Attorney: Century Not Required To Advertise For Bids

September 14, 2018

Century is not required to advertise for bids before making a purchase, and the town council — or citizens — have the power to start the process of amending the town’s charter, according to the town attorney.

Council present Ann Brooks raised questions about purchasing procedures and the charter in an email to attorney Matt Dannehisser.

The town charter states:

“The council shall request and receive bids and award contracts involving expenditures of Five-Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more. Except in emergencies, the council must approve the expenditure of amounts greater than One Hundred Ninety-Nine Dollars ($199.00) and less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), prior to the expenditure.”

Dannheisser said in his email that while the town charter must be followed, the charter does not require that the town “advertise for bids” before awarding a contract.  Because there is not requirement for advertising, written proposals or competitive sections, he said the town could receive bids “thought simplistic processes such as calling vendors on the phone and receiving oral proposals.”

“That can be accomplished through simplistic processes such as calling vendors on the phone and receiving oral proposals,” he wrote, adding that the town council “may use its discretion whatever procedure it deems to be in the Town’s best interest”.

He said it appears the town could use a state or county bid list for expenditures, or create their own bid list.

Brooks also inquired if the town could amend its charter.

Dannheisser said it could be amended under home rule by ordinance or by a petition signed by 10 percent of registered voters — both of which would require a vote during the next election or a special election.


9 Responses to “Attorney: Century Not Required To Advertise For Bids”

  1. JustMe on September 17th, 2018 8:37 am

    I’m not going to post the entire code, but I will post link to it. Copy and paste it to your browser. Charter doesn’t matter when its state law.

  2. Oversight on September 14th, 2018 5:06 pm

    According to the wording of the charter, the attorney is correct; There is no requirement to advertise. However, there is a requirement to seek and receive bids. It would be expected that the town council would then approve necessary expenditures.

  3. puzzled... on September 14th, 2018 4:35 pm

    Century’s “charter” doesn’t require it….but, doesn’t mean it is legal and/or ethical?

    I don’t live in the area—but I do work for a fairly large municipality in Alabama. Bids are required to comply with the Ethic’s commission—that’s why a “State Bid List” exists.

  4. chris on September 14th, 2018 3:58 pm

    This stuff is almost too good to be true. No transparency, no accountability, a Century politician’s dream come true!

  5. Chelleepea on September 14th, 2018 12:51 pm

    Is this why Ms. Brooks secretly went to the town’s lawyer for? Well, I’m willing to sign the petition and vote for the amendment. Checks and balances keeps the administration/council honest and asking for bids will help save money too.

  6. juat sayin on September 14th, 2018 9:19 am

    This seems legit. The town council always has the “towns best interest” at heart.

  7. tg on September 14th, 2018 9:02 am

    It will take more than a century to straighten out Century.

  8. Gman on September 14th, 2018 6:13 am

    Everyday I wake up I thank the lord that I moved out of Century.

  9. Citizen on September 14th, 2018 1:44 am

    Awesome Leadership!!

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