To the Advertiser-Gleam:

I just read where almost a million dollars (they budgeted $500,000) is being spent to pave some much needed, some not so much needed roads. After all the mayor announced she “intends to run.” Naturally, I just have a few things to say about it.

Let’s start with the impotent (not misspelled) City Council. They didn’t vote for it. As a matter of fact, they didn’t vote against it. It was not brought up at the Council, not on the agenda and won’t be on the minutes. Now read this law closely 11-43-56 (AL Code). The council is in charge of the money and all of the property of the city (except paying an auditor).

Now, I believe everyone can understand this law, it’s not my saying, it’s directly from the Alabama Code. So, if it wasn’t brought up at the Council meeting, and every bit of city business is to be at a public meeting, except good name and character issues and contract talks, what is the issue here and how did the paving get done?

The main issue, to me, is the fact that the Public Works Law appears to have been violated. Here is how that works. At the beginning of the fiscal year, bids are taken for supplies, one being “asphalt in place” and folks who qualify bid and are awarded these type goods and services.

“Asphalt in place” can be used for small projects throughout the year such as parking lots, trails, etc. to keep the city maintained but cannot be used for public works projects over $50,000 dollars. Paving of streets falls under “repairs and maintenance of roads” and is a Public Works Project. The law 39-2-2 says that ALL public works over $50,000 shall be competitively bid. Again, small supplies of asphalt for certain things are bid annually, Public Works Projects are to be let for bid anytime they are over $50,000 and they can’t be split in two to avoid the law. Easy to understand, right?

Now, what jumps out at you here?

The mayor paved almost a million ($876,000 so far) dollars’ worth of streets without bringing it to the public forum where the business is supposed to be done, therefore eliminating the Council (remember, the ones in charge of the money).

In fact all business is to be done at the meeting, including the lights in Southtown. Were they? No. Violations of Public Works law is not only the responsibility of the person who signed the contract for the city or the PO, but the contractor who did the work. I believe the council persons are in dereliction of duty or nonfeasance. Look it up.

Why is this important to you?

1. If the rule of law matters you it is important.

2. When purchases are competitively bid, you save money, generally.

3. It cuts down on collusion.

Joel Kennamer

Guntersville, AL

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