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Old 10-29-2004, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default Can anyone explain this question that will be on the election ballot?

I know this is ultra specific in location, but I don't totally understand what this would mean, and what kind of effects would become of voting yes or no.

Charter Amendment - Purchasing Contract Limits

Question: To amend the Anne Arundel County Charter to permit the County Council to increase the minimum value of purchases and contracts requiring competitive bidding from $10,000 to an amount up to $25,000.

Vote Yes or No.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:45 PM   #2
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It means right now any purchase over $10,000 requires competitive bidding from more than 1 source. If they wanted a $12,000 Web Server they would have to get Dell and HP and Gateway to give them a price and most likly go with the lowest. They want to raise that figure to $25,000. If you vote Yes you agree that they can do it, and now they can just buy the computer from Dell.

Hope I didn't over simplify it.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:55 PM   #3
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Yes... it cuts down on red tape. We deal in gov't contracts, it's a pain having to go through all these man-hours for stuff you could just buy.
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Old 10-29-2004, 05:47 PM   #4
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I would think that I would vote no...any way that the goverment can regulate their own over zealous spending is a good thing IMHO.
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Old 10-29-2004, 07:42 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm totally undecided on this issue. For one, I agree with the $12,000 web server (just buy it) idea. On the other hand, I don't want a politician "hooking up" a friend (Halliburton Technology ) with a contract to buy that server for $24,999 rather than letting the lowest bidder get the prize.

I wonder where other county minimums stand. I might just vote blank on that one.
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Old 10-29-2004, 08:27 PM   #6
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I say vote no. I work for the Government and order a lot of materials, competitive bids get us better prices a lot of times. Red tape is bad- yes. Spending $24,999 on a $7,000 peice of hardwear is a lot worse.
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Old 10-29-2004, 08:48 PM   #7
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Just as a FYI...Most Government agency's are at $25k+ require 3 bids at least as of right now...

Honestly voting yes may save you money in having to pay for thtime it takes for a contracting office to go through numerous bids...For the most part this market is so competitive that anything under 25k will be a decent price anyhow...it just gets sketchy when you get into contracts with service included and are multi-million dollar contracts...Dell keeps all the them honest anyhow...if it means the schools will get the computers faster, or the DMV for that matter, I would say yes...Anyhow most large purchases are already purchased off precompeted contracts that have a low price...I say its nothing to worry to much about...All us resellers on the forum will tell you to vote yes so we can pick up all the incremental spending with out giving it away.

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Old 11-02-2004, 04:05 PM   #8
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for those interested, Baltimore Sun did a write up on this. I bet a lot of you have voted already though.


Anne Arundel County voters will be asked Tuesday whether the county should have more flexibility to make purchases without publicly seeking bids, a variation of a proposal they rejected in 2002.
If residents vote "yes" for the lone ballot question in Anne Arundel, they will give county officials the power to make any purchase under $25,000 without a bid process.

County officials must solicit bids for any purchase costing more than $10,000. That standard, in place since 1982, is long outdated, said Fred Schram, the county central services manager.

"Just think about what you could buy in 1982 by today's dollar," he said. Schram added that $25,000 is the standard used in Howard, Carroll and Baltimore counties and by state purchasers.

Inflation calculators used by financial consultants show that $10,000 in 1982 is equivalent to about $19,000 today.

Schram estimated that 25 to 30 purchases cost between $10,000 and $25,000 last year, meaning they required bidding but would not if the ballot initiative passes.

He said bulk purchases of wood or chemicals, such as chlorine, are examples of buys that could fall in the price range.

County purchasers still would have to solicit three price quotes for each purchase of more than $1,000. But they would not have to use a more formal process that entails writing bid specifications, advertising and reviewing bids. That might be the difference between two days and two months of staff time for a given purchase, Schram said.

The idea to change the bid requirements arose from a review of the county charter, which officials conduct every 10 years in search of outdated policies. That review prompted a similar question on ballots two years ago, but that measure would have given the County Council discretion to waive the bidding process for any purchase.

"I wouldn't have supported the last one either," Schram said. "It was like, 'Give me a blank check. I'm from the government.'"

Schram said he believes the $25,000 limit will enable the measure to pass this year.

The County Council and County Executive Janet S. Owens support the change.

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