Elk Grove Moves to Kill Competitive Bidding if in City's 'Best Interest'

October 8, 2013 | As part of its ongoing effort to streamline business operations and to provide "more flexibility in contracting,...

October 8, 2013 |

As part of its ongoing effort to streamline business operations and to provide "more flexibility in contracting, and provide further clarity to the process, while maintaining accountability and transparency," the Elk Grove City Council will consider changes to the city's competitive bidding process for general and professional services and certain goods at tomorrow night's regular meeting.

Among the major changes to the ordinance are the "city manager or city council may dispense with the bidding process at any stage in the process and may select a bidder found to be in the best interest of the city." The report does not define what the best interests are.

Although this does not apply to pure commodity type purchases such as computers, it can be applied if the commodity has an accompanying service contract tied to it. Also bidding for general services contracts and professional services such as land planning or legal counsel can be dispensed with if the ordinance change is adopted. Bidding for public work projects would still be subject to state bidding laws.

The new ordinance also allows the city manager the authority to lease city property up to $50,000 without city council approval. The city currently owns several surplus parcels near the Sheldon Road and Highway 99 interchange that could be leased for billboards.

The item is the second from the last on a lengthy agenda. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

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Three Ring Circus said...

One more gem as a result of citizen apathy. Oh, that's right, our leaders campaigned on "transparency in government"-transparent as mud that is...

Adam Smith said...

Government exists because of the taxpayers. The taxpayer wants to know that government is using their dollars in the most efficient manner. To authorize government staff to dispense with competitive bidding when it is in the city's "best interest" really means when it is in the taxpayers best interest. City staff want to say "trust us", we know when it is in your best interest. Really? Do we have MBAs with "real world" private sector experience running the city? Didn't think so...you guys are out of your league and the business community knows it!

Anonymous said...

Dispensing with the "competitive bid" process sounds suspect to me. Let's remember the EG Ford fiasco. Another vendor was going to beat EG Ford’s bid by approx. 30,000 but the city in its wisdom gave the contract to EG Ford and agreed to spend the extra money. Lots of excuses later, a judge ruled against the city and re-enforced the original bid to the other vendor. So, explain to me how paying more for services and supplies will benefit the city. Yes, I get it...sales tax money, but many times that just doesn't pencil out. This little scheme is another step towards dictatorship for Ms Gill. She is really the most inhospitable and negative business person I know. Our city deserves better, but it seems this council is downright scared of her. We will never know how much money is flowing (yes, flowing) out of our budget if this ordinance is pasted. The competitive bid process is essential for a proper “checks and balance” system. Interestingly enough, this little item is buried far deep into the agenda when there will be no citizens left in the room to complain. Such an orchestrated, coordinated plan of attack by our city leaders.

Anonymous said...

“This gives new meaning to the word throne.”

A better policy would be to fix the flaws if they exist, but continue to allow competitive bidding to create value for the taxpayer. Without the competitive bids, it will be virtually impossible to PROVE that the city is working in the best interests of the taxpayers and the city must have policies in place that require this proof. City staff and council are stewards for the taxpayer and should always perform their duties above reproach.

As a citizen and taxpayer I'm finding many of the actions being taken recently by our city staff and electeds very troubling.....starting to look like a gestapo run city!

Alanis Morissette said...

Of note, I can't help but wonder if the city council wants to give authority to the city manager to lease city property without their approval so when Mr. Moore leases the property for his infamous billboard, they can claim hands clean.

Anonymous said...

Where is our own "Erin Brockovich" to clean up the little city cesspool that seems to be spreading throughout city hall?

Connie said...

This is probably being done because of the copy machine service contract. Another company won the contract; not the one staff wanted. The company stood up and was heard, even bringing up the lawsuit with Downtown Ford as precendent.

This is the Elk Grove City Council and city staff trying an end round to usurp a fair and equitable bidding process that should stand.

How do we know if we taxpayers are getting the best bang for our buck if companies don't compete for our business?

It seems the Elk Grove City Council and staff don't care one bit!

After all, this isn't their money they are spending. Or is it and they still don't care!

Glyniss said...


EVERY post above is correct. This gives too much power to one person and usurps the powers the voters gave to you as our elected leaders.

It removes "transparency" and leads to lack of trust. Tne people in the city of Bell might have some interesting comments related to this agenda item.

Let's keep the "checks and balances" principle in place.

Thomas Nast said...

As for deciding to do away with competitive bidding if they determine it is not in the city's interest, at a minimum this displays utter laziness on the part of staff.

In the worst case, it opens up the opportunity for all sort of sweetheart and backroom deals and the corruption of elected officials and city staffers that will come with it. Can you say Tammany Hall?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Starbuck and that new Event Coordinator could help with sending out bids. Not seeing the work product from them anyway.

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