Monday, August 30, 2010
Bartering with the Greensboro Coliseum Just Got More Interesting.Open Letter To City Attorney Terry Wood
Open letter to the Greensboro City Attorney Terry Wood,
I read a online article in the Greensboro News and Record on August 27, 2010 with a title"technically it's money" CLICKHERE. In the article it states that you the city attorney thinks that the bartering with companies is ok at the Greensboro Coliseum.Triadwatch has a ongoing post on bartering at the Greensboro Coliseum now up to PART #5 CLICKHERE .
But let's look at North Carolina State Law.§ 143‑129 thanks to Vie De Malchance CLICKHERE.
Procedure for letting of public contracts.
(a) Bidding Required. – No construction or repair work requiring the estimated expenditure of public money in an amount equal to or more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or purchase of apparatus, supplies, materials, or equipment requiring an estimated expenditure of public money in an amount equal to or more than ninety thousand dollars ($90,000) may be performed, nor may any contract be awarded therefor, by any board or governing body of the State, or of any institution of the State government, or of any political subdivision of the State, unless the provisions of this section are complied with; provided that The University of North Carolina and its constituent institutions may award contracts for construction or repair work that requires an estimated expenditure of less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) without complying with the provisions of this section.
For purchases of apparatus, supplies, materials, or equipment, the governing body of any political subdivision of the State may, subject to any restriction as to dollar amount, or other conditions that the governing body elects to impose, delegate to the manager, school superintendent, chief purchasing official, or other employee the authority to award contracts, reject bids, or readvertise to receive bids on behalf of the unit. Any person to whom authority is delegated under this subsection shall comply with the requirements of this Article that would otherwise apply to the governing body.
(b) Advertisement and Letting of Contracts. – Where the contract is to be let by a board or governing body of the State government or of a State institution, proposals shall be invited by advertisement in a newspaper having general circulation in the State of North Carolina. Where the contract is to be let by a political subdivision of the State, proposals shall be invited by advertisement in a newspaper having general circulation in the political subdivision or by electronic means, or both. A decision to advertise solely by electronic means, whether for particular contracts or generally for all contracts that are subject to this Article, shall be approved by the governing board of the political subdivision of the State at a regular meeting of the board.
The advertisements for bidders required by this section shall appear at a time where at least seven full days shall lapse between the date on which the notice appears and the date of the opening of bids. The advertisement shall: (i) state the time and place where plans and specifications of proposed work or a complete description of the apparatus, supplies, materials, or equipment may be had; (ii) state the time and place for opening of the proposals; and (iii) reserve to the board or governing body the right to reject any or all proposals.
DID THIS BARTER AGREEMENT GET ADVERTISED LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE UNDER STATE LAW? PLEASE SHOW ME THE PROPER PROCEDURES THE CITY OF GREENSBORO FOLLOWS IN REGARDS TO BARTER AGREEMENTS WITH COMPANIES FOR SERVICES OR EQUIPMENT?
In the News and Record online article here is what the Greensboro City Attorney had to say :
"Earlier this month City Attorney Terry Wood give the practice a thumbs up on what seems to be a technicality. State law allows cities to barter for things like goods and services.
The law, however, requires that construction projects over a certain amount of money be publicly bid and awarded to the lowest bidder.
By that policy, it would seem as though the Coliseum violated the law by hand-picking companies to give tickets or other goodies in exchange for, as in the case of a to-be-built VIP lounge, construction of a new heating and air conditioning system.
Not so, Wood said. The law discusses an “expenditure of public money” and case law shows that must refer to actual cash.
Although the case law does not specifically talk about trade and barter agreements, Wood feels confident it applies.
“What it says is, if you are going to spend city money, you must bid it,” Wood said. “We aren’t spending city money.”
Also in the article the UNC School of Government talks about how this situation with the $270,000 price tag on a barter agreement with Brady Trane on a state of the art HVAC machine should have been bidded out.
Is there any processes for how to handle barter agreements with the City of Greensboro or did Coliseum Director Matt Brown have the autonomy to do as he pleases in regards to bartering at the coliseum?
It will be interesting to see if any Greensboro City Council member will want to talk about this issue or even bring it up but it looks like to some that Greensboro City Attorney is splitting hairs with state law and there needs to be more about this whole issue brought out on the table or see just how much each local municipality can barter and do we need to look at more procedures on when and how you can barter for services on a local and state level.
Will try to get more answers to these questions in future post along with more barter agreements with other local companies.