Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Purchasing brouhaha brewing

It's about time a stop was put to purchasing abuses.
Plainfield's City Council appears to be preparing for a set-to over persistent violations of purchasing procedures by the Recreation Divison.

Council approved a resolution Monday to transfer $7,500 to Rec to cover uniforms purchased in April outside of regular purchasing procedures.

Councilor Adrian Mapp had flagged the item at last week's agenda-setting session, saying this was a longstanding problem and that the Council was looking to Acting City Administrator Dave Kochel to clamp down on the purchasing abuses.

After Kochel argued Monday night that Council should not act to 'harm the long-term relationship' with the vendor, the Council passed the resolution 5-2, with Concilors Mapp and Williams voting no.

Upon further questioning, Kochel stated nothing further could be said publicly since it was a personnel matter (implying some disciplinary action is being contemplated?), whereupon Council President McWilliams said the matter would be taken up by the Council in executive session.

I certainly hope they dig their heels in and get some action at long last. Problems with abuse of the purchasing procedures by the Rec Division have been cited for years in the auditor's annual reports, but the administration of Mayor Robinson-Briggs has never previously clamped down.

Though Mr. Kochel has brought a breath of fresh air, clarity and a sense of direction to City affairs in the short time he has been on board, I cannot buy the 'don't harm the vendor relationship' argument.

The situation is of long standing and supposedly the vendor has been warned previously that payments would be endangered if purchasing procedures were not followed. Surely the vendor deals with at least some buyers who do it the right way, and can tell the difference.

Somebody, somewhere needs to draw a line in the sand and stick to it.

Maybe we're approaching that point.

One can only hope.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

I was there and was hoping the Council would vote no and send a strong message, since our mayor doesn't seem to be able to keep her house in order. The only problem is, when her house at City Hall is not in order, the tax payers suffer. I think that the parties responsible for this should be suspended without pay for a week or two and then they might get the idea. If it happens again, then they should be replaced.

Anonymous said...

So from your note we see that Storch and McWilliams voted "YES".

It appears have been votng "YES" on everything lately.

What is going on?

Anonymous said...

Simple solution - Send a letter to every vendor on the City's vendor list indicating an approved Purchase Order MUST be provided to ensure payment and indicate that if services or goods are provided without a purchase order, the City of Plainfield will not be obligated to make payment.

Anonymous said...

To anon 719... Im a vendor, and purchasing did send out just such a letter. No PO, no payment, period. I wont do anything without a PO in hand. Its not worth taking the chance.