Council nixes purchase limits for manager & dept. heads
Petersburg Borough staff drafted proposed changes to the language of Ordinance 2013-10 regarding purchasing during the regular meeting of the Petersburg Borough Assembly Monday afternoon.
The proposed changes were to increase the unapproved purchasing limit for department heads from $5,000 to $10,000. Two other changes were proposed for the borough manager to be allowed to make purchases up to $50,000, which is an increase from $30,000 without assembly approval and the third would not have required seeking competitive bids for purchases below $50,000, increased from $30,000.
“I trust manager Steve Giesbrecht and finance director Jody Tow and their ability to follow these guidelines but my concern would be for anyone that came next,” Petersburg Borough Assembly member John Havrilek stated. “I didn't have that kind of faith in the person before Steve and I don't feel comfortable with increasing the limit for competitive bids.”
Petersburg Borough Assembly member John Hoag had similar concerns regarding the competitive bid process.
Borough Assembly Vice Mayor Sue Flint asked if this ordinance could be accepted without the changes suggested by the staff.
“These additions can be removed,” Petersburg Borough Clerk Kathy O'Rear stated. “The ordinance will go back to its original language and amounts will be as they have been since its initial adoption.”
These amounts have been in effect for nine years.
Borough Assembly member Cindy Lagaudakis had concerns regarding the competitive bid and request for proposal process.
“I want to make sure of the difference between RFP and competitive bid,” Lagaudakis stated. “There is language in the contract portion that deals with local bids and the RFP does not.”
According to Lagoudakis, they do not need to get into a sticky situation where the local businesses are not considered.
“Most of the RFP paperwork that will be looked at will be for professional positions including architects, engineers, etc.,” O'Rear explained. “Since we do not have many of that type of businesses in Petersburg, there should not be a problem.”
The Borough Assembly approved the ordinance without the limit changes unanimously.