Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012 Another Millennium Mulligan: Project Bids To Be Rejected (Third Time) With More Do-over Designs and Bids To Come

At Tuesday's council meeting, City Administrator Tony Cox informed council that the Millennium Square project bids of October 3rd were high and that "it's going to be our recommendation" (third time) that we reject all bids and consider another re-design.

Cox did not say who made the recommendation for rejection nor to whom the recommendation goes for approval.

He didn't ask council to vote to recommend rejection, nor did he ask for comments from council.

For the Millennium group and the City, it's three mulligans and counting with a plan for yet another round of do-over designs and do-over bids.

Later in the meeting during council comments, Councilmember Gene Brooks pointed out that during the third Millennium bid opening on October 3, an unsealed bid had been opened.

Brooks said that a bid protest involving the opening of the unsealed bid was filed right after the bid opening but never reported to council and never reported by the "news"paper.

City Attorney Dick Jessee confirmed for Brooks that he had been informed about an unsealed bid being opened and that it would be his opinion that the unsealed bid would have to be disqualified. 

Councilmember Bob Garrett commented that it is the responsibility of the bidder to see that his bid is submitted in a sealed envelope--which is true but which ignores the responsibility of the person or entity handling the bid opening to ensure that all bid requirements are followed.

Councilmember Brooks added that Morristown didn't need to get a reputation for being unfair in the conduct of bidding.

Councilmember Chris Bivens said that the opening of an unsealed bid didn't matter since after the bid opening, it was decided by someone to reject all bids.

Tony Cox was at the bid opening but made no comments during this discussion. Todd Morgan is the City's designated representative for oversight of the Millennium project and was also at the bid opening. 

The bid that was allegedly unsealed was that of the low bidder Jenkins and Stiles,  the second bid opened on October 3. The bid opening video is here. 

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