1 month, 4 weeks ago Denise Donley
Administration suggests bringing monthly printing of minutes in house
Quincy City Clerk Jenny Hayden is looking for money to pay an outstanding bill for the recent re-codification of Quincy Municipal Code book.
She brought the issue before the Quincy City Finance Committee meeting on Monday night.
Since 2008, the City of Quincy has been in the process of re-coding the Quincy Municipal Code book.
Hayden says the City still owes around $6000 for the work. American Legal was awarded a bid of $20,500 in January of 2009. Most of that was paid in 2009 but after receiving the finished work in June of 2013, the City owes the remainder of the balance plus some additional costs.
Hayden said she needed to find a way to pay the bill.
Before Monday’s Finance meeting, Hayden discussed possible payment solutions with the City Administration.
Director of Administrative Services Glenda Hackamack said that while looking over the City Clerk’s budget, the Administration noticed Hayden was outsourcing printing of City Council minutes to a local business.
Hackamack said records show Hayden spent an average of $896.83 a month in 2012 on printing costs. As of this year, the average spent on printing per month is $1,258. To cut costs and allow money to be allocated for the American Legal expense, the Administration suggested bringing the printing in house.
Hayden, however, said that isn’t possible.
She said it is required by law to keep a copy of Council minutes.
“We can go for a re-bid and try and getting a low bid next year. I’ve looked at three others in the community, but I’d like to finish out my fiscal year with my printer the way I’m doing it, and then go out next year for bids,” said Hayden. “I don’t want to change the way I’ve done my permanent records. That’s the way we’ve done it.”
Alderman Mike Farha, Finance Committee Chair, said there is a need for the paper form.
“We are far from a paperless system. She (Hayden) was never going to be able to fully comply with a paperless system, and she told us that from the very beginning. I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but I do think there is a requirement. I know this is expensive, but this is what the public needs.”
However, in early 2012, the City began handing out iPads to each Alderman in an effort to reduce the amount of paper being used on Council minutes and agendas. Alderman Farha, who served on the Technology Committee, estimated the project would save the City $20,000.
“What it means to the taxpayers is this – every document produced is costly. Every piece of paper is humanly handled and there is a tremendous cost associated with that. I’ve been preaching this for 10 years,” Farha said at the time.
View that story here.
Corporation Counsel Lonnie Dunn said that there’s room in the Legal Department’s budget for the American Legal expense, but he doesn’t think in the future the City should look at different departments’ budgets to solve others’ deficits.
Alderman Steve Duesterhaus brought up the video gaming tax as a way to pay for the re-codification expense.
Farha said ultimately, it is not the committee’s job to find where the money comes from to pay the bill.
“We need to find it somewhere to pay for this. This is something we don’t want to get involved in. We’ve already gone over each department’s budget with a fine tooth comb. This is where teamwork within the administration needs to come in.”
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said the administration had proposed an acceptable solution.
“We identified savings that could be realized by bringing this in house. Our IT Department said we could do this and my office has offered to help. By bringing printing in house, we would not only see savings this year, but every year from here on out.”
Moore said if it was up to him, he would bring the printing in house, however, he “cannot direct how another elected official runs their office.“
The following is a timeline of the re-codification process:
Jan 5, 2009- American Legal was awarded a bid of $20,500 to put together Quincy’s Code book
February 13, 2009- 40% of the contract was paid ($8,200 of $20,500)
June 2009- Receipt of draft manuscript with legal and editorial report in approx. 60 days or more
July 10, 2009- Second 40% of contract was paid ($8,200 of $20,500)
January 24, 2010- Correspondence from City Clerk Jenny Hayden to American Legal regarding the final payment date. Response included editor was working on final comments on City of Quincy’s draft code.
July 8, 2010- City of Quincy received legal and editorial research and report from American Legal. Corporation Counsel was given information. American Legal states City contractual review period is 60 days following receipt of report or before September 13,2010.
(3 year gap)
February 25, 2013- American Legal sent letter to Hayden stated the project needed to conclude or closed. Hayden was given the options to either void initial contract and lose previous monies paid or finish the project with a new American Legal employee. Hayden chose to finish the project
April/May 2013- Report finished and sent to American Legal
June 2013- 25 copies of Quincy Municipal Code received
July 19, 2013- Paid folio cost of $995 and web hosting of $250
May 31, 20133- Received invoice total of $11.045. City still owes 20% of $20,500, which is $4,100 and added adjusted pages from contract limit at $18 a page.
Total costs still owed to American Legal total around $6,000