blocks bid to give contract OKs to manager
related to awarding county contracts will remain in the hands of the
county commission, at least for now, after Miami-Dade commissioners
Tuesday deferred action on handing that power over to the county manager.
Sorenson, who sponsored the item, said leaving procurement decisions
in the hands of the manager would make government more efficient.
fellow commissioners weren't convinced.
sure Commissioner Sorenson had the best intentions," said Natacha
Seijas Millan. "I cannot agree with it. This will isolate the
decision from those who have to answer to the people."
measure would have given the manager the authority to advertise contracts
for bid, apply minority contract measures to projects and decide bid
protests as well as accept and reject bids.
and lobbyists alike claimed the ordinance would take power from the
people and would not help to promote diversity in county contracting.
don't see this as an efficiency issue," Commissioner Dorrin Rolle
said. "I see it as an issue of exclusion."
Holland, a Miami attorney, said he thought the ordinance was an attempt
to minimize minority commission involvement. Courtney Cunningham,
a Coral Gables lobbyist, said other county commissions in urban areas
make procurement decisions and Miami-Dade shouldn't be any different.
He cited Broward and Hillsboro counties as examples.
anti-democratic because it takes power from elected representatives,"
Mr. Cunningham said, "and gives it to the unelected."
Sorenson said her ordinance was not created to take power from the
commission. She said the board would retain final say-so on decisions
through ratification and by having the authority to fire the manager.
just takes too much time to award a contract and get the work done,"
Ms. Sorenson said. "This is an expediting procedure."
Dennis Moss said the board was not responsible most of the time for
delays in procurement decisions. He said the board approves more than
99% of the manager's recommendations.
delays, he said, are probably caused by county staff.
is not an item I can support," Mr. Moss said. "We need to
look at the other end of the procurement process."
Chair Gwen Margolis said she was in favor of the ordinance simply
because the commission approves almost all of the manager's recommendations.
rarely do we change any decision coming to us," Ms. Margolis
said. "Frankly, I don't want to take responsibility for it anymore.
Let one person take responsibility."
date was set to reconsider the measure but Ms. Sorenson said she would
try to make it more "palatable."