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Councilman Miller Says Noncompetitive Contract Renewals May Hurt Minority-Owned Businesses

A new member of the Louisville Metro Council says he'd like to examine some aspects of day-to-day city operations.Jerry Miller—who was elected last year to represent the 19th District—spoke up at a recent council meeting to comment on an action the council frequently takes. The body must approve contracts negotiated by the mayor's office and other city departments. Miller took issue with the number of contracts that were renewed by departments then approved by the council without being re-opened for bids from other possible contractors.Such renewals, however, are not illegal."There are a number of things where I believe they do not rebid because the law does not require them to rebid. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't rebid, it just means it's more convenient for the department," says Miller. "It doesn't mean it's the right thing to do for either the minority-owned businesses, the women-owned businesses or the taxpayers."Miller says he was frustrated by noncompetitive contracts when he worked in state government. The bidding process can be time consuming, however, but Miller says perhaps officials should consider it whenever possible. Overall, Miller says he's been pleased with the council and his early meetings with the mayor.