At Monroe County council’s meeting on Tuesday night, councilors approved issuance of general obligation bonds for $3.3 million. Not on a revised bond project list was new election equipment that is estimated to cost around $1 million. [Note: The Beacon intends to provide separate coverage of Tuesday’s decision on bond issuance.]
The bond had originally been proposed for $5.17 million. Even though it had been crossed off the bond project list, the county still intends to get the equipment, and pay for it out of cash reserves.
Councilors included some commentary on the election equipment, when they deliberated on the bond issuance. Eric Spoonmore looked for some assurance that the $1 million that had been estimated was realistic.
Spoonmore’s question came as the county was concluding an RFP process to purchase or lease new election equipment, ahead of the May 5, 2020 primaries. By the Oct. 22 deadline, two proposals were received, from Hart Intercivic, out of Austin, Texas; Election Systems & Software (ES&S), out of Omaha, Nebraska.
County attorney Jeff Cockerill told Spoonmore that some research by the clerk’s office and the fact that they had at least two competing proposals led him to think it was unlikely the $1 million estimate would be exceeded.
The sealed packages containing the responses from the two companies were given a public, ceremonial opening at the county’s board of commissioners meeting on Wednesday morning. The details of the proposals were not immediately read aloud or otherwise released. Cockerill, who wielded the package-opening knife, told The Beacon the event was not meant to be like a bid opening, where the amount of the bids are read aloud. Continue reading “Two proposals received for Monroe County election equipment, cost hoped to be less than $1 million”