By Samuel Strait – November 23, 2020 – Picture Credit: Getty Images
It is not often that the way our local government awards contracts is the scintillating topic of conversation around the evening dinner table. For the most part we rely on our local representatives and their employees to construct a process that insures that the taxpayer will be transparently and honestly served. Furthermore, we the taxpayers should be assured that the process was fair to all that submitted proposals for the contract and the best submission was the one selected.
In an interview with the Eye on Del Norte’s representative recently concluded, it was learned that that may not have always been the case. As such the Eye on Del Norte Committee will be requesting from the County’s Board of Supervisors “to adopt and follow standard governmental procedures for the submission, evaluation, and awarding of all Request For Proposal (RFP) contracts” going forward. While this may seem like a common sense approach to this process, and lead to greater transparency and fairness in the awarding of contracts in the future, it is important for the citizens of Del Norte County to be aware that mistakes have been made in the past by the Board of Supervisors and the process was not followed costing the tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars. We, in this County have limited resources and cannot afford those kinds of mistakes. While neither I nor the Eye on Del Norte know at this time how the Board of Supervisors will react to this common sense and normal government procedure, it is important to recognize those on the Board who approve of being transparent and fair, particularly at election time. We know this to be true, because we depend on our representatives to do the work of the people for the best result.
I have extended an invitation to the County’s CEO to offer his thoughts on the proposal by Eye on Del Norte…. The CEO of Del Norte County, Jay Sarina as of press time has not offered any comment as to why Eye on Del Norte has requested the County to standardize the process of bid submittal. In the interview with Eye on Del Norte it is alleged that Del Norte County’s current path for bids is riddled with favoritism, lack of transparency, and lack of fairness. CEO Sarina, members of the RFP Committee, and the project managers are allegedly responsible for the irregularities in the process of offering a contract. It is the hope of Eye on Del Norte that some measure of transparency, fairness, and an end to favoritism will be restored to the process, which will ultimately benefit the tax payers of Del Norte County by the County awarding future bids to the person submitting the best bid.