Lake Gale Road needed repair work, and the Midway City Council agreed to have the work performed. So far, so good. Although the city has an agreement with the county to do such work at no additional cost — other than existing payments to the county — Mayor Clemontine Washington had the city hire a contractor without informing the council of a verbal agreement with the vendor.
Under O.C.G.A. 32-4-115, a request for bid must be advertised in the local paper. It wasn’t. At the July city council meeting, Councilman Terry Doyle asked for a copy of the agreement with the vendor five times during a discussion. The mayor repeatedly responded, “This is his bid. This is all we have.” No agreement or purchase order was issued by the city specifying the work to be done and the payment for the work. Why?
This simple venture has become a nightmare because the mayor failed to follow four important state laws concerning this project: non-advertisement of the bid; no written contract; no posting of bond by the vendor; and no competitive oath by the vendor. How did this happen with a mayor who has been in office and on the council for more than eight years?
• Did you know the city charges a wastewater fee for non-wastewater, such as pool water, garden water or any other water use that does not go into the system? The wastewater fee is higher than the cost of the water.
Maybe I just don’t understand the reasoning, but why is Washington attempting to charge city council members a fee to obtain documents that are necessary for them to do what we elected them to do? It’s like a company operations manager paying the company CEO to get a copy of the company’s operations manual.
• If you haven’t noticed, the ordinances have been pulled from the city of Midway’s website. Why? I deduce they might be out of date. I presume Midway citizens now will have to pay to review the city ordinances.
• On Nov. 12, 2009, the city council voted to have the city attorney proceed with arbitration over the money Midway claims the county owes it. Three years later, the mayor still hasn’t moved this action forward. It’s our money. Why is she hesitant to get it back?
• False alarms take our police and fire departments from true emergencies. The city council approved a new ordinance 10 months ago that would charge someone for excessive false alarms. Why has the mayor prevented the law from going into effect?
• Do you miss the ice-cream truck or the fresh-vegetable truck coming through your neighborhood? I would like to know the current status of the transient merchants, peddlers and solicitors ordinance. On April 23, the mayor was supposed to have sent this ordinance to the city attorney for review. Why not just charge such vendors the same as any other Midway business, rather than try to rip them off with exorbitant fees?
• As a citizen who attends the monthly city council meetings, I find it difficult to follow discussions where drawings or pictures are presented. The council needs to set up a projector and screen, which they have, so that the audience can see what is being discussed.