2009.04.22 Dudley Spade: School bidding

Written by David Green.

This year, our schools have a chance to do even more to help support Michigan's economy and put our citizens back to work. Under a new law signed this January, they can choose to give a preference to our local, Michigan-based businesses over out-of-state competitors.

Over the last year, I worked with Lenawee Intermediate School District Superintendent Steve Krusich and other local education leaders to develop and pass HB 5639. This bill gives school boards the authority to establish a bidding preference policy for Michigan-based firms.  I would like to thank Mr. Krusich for his work throughout the process and for his ongoing communication with area superintendents on this legislation. I believe our local media has also done an excellent job drawing attention to this issue.

Shortly after HB 5639 became law, the LISD Board amended its policies to grant preference to Michigan-based firms. Mr. Krusich also distributed the revised LISD policy to superintendents throughout Lenawee County to assist their boards in making similar changes.

School boards that vote to put that preference in their policy manual can take advantage of the new law, but the choice is theirs and they must act to take advantage of this flexibility. Unfortunately, it appears that at least one local school board has failed to make the necessary policy changes and, by their inaction, has done a disservice to local bidders and their employees who live in our communities. Let me be very clear. State law no longer requires the selection of the lowest bidder provided schools respond to the new law by making the necessary policy changes.


Getting the lowest price for quality work is important, particularly when we are spending taxpayer's money, but there are other factors to consider. The multiplier effect makes every dollar we spend in Michigan of even greater benefit to the economy. The person who lives and works in Michigan spends most of their money locally and supports the jobs of other Michigan residents. Their money also goes to local schools, the same schools that are contracting for new construction work and keeping folks employed.  If we send local jobs down to Ohio or Indiana, saving a buck on the contract does not help much.

I believe that keeping work local and using Michigan-based contractors are important. Please join me in urging your local school boards to swiftly adopt a policy for this spring's contracting season.

– State Rep. Dudley Spade

 

  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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