The aldermen have a communication on tonight's City Council agenda to discuss the city's Purchasing Ordinance (see below).
City ordinance requires departments to request bids for contracts over $25,000, unless contracts are for "professional services." This is relevant now because the proposed $40,000 to hire a consultant for CAR25, the city's cable-access TV station, fell under the professional services clause and was not required to go out for bid.
McCarthy asked City Administrator Tom Friedel last month to review the city's policy on bidding out contracts and to consider dropping the exception for professional services.
Here's the ordinance in question (emphasis added):
Sec. 46-28. Purchases over $25,000.00; advertising for bids.
(a) Bids shall be required for every purchase of materials, supplies, equipment or contractual services, excepting professional services, the estimated cost of which exceeds $25,000.00. Bids shall be advertised for in the manner provided in Wis. Stats. § 62.15, except that the notice shall be published not less than twice and bids shall be received not less than ten days after first publication. Advertisement for bids shall not be required for any purchase, the estimated cost of which does not exceed $25,000.00, but in such case the purchasing agent shall secure and record at least three informal bids, if practicable.
If the estimated cost of public construction exceeds $5,000.00 but is not greater than $25,000.00, the purchasing agent shall publish one notice of the proposed construction before a contract for the construction is executed. This provision does not apply to public construction if the materials for such a project are donated or if the labor for such a project is provided by volunteers.
The common council may, by resolution, dispense with the requirement of advertising for bids in any particular case.
(b) A summary of the bids received for each item listing the name of each bidder and a copy of his bid shall be submitted to the appropriate committee of the common council for its recommendation to the common council. The adoption of the committee report by the common council shall constitute the final action of the council upon the bids and shall authorize the purchasing agent to issue a purchase order, countersigned by the finance director as to availability of funds, for the purchase of the items on which such bids were received.
(Code 1973, § 3.18.040; Ord. No. 1-91, pt. 2, 1-15-91; Ord. No. 1-00, pts. 2, 3, 3-7-00; Ord. No. 50-04, pt. 1, 1-18-05; Ord. No. 13-06, pt. 2, 5-24-06)