Mitchell contended that under the statute, the city was required to advertise for bids for the vehicle, which board members approved at their last regular meeting on March 4. Board members voted to approve a price of $20,919.15 from Parker Ford in Murray for a 2008 Ford Bronco.
KRS 424.260 states that: Except where a statute specifically fixes a larger sum as the minimum for a requirement of advertisement for bids, no city, county, or district, or board or commission of a city or county, or sheriff or county clerk, may make a contract, lease, or other agreement for materials, supplies except perishable meat, fish, and vegetables, equipment, or for contractual services other than professional, involving
an expenditure of more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) without first making newspaper advertisement for bids.
When asked about the procedure Mayor Lyn Bailey said last week he realized the city had erred in its decision of not seeking bids according to state statutes that require bids on items costing more than $20,000. However, he made no offer to correct the error other than saying that he had contacted Parker Ford and was told “the purchase order was too far along and couldn’t be cancelled,” Bailey said.
“Quite frankly, The Record has two problems with the process used by the city in its process,” Mitchell said. “In addition to what we feel is a clear violation of state statues in the bidding procedure, it also seems unreasonable and an unwise use of tax money for the police department to ask for quotes on a specific vehicle. Bids should be received on all brands that fall into the specifications requested.”
An open records request to the city revealed that no written specifications were ever issued for the vehicle in question, Mitchell noted, a fact confirmed by Police Chief Hollis Alexander.
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