This week the City Council rejected City Staff’s recommendation to extend for one year the street sweeping contract held by Athens Services. Last year the Council likewise refused to extend the contract for the previous contractor, Sunset Property Services. The resulting bidding process saved the City over 10% on the nearly $700,000 annual cost.
Typically city contracts include an extension option which is exercised when performance is satisfactory and there are prospective inflationary price increases from new bidding. Last year the struggling economy increased competition and provided lower costs. In addition, Athens was willing to go low to oust Sunset, which was supported by Councilman Dave Leckness. On Monday Dave Leckness and Sunset urged the rebidding.
Lower costs might result due to Sunset’s determination to regain the contract. But watch the politics, because the Council isn’t required to accept the lowest bid. Leckness appears to be a stalking horse for Sunset. Frank Ury seems to be the promoter for Athens. Sunset has given campaign contributions to Leckness and Trish Kelley. Athens was a large donor to Ury. Leckness and Kelley made the motion for rebidding, favoring Sunset, while Ury voted against rebidding, favoring Athens.
Cathy Schlicht and Rhonda Reardon have not received contributions from street sweeping vendors. They both supported the solicitation of new bids.
Athens’ current contract expires June 30.