Spoonbill Landing At Hogeye Pathway

Check out this roseate spoonbill landing at Hogeye Pathway. Thanks to Sam Boatman for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

My son is not a loser

A proud father in the Village of Santo Domingo writes that his son is not a “loser.” Read his Letter to the Editor.

Business

$28.7 million Lake Sumter Apartment Homes now open to renters

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes, a $28.7 million affordable housing community consisting of 158 apartment homes, is now open to renters.

Crime

Maryland snowbird arrested after intoxicated outburst at Brownwood

A Maryland snowbird was arrested after an intoxicated outburst at a restaurant at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Opinions

Keep Harold Schwartz’s dream alive  

Villager Tom Oullette, writing in an Opinion piece, says Harold Schwartz's dream for The Villages is in danger. He has an idea about how Villagers can fight back.

Top Stories

One more local COVID-19 death as cases increase at Villages long-term care facility

One more local resident has died of COVID-19 as new cases were reported Monday at a long-term care facility in The Villages portion of Marion County.

Mission BBQ opens with salute to military and first responders

The new Mission BBQ restaurant opened at Lady Lake Commons with a salute to military and law enforcement.

Maryland snowbird arrested after intoxicated outburst at Brownwood

A Maryland snowbird was arrested after an intoxicated outburst at a restaurant at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Letters to the Editor

My son is not a loser

A proud father in the Village of Santo Domingo writes that his son is not a “loser.” Read his Letter to the Editor.

Count the lawful votes

In a Letter to the Editor, a Spruce Creek South resident contends the “lawful” votes should be counted in this election.

Americans died needlessly thanks to Trump

A Village of Hadley resident says President Trump has made him “mad as hell” and he’s not going to take it anymore. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Crime

Maryland snowbird arrested after intoxicated outburst at Brownwood

A Maryland snowbird was arrested after an intoxicated outburst at a restaurant at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Villager jailed on DUI charge after vehicle spotted in golf cart lane

A resident of the Village of Poinciana was jailed on a drunk driving charge after his vehicle was spotted in the golf cart lane of a roadway in The Villages.

Brooklyn native arrested after brawl with woman in The Villages

A Brooklyn native was arrested after a brawl with a woman at the home of his late mother in The Villages.