Last week we ran a story about how the Oxford City Council, after putting out for bid for furnishing the new Oxford City Hall and receiving several bids, deliberated shortly and did not take the lowest bid that also happened to be from long-time local furniture store owner Sam Ramsey.
This decision cost the tax payers of Oxford an additional $11,586.26.
In an editorial last week we called for the council to give us and the taxpayers of Oxford an honest answer on why they made this decision since our reporter could only garner vague responses.
We have obtained the unofficial copy of the minutes of the meetings where the bids were discussed and the decision made. It turns out the reason that the Ramsey bid was not accepted was for political payback.
When the Covington Municipal Airport was expanded, it was a serious concern for many residents of the town of Oxford. Sam Ramsey was the mayor of Covington during that expansion.
It now seems Councilman Jim Windham forgot that he was elected to represent the best interests of the tax payers of Oxford, not to hold grudges. The unofficial minutes show that Windham personally led a revolt against the former mayor of Covington because he did not like his attitude regarding the council’s past airport concerns. We don’t like Windham’s attitude.
The Oxford Council also has a purchasing ordinance that suggests that the council should consider local business first when spending tax money. In these tough economic times, that policy makes perfect sense.
However, Windham and his gang of four, — Frank Davis, Terry Smith, Sue Dale and Hoyt Oliver — felt that supporting a company with a higher bid and no ties to the local area was the best move.
We find this action ill-advised and petty and we urge the Oxford Council to reconsider their decision.