By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – The decision to hire the city’s house counsel for prosecutorial duties in the 24th District Court was met with disagreement among city council members.
In a 4-3 vote Tuesday, councilors approved a bid from Royal Oak-based Flood Lanctot Connor Stablein P.L.L.C., which has been the city’s municipal attorney firm since 2011.
But the decision did not sit well with some councilors. Councilman Bob Keenan said the city should have accepted the lowest bidder, Allen Park-based Miller and Miller, which bid $18,000 for the job. Flood, the second lowest, came in at $24,000. Six firms bid on the position.
“We’re little old Allen Park here,” Keenan said. “We’re not Wayne County or Oakland County. This vote tonight speaks volumes against our mission statement and our vision statement. We talk about putting Allen Park businesses first.”
City council members also disagree on to whom the bid was open, with Keenan saying that it was originally only open to Allen Park firms until Flood asked to be considered if it came in as the low bidder, a stipulation it did not meet.
Councilman Dennis Hayes disagreed, saying the bid was not exclusive to Allen Park firms, but that those firms were given priority in the selection process, and that Flood’s price, while not the lowest, was lower than what had been paid in previous years.
“You can go out and low ball any kind of product you want,” Hayes said. “If your goal is to get the job done at any cost, that can happen.”
But Keenan said the job, a one-day-per-week position, is mostly comprised of handling traffic infractions and could easily be handled by the low bidder.
Councilman Angelo DeGiuilio agreed.
“Maybe the last mayor and council needed the Flood firm, I think we’re OK without it,” he said.
But Mayor William Matakas said the firm, with its years of prosecutorial experience, is needed to quickly handle the court’s docket, a task essential to the city’s ongoing bargaining with the court to shave 10 percent off its 2012-13 budget.