Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Who Can View Lauderdale Ambulance Bids?

Are the recently closed bids for a new Lauderdale County ambulance contract public or private? Apparently Lauderdale Commission attorney Chris Smith and administrator Brenda Bryant weren't sure themselves.

Waterloo resident Hank Thomas requested to see the bids from Lauderdale EMS (a division of Keller EMS) and Shoals Ambulance (a new to the area company founded by Bryan Gibson), at which time he was refused. Mr. Thomas then sent this e-mail:

Ms. Bryant and Mr. Smith, I have contacted Ms. Monica Sheeler, assistant attorney general; of the Alabama Attorney Generals office. She works in the department of Public Affairs and deals with FOIA questions.She advised me that if the Ambulance bids had closed and could not be changed nor altered, then it is allowable for citizens to review and/or purchase copies in her opinion .It is my understanding the bids closed on August 2, 2012 and the bidders cannot change the bids in any manner.   She advised the only exception she was aware of was if by my viewing the documents it would be "A Detriment to Public Safety". Please advise if there are other reasons I would not be allowed to view or purchase copies of the documents.

Some days later, Ms. Bryant again e-mailed Mr. Thomas:

After review by this office and Chris Smith we have researched the law  41-16-24(b) and 41-16-27(c)and we have discussed with the Association of County Commissions legal department. At the present time the bid documents are being used to make comparisons and basically is being used as a “work product”. The rebid is very large and has to be reduced and summarized into spread sheets so that the commissioners and city council can compare the bids. However by the end of the week, Thursday or Friday you are welcome to come down the  office and review the bids. Due to the size we are unable to make copies due to time constraints  but you are welcomed to use an office and review the contents. The bids can’t leave the office. If I can be of further assistance please feel free to contact me.

Once the bids have been reviewed, we'll publish an update.


Franklin County's unemployment rate was 9.6% in June; last month it was 9.7%. For every 1,000 workers in Franklin, 97 don't have jobs--that's not a cheery thought. Now the Franklin Pharmacy compounding facility is reportedly closing. We're going to predict the unemployment rate won't be going down for August. From Pen N Sword:


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