Glenwood council to update procurement code
Over the last 47 years, Glenwood Springs has seen a lot of changes; the city government’s procurement code, established in 1971, however, has not.
In an effort to capitalize on public efficiency, city staff will petition City Council Thursday night to approve what they deem necessary changes to the current municipal code.
If Glenwood Springs City Council votes in favor of repealing and replacing an article and amending other sections of it, the city manager and department heads will see a sizable increase in their monetary spending power authority. Residents will also be afforded the opportunity to pay their water and electric utility bills online with a credit card.
As of now the code mandates that the council must approve and the mayor sign off on any expenditures, budgeted or not, in excess of $10,000. If the amended changes are put into effect, City Manager Debra Figueroa and two named designees of her choosing may approve budgeted items up to $100,000 without council approval or the mayor’s signature.
In the event of a non-budgeted expense up to $100,000, however, the “council adopts a supplemental appropriation which the mayor signs,” according to Glenwood Springs Finance Director Steve Boyd. In addition, the chief operating officer would also have the authority to sign off on budgeted expenditures up to $50,000 also without council approval or the mayor’s signature.
Department heads, for example, like that of parks and recreation would also see their purchasing authority for budgeted expenditures increase from $5,000 to $25,000.
“A department head has the authority to negotiate in good faith on behalf of the city for an expenditure up to $25,000. If there is a separate contract involved, that contract will go through a centralized process here,” Boyd said.
“But, a department head can go out in the world and, you know, represent that they have the authority to make an agreement, make a purchase up to $25,000 and indeed in many cases could even use a P card to just go ahead and do it,” he said.
In addition, other changes to the procurement code would offer Glenwood Springs residents the option to pay their water and electric utility bills online with a credit card for the first time.
“There are some people that game the system a little bit and they don’t pay on time, which is additional work for city staff to send late notices and we have to go out to their home and hang a door tag … all those things are extra steps and there’s no fee to (disincentive) that behavior,” Boyd said. “So the vast majority of citizens here who pay on time and are consistent are subsidizing the few that game the system.”
While the city would pass the 3 percent credit card processing fee onto the resident, it would not be a fee the city would profit off, of according to Boyd.
“We’re just passing that fee through because that’s where we incur it.”
After almost five decades of little to no changes to the code, city staff hopes minor alterations can alleviate unnecessary work and costly burdens.
“We have a city manager who has been here for a couple of years. We have had a lot of turnover at the department head level and I think now we’ve got a strong leadership team together that will be the team for a while,” Boyd said. “So, in thinking about, how do we get more efficient?; how do we do more with fewer resources?; one of the things that we want to do is cut out steps that are unnecessary or don’t add much value.”
Boyd said he thought the council would approve the measures.