KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to Kansas City’s finance director, City Council missed its only opportunity for $315,000 in annual savings Thursday.
But some council members were critical of the late request that came in the form of a six-year $7.6 million contract that wasn’t on the city’s published docket for Thursday’s meeting and are calling for discipline of those involved in the deal.
Last week City Council approved just over $19 million for new police radios and computer aided dispatch system for KCPD.
The ordinance pointed out new radios were needed because current equipment was no longer being serviced by the manufacturer.
Thursday in a late move council was asked to vote on that additional six-year $7.6 million service contract for those radios not included in the memorandum of understanding passed last week.
“We all worked very quickly and passed an ordinance that we thought addressed the issue. If there was an extra $7.6 million straggler out there this council should have been able to receive that because somebody out there that cost was out there you could have told one of us,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said expressing his frustration.
Tammy Queen said the contract had to be passed immediately because the existing service contract with Motorola already expired November 30. And if they could get a deal done before December 27 they’d save $315,000 a year, $90,000 annually for bundling with the purchase and an additional $225,000 annually for acting quickly.
“How in the world does that become a last minute proposition?” Barnes questioned.
“This isn’t an emergency, this is called stupid politics.” Councilman Brandon Ellington said.
Ellington argues funding for the police radios should come out of the police budget.
“Only a fool gets hustled by the same hustle twice. When you talk about a $90,000 discount there is no discount when you are forced to pay for something that you don’t have no obligation to pay for,” he said.
FOX4 called and emailed Kansas City’s Communications Department multiple times since Thursday’s meeting to find out why the contract request came before Council with little time to deliberate and after the previous contract had expired. Council decided the finance committee should have time to study it before a vote per standard procedure.
With no contract in place Queen says they’ll just have to hope Motorola continues to respond to service calls without it. It’s projected the same contract the next time council meets and would have an opportunity to vote will cost the city and other metro communities in the regional 911 system an extra $315,000 a year.
Councilwoman Katheryn Shields proposed disciplinary action as a result.
“I’m bringing an ordinance for discipline against the city manager and senior staff that was tasked in bringing this forth in a timely manner. We should not be in this situation, our citizens should not be in this situation, to think the solution is just to increase the cost to the citizens is not a solution,” Shields said.
Councilman Teresa Loar said she’d co-sponsor that ordinance. In the meeting Shields said that discipline could involve unpaid leave of between one or two weeks.
City Council would be required to vote on the disciplinary measure if it is indeed placed on the upcoming agenda.
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