December 29, 2014 | Texarkana, Texas City Council says no to “Resolution No. 2014-131 authorizing the City Manager to enter into a municipal lease-purchase agreement with Motorola Solutions for the purchase and installation of a public safety communications system … “. The City Council will seek bids through an RFP. This vote just allows others to submit bids and does not keep Motorola from submitting a bid.
Councilmember for Ward 5 Bill Miller stated his concerns that were mirrored by several of the other members:
I have a real concern that going forward without knowing exactly how we are going to pay for this with a possibility of a tax increase out. Frankly not being able to share what the exact numbers are from Motorola creates a public confidence problem. I think taking this out for bid solves a lot of those problems. Now, does that me we get a better price, it sure might not. But it sure means that we can see what the prices are. And everyone is bidding on the same system if we go out with a Request for Proposal.
Councilmember for Ward 6 Josh Davis added some additional concerns:
The biggest hangup is how we are going to fund this at this point in time. I think the staff has done their due diligence on putting this package together … I have too many questions that not too many people here can answer and the impact that this could have on our regional partners. I have spoken with some of our Volunteer Fire Departments .. We have really tried to show people that this council is different when transparency is concerned … I do think it needs to be put out for RFP and there are other options that we could consider … I would much rather know how I am going to pay for something than going forward with a purchase and not not know how I going to fund that purchase.
Councilmember for Ward 4 Dr. Brian Matthews stated:
I dont think any of us can deny or less emphasis on this communication system for our public safety officers … There is no denying we need a new system – not only for our public safety officers but the citizens. The biggest problem is a lot of the unknowns. We don’t have enough information at this point to know how we are going to fund this system … When we come to a decision of this magnitude, there are citizens that want a high degree of transparency.
The City Council voted 4-1 against the resolution and will submit a Request for Proposal for all parties to submit a proposal.
The denied Resolution is below: