With Spring in the air, zoning petitions monopolized the bulk of our meeting. This meant as Chairman of Development I hogged the floor. All passed with unanimous approval. We also were able to say hello to former Board Member Joe Haimann of Carpentersville.
There was some debate over awarding a road contract to a Missouri bidder due to past prevailing wage violations. The motion eventually carried largely across party lines, with the majority of Democrats opposing. While I understand their concern over the prevailing wage law, the contractor in question has paid all fines and is now in good standing. In the private sector, businesses have the right to factor in their personal beliefs and feelings in the selection of the contractors they wish to work with on any given project. Elected officials in the public sector are not afforded the same luxury. By law we are bound to award the lowest qualified bidder with the contract. This is done in a sealed bid format to insure that nepotism has no place in the bidding process. Sadly, we were given information from a watchdog group on the past violations less than 24 hours prior to the vote. Those in opposition believed that the contractor was no longer a "qualified" bidder because the contractor had past violations. The law, however, views the contractor as qualified. Basically put - "They did the crime, and paid the time." Had we not awarded the contract to the bidder in question, they had a right to sue the County for discriminatory practices.
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