Vehicle maintenance bid abandoned after Elk Grove Ford fails to win contract from City of Elk Grove

Downtown Ford successfully sued the City of Elk Grove in 2012 after they rejected their lowest bid in
favor of Elk Grove Ford. | 

At last night's regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously voted to reject a bid after a preferred bidder was not the apparent lowest bidder. The matter came during the consent calendar, where the city council was asked to approve a maintenance contract for the city's fleet of vehicles.

According to the staff report for the matter, Downtown Ford in Sacramento was to be awarded the contract after it offered the lowest taxpayers' costs. The other company submitting a proposal was Elk Grove Ford.

The city valued the five-year contract at not more than $880,000. Downtown Ford's bid was about $20,000 less annually, including a five-percent local preference given to Elk Grove Ford. 

During public comment, Elk Grove Ford president Matt Wood urged the council to accept their bid even though it was not the lowest offer.

"I think Elk Grove Ford was competitive," Wood said via telephone call-in during the meeting. "You have the ability to award it to anyone."

During city council deliberations, city attorney Jonathan Hobbs was asked about a previous bid involving Elk Grove Ford and Downtown Ford. In December 2011, the city council awarded a contract to Elk Grove Ford even though Downtown Ford was the lowest bidder.

Downtown Ford filed a suit against the city, and a decision issued in Sacramento Superior Court ruled in their favor. Hobbs defended the action, and when they lost, the city council decided not to appeal the decision.

In a moment of candor, Hobbs admitted his failed legal opinion from that lawsuit. At the time of that action in 2011, Hobbs told the city council they were on firm legal standing to reject the lowest bid in preference of a local vendor. 

"The court disagreed with my opinion on that and ended up setting aside the contract [with Elk Grove Ford]," Hobbs told the city council last night.

When asked by Mayor Steve Ly what actions they could take, Hobbs suggested they could reject all bids and start over. The city council unanimously rejected all offers and instructed staff to put out another bid. 

Although he voted to reject the bid, Vice Mayor Steve Detrick said this repeated action of rejecting bids they did not like the results would damage the city's reputation. When discussing help for Elk Grove Ford and Elk Grove Auto Mall dealers, Detrick also noted Elk Grove Ford already received a $500,000 taxpayer incentive.

"People will stop bidding in Elk Grove if we keep rejecting all of the time," Detrick said.

Sounding a more positive note in support of Elk Grove Ford, Councilmember Darren Suen said, "Maybe this time it will be different." 

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Eye on Elk Grove said...
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Eye on Elk Grove said...

And let's not forget, City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs' advice on this issue last go around cost the taxpayers $50K in legal fees. . . paid to . . .wait for it, yep, you guessed it, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard for a couple week's worth of work.

We need to keep feeding those deferred compensation accounts for the partners at Kronick Moskovitz, Elk Grove taxpayers!

It took Downtown Ford about a week to file the lawsuit and get hearing which the city of Elk Grove lost.

Judge Michael Kenny had some choice words for the city of Elk Grove. Déjà vu all over again?

And in reading the Elk Grove Citizen article, I was reminded of what Judge Lloyd Connelly said about the city of Elk Grove's city attorney in a previous appearance before him. It wasn't pretty!

D.J. Blutarsky said...

"Public procurement is one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption. In addition to the volume of transactions and the financial interests at stake, corruption risks are exacerbated by the complexity of the process, the close interaction between public officials and businesses, and the multitude of stakeholders".

--Preventing Corruption in Public Procurement, OECD, 2016--

Josie said...

If the City is going to overrule the bid then why even go through the process in the first place? Just get a bid from Sacramento Ford and then take it to EG Ford to review and place their bid. A biggie, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!

Is the City Council maybe going 'Rogue' on us? Reminder..November is coming up!

Atticus Finch said...

"Downtown Ford's bid was about $20,000 less annually, including a five-percent local preference given to Elk Grove Ford."
And our illustrious elected officials on the council couldn't make the right decision the first time around? Sounds very familiar. If this was money coming from their personal bank account, your damned sure they'd save $20k and pick Downtown Ford. As it is, it's taxpayer money, so wasting it is no big deal. Stupid is as stupid does!

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