Political Notebook

  • Shepard to receive democracy award
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • Stutzman ready for a real recess
    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."
  • Liz Brown gets 4 endorsements
    Liz Brown, the Republican running for the Senate District 15 seat, announced four endorsements Thursday.
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Crawford lobs heavy criticism, one compliment

There wasn’t much Fort Wayne City Councilman John Crawford, R-at large, liked about an administration proposal Tuesday to hire a consultant to study how the city hires its contractors, with an eye toward including more women- and minority-owned companies in the bidding pool.

He didn’t like the price tag - $143,849 now and $90,000 for a possible second phase. He didn’t like that he suspects the money will be wasted since he believes it “extremely unlikely that we will find discrimination.” He didn’t like the scope of services – he pointed out that Fort Wayne mayors, Republican and Democrat alike, have worked for decades to make the city more inclusive. He didn’t like the duplication the study would cause – the city already spends $200,000 a year on salaries in its contract compliance department. He didn’t like that officials insisted they need the study even though the purchasing director said he had seen no evidence of discrimination.

But there was one thing he liked: Officials had taken his advice on hiring professional firms – where traditional bidding is not required – and negotiated the price with several of them before choosing one.

After three pages of bashing the proposal, he ended with this: “I would like to compliment the purchasing department on the excellent methodology they used in competing out the selection of possible providers for the study.”

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