Dear Editor,

Does the Mayor's employer winning bids for the City hint at improriety ?

Iowa Code 362.5 Interest in public contract prohibited ā€” exceptions.
3. The provisions of this section do not apply to:
d. Contracts made by a city, upon competitive bid in writing, publicly invited and opened.

If you stopped reading Iowa Code 362.5 at the end of 362.5(3)(d) everything would seem right legally. BUT... If you keep reading, to me anyway there seems to be a hint of impropriety. (To be honest there seems to be a hint of impropriety no matter the circumstance or how it came to be! That is just my opinion.)

If you continue reading Iowa Code 362.5, 362.5(3)(e) it states Contracts in which a city officer or employee has an interest solely by reason of employment, or a stock interest of the kind described in paragraph ā€œiā€, or both, if the contracts are made by competitive bid in writing, publicly invited and opened, or if the remuneration of employment will not be directly affected as a result of the contract and the duties of employment do not directly involve the procurement or preparation of any part of the contract. The competitive bid qualification of this paragraph does not apply to a contract for professional services not customarily awarded by competitive bid.

Of course I don't have access to the specifics of The Mayor's job duties or his compensation package but I do know a couple Project Managers, and they are very involved in the writing of the bid and they also receive a bonus based on bid, the percentage of profit on completion of the project. They also identify the extras that come up in a project that cost the client, which keeps the project within its budget. It is a really nice bonus I might add. That is part of their incentive to keep project running smoothly and stay within the budget of the bid.
After reading that section it seems there is a hint of impropriety.

I am not a lawyer or affiliated with any legal entity. I do, however, like to watch small local government actions. And I have been watching Vinton for a few years. My opinion is that Vinton still operates on the "good ole boy" form of government, and members of the council don't want to rock the boat. There also seems to be a lack of training of council members, with many members holding their seats for years and carrying on with bad habits they learned from other members that had held their seat for years. The fact that only one time can I remember there being an opposing answer on a vote in the several years I have been reading the minutes. I don't believe The Council Members have read their City's ordinances completely.

Citizens' fear of retaliation if they question an action, or the "if it isn't affecting me..." mentality keeps the status quo.

This is my opinion. I am thankful opinion pages still exist. It gives a person the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings, and for others to agree or disagree. To maybe open the dialogue.

Ellen Blake




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Comments (1)

So WHY does this happen? Isn't the council aware of the law? Isn't the City Administrator advising the council NOT to approve this? Laws don't matter?
By: Patty Morgan on April 10th 5:31pm

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