Anonymous writer responds:
"Sad to say, this outrage was not "illegal." This is so because "professional services," such as engineering services, are not "required" by state law to be bid. Nevertheless, in the recorded history of the City, there has never been such a contract awarded without a "request for proposals" being publicly issued to all qualified businesses."
"The local firms never knew what hit them -- the Council simply awarded what will be the largest engineering contract in the City's history to an out-of-town firm with no input from anyone. It seems to be a deliberate slap in the face to two local businesses -- businesses which pay local taxes, employ local citizens and have a direct stake in Greenville -- in favor of an outside business whose only apparent qualification is that it seems to be -- but is, in actuality, not -- a "minority contractor."
"The Council's action in this regard is bewildering, is indefensible, and -- to the extent that anyone cares -- is insulting to the intellect of any informed citizen, Black or White."
"This decision, more than any other since the "changing of the guard," validates the worst fears of the thinking citizens of Greenville -- again, Black or White."
"Buy Greenville?" Yeah, right.
"I guess we'll do that unless we have an opportunity to buy from a business which has nothing whatsoever to do with Greenville, which has no stake whatsoever in Greenville, which pays no taxes in Greenville, which employs no Greenvillians or which can only find its way to Greenville with a map -- but which can claim to be a "minority enterprise."
"I look forward to a rebuttal from the elected officials who voted in favor of this travesty. "
I wouldn't sit up nights waiting for a rebuttal from this group. It is obvious that they don't believe they are accountable to anyone, including voters.
Granted, the council's decision was not "illegal"... just under-handed politics as usual. If our elected officials don't "believe in Greenville" enough to offer a local request for proposals, we are indeed a city which is doomed.
Okay, Economic Development Council, what say you? Madame Mayor just made your jobs a little bit tougher! It's hard to sell a city that won't buy from itself.