After questions and alleged improprieties were raised about the purchase of a new fire truck for the Glendale Fire Department during the Jan. 28 city council meeting, the human resources department investigation found no wrongdoing during its investigation.
The city received a grant from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in the amount of $425,000, which must be used by Sept. 30, 2014, to purchase a new truck. Originally, Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) was the vendor selected by Glendale, with a purchase price of $484,206.92.
City Manager Brenda Fischer pulled the item from the Jan. 28 city council agenda before the questions and improprieties were raised during the public comments portion of the meeting by Tim Noeding of Freightliner, a potential bidder for the truck.
After the human resources investigation found no improprieties, the city has elected to purchase the fire truck from HGAC through a cooperative purchase agreement for the original amount of $484,206.92.
A cooperative agreement is a transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to a recipient to accomplish a public purpose through support or stimulation authorized by federal statute.
“I think they want what they want and they know that it is pretty hard to stop the course of events,” said Noeding by phone. “Whether it was not handled well the first time, I feel they knew what they wanted and it was predetermined before any of us got in the bidding process.”
Noeding added that Freightliner is OK with allowing HGAC to be the vendor and it will not argue the point any further.
“At the end of the day, we had the same truck for $50,000 less than what they are paying for it,” Noeding said. “If they realized they are spending wasteful dollars that will ultimately affect their payroll, it will do more harm than good. But, I am OK with letting it go. I could win the fight, but they hold all the cards and they will win the war in the long run.”
In e-mails obtained by The Glendale Star, city officials contradict themselves by stating the procurement process would begin by issuing an RFP in March, only to state in April that, “there are insufficient materials management resources available to fully develop an (RFP) for the truck in a timely manner.”
After the Jan. 28 council meeting, Fisher “directed staff to start the process over from scratch and issue an RFP” for the purchase of the fire truck after Noeding claimed there was no formal process that was followed and no formal specs were given for bidders to follow.
In the e-mail from Financial Services Executive Director Tom Duensing to numerous city officials, he said financial services’ materials management staff has been instructed to be, “the sole contact and proceed with the fire truck purchase utilizing the Cooperative Purchase agreement with (HGAC).”
Duensing added that “materials management will also work with the fire department to ensure their needs are met.”
He said cooperative purchases are a very effective means of procurement, the process for this purchase will hopefully alleviate public misperception about this purchase and purchases in general, and it can be made in a timely manner with limited materials management staff.
The report to the city council will be presented for consideration and vote at the June 10 meeting and will include language about cooperative purchases in general and the fact they comply with Glendale City Code.