OUR VIEW: When it comes to accepting bids, keep the green in Greenville

By Daily News • Last Updated 9:25 am on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When it comes to local law enforcement, we think Greenville has the best. Especially under the watch of Public Safety Director Michael Pousak.

But we wanted to register our disappointment that more couldn’t have been done to make the sole local bid on the department’s newest police cruiser work.

Appropriately, the department solicited sealed bids on a 2012 Dodge Charger. They got three bids back. One from a dealership in Lowell, one from a dealership in Battle Creek, and one from our own Ed Koehn, located in Eureka Township, just outside the Greenville city limits. The lowest bid came from Grand Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler of Lowell at a total of $22,277.89. Ed Koehn was the next lowest at $23,466.

It was explained at last week’s city council meeting that the city sometimes considers local bids if they are within 5 percent of the lowest bid received. In this case, that would be within $1,113.89. Ed Koehn’s bid came in $1,188.11 over the Lowell dealership. That’s $74.22 over the 5 percent mark.

Some people will look at this strictly in terms of the bottom line. The vote to buy from Lowell did save money. True. And we’re all in favor of being fiscally responsible. But we look at it from the “keeping the green in Greenville” perspective, too. Sometimes the line between those philosophies isn’t so black and white.

Ed Koehn is a local business that helps feed the local economy. In the world of automobiles, this dealership is a regional draw, which ends up bringing visitors to town. In addition, it’s also a philanthropic part of our community.

We are big on keeping our business local — whether you’re a resident shopping for a dishwasher, a business looking for special services, or a city or township buying a new police cruiser. We all know Greenville leaders have worked hard to keep existing businesses here and to attract new opportunities. And we applaud them for maintaining an open process in big purchases like this police cruiser that enables residents to see what their bids are — as all local governments should. It’s just disappointing more couldn’t have been done to avoid going 20 miles down the road to do business.


Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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