By Charles Sercombe
Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag was told a few weeks ago that if he wanted to rebid city contracts he could come to the council and there would be no problem.
Tertzag did just that at Tuesday’s council meeting, but he met a wall of resistance.
Tertzag wanted to rebid the services for IT support, street and water line repairs and lot maintenance.
The companies that provide those services, ADR, C.P.I. and Platinum Landscaping, respectively, were recently the subject of an invoice review by a private company.
The company, SRR, found some invoices that were incomplete. In the case of ADR, the city’s IT service, no contract could be found.
Tertzag said he wanted to rebid the contracts in order to clear up any appearance of “impropriety.”
“To be fair, you rebid all three of them,” Tertzag said.
And, he said, he hoped by rebidding the services the city might get reduced rates.
The issue to rebid the contracts got off to a rough start. Councilmember Robert Zwolak wanted to remove all three rebids from the council agenda.
He said the council needs to first have a “thorough discussion” on the contracts.
Councilmember Mohammed Hassan was also in favor of removing the proposals since the FBI is apparently investigating the invoices.
The council split on the vote to remove the items, with Councilmembers Zwolak, Hassan and Cathie Gordon voting in favor. The tie vote meant that Mayor Karen Majewski had to weigh in on the matter. She voted to keep the proposals on the agenda.
Later in the meeting Councilmember Gordon said she was against rebidding the contracts because of the FBI investigation. She said she does not want to tinker with the contracts for fear that any action by council could “blow up” the investigation.
She also insisted that Tertzag has the authority to rebid the contracts without council approval, which is contrary to what the council said a few weeks ago.
“Make a decision Mr. Tertzag and stand by it,” Gordon said.
As for the services provided by ADR, Tertzag said he is refusing to pay any invoice because the company does not have a contract with the city. Councilmember Zwolak said that since the city has paid the company in the past, precedence has been set.
Tertzag wasn’t buying that argument. He said it would be illegal to pay the bills, and anyone who would pay the bill should be fired. Tertzag, who is a former councilmember for Allen Park and a former city manager for Woodhaven, said he had never heard of paying a bill without the backing of a contract “until I came here.”