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July 17, 2024

Shelby County Animal Control – Why Was Following The Law So Difficult?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 8, 2023

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

While the Shelby County Board moves forward with fixing a laundry list of problems created by past actions or inactions of former boards, it appears to be ruffling feathers of a few locals.  We can’t explain why doing the right thing is so controversial.

The regular county board meeting for this week includes an agenda item to purchase a new truck for Animal Control.  For reasons we will never understand, this has created hysteria with some that even include the spreading of false information about a truck sitting in a lot of the local Chevrolet dealer.

We have been told the publication for bids for a vehicle for Animal Control did take place. We confirmed it was put out for bid, full stop.

The publication indicates potential bidders should contact animal control for the specifications.

What I received when I asked for those specifications indicates the specs were noncompliant for bidding as they exclude everyone other than those who sell Chevrolets because it is nothing but an actual specification sheet for a Chevrolet.

I asked for a copy of all bids received.

“There were no bids received on the truck.  The only thing I have is the quote from Leach Wilson which is included with the specs.” (Brad Hudson)

For those who do not understand the difference between a bid and a quote, one is sealed and supposed to be opened in a public meeting.  Quotes are not sealed and do not comply with the requirement of the law to use the sealed bid process. And no, you don’t have to be an attorney, judge, or constitutional expert to understand that.

My request for copies of the agenda and minutes from the meeting in which bids were awarded for the purchase resulted in yet another rabbit hole of problems.

“I never saved agendas as a practice and I do not have the agendas you are requesting.   In fact, in my search, I only found two agendas and I am attaching both of those to this email as well. Attached you will find the documentation that I have regarding your requests.” (Brad Hudson)

Never saved agendas as a practice?  Agendas are public records and are required to be saved and can not be destroyed without permission from the Secretary of State’s Downstate Local Records Commission.

The response to my request for the minutes of the meeting in which bids were opened tells the rest of the story.

“No bids were received to be opened.” (Brad Hudson)

If there were no bids received then who ordered a truck for Animal Control?  By all indications, this is another example of ignorance as to what the law outlines when it comes to spending taxpayer money.

According to the Animal Control meeting minutes, Jeff Slifer and Bob Simpson motioned and approved the ordering of the truck.  We can only wonder what brain trust these two are tied to by actually documenting approval to buy a truck which received no bids for its purchase.

According to the July 2021 County Board meeting minutes, Slifer made a motion to trade in the old truck and buy the new one. Earl Baker seconded the motion. No one raised the question as to who was the lowest responsible bidder or who they were even going to buy it from. This was confirmed by watching the video recording of the meeting. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.  Never mind the fact the spending of money requires a roll call vote.

So for all those claiming the Animal Control bid out the truck they wanted, that is correct, but that is where it stops.

With a bid specification that violates the bidding rules, and no bids received, there should have never been a vehicle ordered.

The current county board is utilizing a state bid list to purchase a vehicle which follows the law, unlike the past actions taken.  While some are saying the county did not put this purchase request out for bid, they are correct, but they need to understand the county does not have to put it out for bidding if purchasing from a pre-approved list of the state, who did put it out for bid.

We anticipate this agenda item to garner a lot of attention during the meeting on Thursday night.







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