The Finance and Personnel Committee put off decisions on waiving fees for Downtown parades and changing the city's bidding process for professional services.
Alderman Jeff Coe an Jean Garbo of the Downtown Racine Corp. asked the committee to waive over $1,500 in fees to close streets, hire cops and clean streets during and after the St. Patrick's Day and Christmas parades.
While the committee put off a decision, they seemed skeptical. They noted if they waive the fees for these events they're getting close to having to waive fees for all events.
Police Chief Kurt Wahlen, who happened to be at the meeting for other items, also pointed out the city was not in position to waive the fees for the off-duty officers used during the parades. The officers are hired out by a private company.
Coe asked the committee to receive-and-file the motion so he could bring back a new proposal to secure the city as an official sponsor of the events. By ordinance, the city only sponsors two events per year: the Fourth of July parade and the Memorial Day parade.
Aldermen Terry McCarthy and Greg Helding asked the committee to require city departments to bid out contracts for professional services. McCarthy raised the issue after controversy arose over Mayor John Dickert's effort to give a no-bid $40,000 contract to a videographer to rework the city's cable-access TV station, CAR25.
Dickert was able to offer the contract because city ordinances do not require bids for professional services. McCarthy and Helding would like to change that, but they'll have some convincing to do.
Finance Director Dave Brown said the proposal would create more work for his department, and Deputy City Attorney Scott Letteney said it would be awkward for the city to bid out for legal services.
Their arguments appeared to convince Alderman QA Shakoor II to lean against the proposal, and Finance Chairman Jim Spangenberg said he needed more information.
The committee voted to defer action, and McCarthy and Helding said they would bring back a spreadsheet showing only 12 city contracts would be affected by the ordinance.
For a complete wrap of Monday's committee meeting, checkout the live-blog below.