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Jerry Park

October 31, 2009
Observer Today

1. Do you support downsizing and consolidations of government and school districts? Why? If you support downsizing our county legislature, how many members would you propose and how would you accomplish the redistricting of the county? Yes, I can support a reduction in the number of legislators as long as there is an accurate representation of the population within the cities and rural areas. This is why it is foolish to make uneducated guesses as to the number of legislators until the tabulations of the 2010 census takes place. What took place on the last redistricting after the 2000 census showed that the population decline was mostly from the cities, but after the redistricting took place the cities still retained the same amount of legislators. This was accomplished by the gerrymandering that took place to slice up the districts and still keep the power in the cities. This idea of reducing the legislature has been often followed by a statement that it would "save" money, when I look at other counties with smaller numbers of legislators the cost increases dramatically along with the amount of staffing to operate the legislature. Some of the most efficient counties have a "Board of Supervisors" and in most cases a larger number, but they come from their respective Towns and have the most efficient operating skills that they bring to the table at the county level and have similar efficient cost savings results.

2. Many governments and school districts use bidding to get the best possible price (though not always the best quality) for goods and services. Would you support a county law to post all county bids online so that taxpayers can see the top three bids and who was awarded the bid? If not, what SPECIFIC cost savings measure would you propose to the Legislature? There are definite rules that must be followed in regards to bidding whether it is for repairs or purchases and they must take the lowest "responsible bid". Currently all bids are advertised publicly and the bid opening is held with the respective bidders normally in attendance to witness the results. Most bid packages consist of a few dozen pages to several hundred pages. They are available to anyone that wants a copy through the FOIL process. There are some type of bidding process going on all year long, whether it is for roads and bridges, buildings and grounds, parks and airports, CARTS, Sheriff, Emergency Services, Public Health, county vehicles, transportation, information services, Co. Home and Landfill, etc. For the average citizen they would have no idea of what they are looking at to evaluate the winning bids unless they are an engineer or similar trade. At this time I would say that it would be a waste of county resources to enter the multitude of bids that come in throughout the year online. The real savings would be in the changing/elimination of the obsolete state mandates/laws on how jobs must be bid to let our staff of engineer's to package related parts of the project to take advantage of those savings.


Jerry Park


District 5



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