Wednesday, March 27, 2013

JP Councilman Spears Again Seeking To Delay Contract Reform Ordinance

Over 3 years after former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard resigned in disgrace, the Jefferson Parish Council is still dragging its feet on reforms to the process of awarding parish contracts.

After years of delay, Councilman-At-Large Chris Roberts finally authored an ordinance that would allow JP Councilmembers to choose a company that scored in the Top Three or Top Five firms in technical qualifications. In addition, the price proposed by the potential vendor would also be considered.
The ordinance was deferred at the March 13th meeting at the request of District 3 Councilman Mark Spears who said he needed more time to study the ordinance’s potential impact on minority businesses and meet with the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce.

Minority groups have complained that the ordinance is unfair to minority businesses that might not have the ability to compete with larger companies.
Now, despite having met with the Chamber, Spears is seeking another delay.

Spears is also not content with being limited to choosing from the Top 3 or Top 5 highest ranking firms.
"I have a problem not being able to choose a firm that I'm comfortable with," Spears told the Times-Picayune.

And, of course, campaign contributions don’t impact the contractors that Councilman Spears is “comfortable with”.