Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Shoemaker served notice tonight that he's seeing way too many requests for sole-sourced contracts from the city's purchasing department.
Shoemaker refused to support two sole-source contracts tonight: a $145,000 contract with the Municipal Taxation Advisory Group of London, Ont. to provide assessment and taxation support to the city; and a $104,666 deal with Sudbury-based Xylem Canada Co. for 10 submersible pumps for the Sault's small pumping stations.
Sole-source procurement is defined as any contract signed without a competitive process, based on belief that just one possible source exists or that only one supplier can properly meet the requirements.
"Since Jan. 28, three months, this is the ninth report asking for sole-sourcing of contracts," Shoemaker said.
"I pulled them last time. I'm pulling them this time and I'm pulling them from here on forward because I think that if these truly are the best services that we can get, then a request for proposals will reflect that."
"There are simply too many reports coming to us, asking for sole-sourcing."
"We should not be accepting sole-sourcing as our default position."
"I think these things should be far less common than they have become."
Both resolutions were nonetheless passed by Shoemaker's council colleagues.
In other news, councillors passed the following Shoemaker resolution tonight:
Mover: Councillor M. Shoemaker
Seconder: Councillor P. Christian
Whereas in 2003 the City of Sault Ste. Marie commissioned a report that proposed a downtown trolley for tourism service between Sault Ste. Marie’s tourism attraction spaces; and
Whereas a downtown trolley would be a motorized bus with the exterior designed to look like an old-fashioned streetcar; and
Whereas a downtown trolley would allow tourists, Agawa Canyon passengers, cruise-ship passengers and others more time at various attractions instead of spending time getting to those attractions; and
Whereas a downtown trolley could be operated seasonally during Sault Ste. Marie’s busiest tourism months; and
Whereas the local accommodation tax may provide funding that, in the past, hasn’t been available for the execution of such a project; and
Whereas local tourism partners may be willing to participate in the funding or operation of the downtown trolley;
Now therefore be it resolved that staff be requested to study, review, consult and subsequently advise council of the feasibility of implementing of a downtown trolley in Sault Ste. Marie.