Mr. Mayor and Honorable Members of City Council:
I had wanted to write this immediately after the last meeting of council, but life got in the way, so better late than never. I appreciate your vigorous pursuit of an answer regarding the failure of the post-2018 municipal waste disposal RFP process to deliver a workable alternative to what SPSA has offered its member communities. You could have taken the easy way out and affirmed the judgment of the city purchasing administrator that neither of the bids was in the best interests of the city. Instead, in the June 14 work session, Council Member Whitaker asked the right questions of Mr. Ammons, and the mayor and council colleagues supported his efforts to obtain an explanation of the purchasing agent’s ruling. Although I do not know what clarification you may have extracted in closed session, I am pleased that you did not let the matter lie. I hope that this upcoming meeting of council will bring additional relevant information into the public realm and facilitate reaching a waste disposal decision that is truly in the best interests of the citizenry.
On a related note, I hope that this experience will spur an examination of the framework under which the city requests proposals from vendors. That so much secrecy should surround the bidding process seems unwarranted. After all, we are not protecting the firing codes for our nuclear arsenal. For the purchasing agent to decline to describe even in general terms what made the proposals he received unacceptable appears, on the face of it, too much confidentiality. In addition, a failure to notify the bidders themselves of his decision is wholly inappropriate. I urge you all to make a point of reviewing the applicable law with an eye to correcting its deficiencies.
Please let me know if you need additional information.