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Letter to the Editor – 1046

Dear Editor,
At the Council meeting of July 23rd I sat there and watched with wonder on what is this council doing.  First out was the turning down of Leon Speck as an appointee to the Municipal Election Commission.  He was the only person requesting appointment and had to be one of the best qualified people to request appointment. He has served on this commission before and been the chairman of the committee.  He certainly knows the election laws and processes.  Like me he has strong views and in my belief ethics but he is qualified to serve and has served and was the only person requesting appointment.  So why did four Councilmen vote to reject appointment?  Are they looking to pack this commission for political gain?
The next item that should cause every citizen to wonder what is going on is the process that has been used to select a Project Manager.  First a firm was selected without a RFP.  Yes this is a service and does not have to be bid.  Then we find out that the firm was selected without a contract in place at the time of the selection but had to be done the next meeting.  The Council seemed to want to make this selection even more opaque by not discussing or announcing the terms of the contract.  Had it not been for Councilmen Gavin asking questions of the J5 representative to know that the base cost to the City would be $90,000/yr plus 6% of any contract and travel and expenses.  Where was the transparency in this process.
A firm comes into Columbus and looks around decides that their services are needed in Columbus and sends in a blind proposal?  What background could they have had to make such a decision?  Who supplied them with information to base their proposal on?  What kind of return guarantee was in that proposal?
If you have followed my activities with the public bodies in Lowndes County you understand that my effort is to increase the transparency of government so we the citizen can understand what the people that control the spending of our tax dollars are doing.  So far this Council is breaking that covenant with us.
Berry Hinds,
Columbus

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