Traditional Values, Progressive Thinking – May 25, 2016

Mayor Gary Graham

Mayor Gary Graham

Last week, the O’Fallon Progress ran an editorial on the process in which the City procured new air conditioning units for its City Hall and Public Safety Buildings. Even though U.S. Communities attempted to provide accurate information to the paper, the article was still filled with inaccuracies and misleading information.

If the paper were to tell the entire story, they would have said that the low bid solicited through U.S. Communities, a government co-op, was advertised nationwide, not just in Hawaii and Oregon.

By utilizing U.S. Communities, and combing the potential cooperative purchasing power of up to 90,000 public agencies, the City of O’Fallon is able to access the best overall pricing. Which means a better value for O’Fallon’s residents and taxpayers.

One point that the paper did get correct was the need for governments to be proper stewards of taxpayer’s money. The O’Fallon City Council and staff have a fiduciary responsibility to provide O’Fallon’s residents with quality services for the best taxpayer value.

While many government organizations operate under the “it’s not who you are, it’s who you know” mentality, O’Fallon is not one of them. The O’Fallon City Council and staff base decisions not on relationships, but instead on the ability to deliver the highest quality services for the best value for our residents.

The City of O’Fallon is managed as a professional organization, where backdoor deals and secret handshakes do not dictate the winners and losers of government contracts.

While the priority in decision making is based on what is best for our residents, the City Council believes that it is important to support local O’Fallon businesses. There are certain times after bids are received that the City Council chooses to select a local bidder, even though it may not be the lowest bid received.

In fact, last month, the Council selected Bel-O cooling & heating, instead of Trane U.S. to install two air conditioning units at the communications building near the water tower at State Street and Behrens Drive. Even though Bel-O’s bid was slightly higher than Trane’s, the Council felt that the amount was close enough to award the contract to an O’Fallon company.

In addition to large purchases, City departments regularly purchase smaller items and services from local businesses, when available. These items and services range from screwdrivers and stationary to trees and mowing.

The O’Fallon City Council and I take our fiduciary responsibilities very sincerely and we always work to make decisions that are based on what is best for all O’Fallon residents and taxpayers. O’Fallon’s elected officials’ priority to provide the best services possible, at the best value possible, is why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.